Trees2 Photo: David McSpadden/Flickr

We are extremely productive with our friends. Just last weekend, we watched Pitch Perfect 2, drank margaritas and complained about boys. We know that we must be in a small minority of “Power Friends” who really take care of business.

But we have to tip our hats to Edward Barnard and Ken Chaya, an author and a birdwatcher, who set about mapping nearly 20,000 trees in New York City’s Central Park. Their map is called “Central Park Entire, The Definitive Illustrated Map” and took two and a half years to finish.

NPR’s Morning Edition reports that they traversed hundreds of acres to accomplish the feat, which began when Barnard was working on his book, New York City Trees. He realized a complete map of the park was the key he needed to make his book authoritative and special. Chaya was an experienced birder, who was surprised once he joined the project.

“It was like learning how to see new colors, or textures,” Chaya said. “The park never looked the same again once I began to discover the many, many species of trees.”

The two received no funding for the project and simply sell the 26×36 maps on their website.

Since the park is constantly changing, the map isn’t meant to last forever. “It’s not easy to distinguish between 174 different small, green shapes,” Chaya said. “I believe the map, like nature itself, is really meant to be studied.”

Chaya hopes that New Yorkers and visitors alike will be inspired to return to the park. “You will be refreshed in spirit if you make time to visit Central Park again and again to see its wonders through the lens of the changing seasons.”

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