A White Fawn, the Big City, and New Hope for an Old Project
New York City—known for the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Central Park, and.....a white deer?!!
What was actually a piebald (brown and white) fawn, was born last spring on Staten Island, one
of New York's five boroughs. The fawn made big news, including this National Geographic article.
Deer are actually fairly common on Staten Island. The island has seen a lot of changes over the
years: as a Lenape Indian village, a 1600s Dutch settlement, and until quite recently as a dump
for New York City’s garbage. The fawn was born near Fort Wadsworth on the east end of the
island on land managed by the National Park Service.
But there is another story to this story. Besides being strikingly beautiful and unusual, the "white"
fawn has become an inspiration for the resurrection of a forgotten project--a project of colossal
Over 100 years ago the area where the white fawn was born was the intended location for a
monument to Native Americans, with a statue as tall as the Statue of Liberty. Despite a lot of press
and fanfare, however, the monument was never built (lost to the unfortunate diversion of WWI).
Now some members of the Native community see the white fawn as a sign to renew the efforts to
build the monument.
In the meantime, New York City residents have a bright reminder that nature
has its surprises, and you just never know what you’ll find—even in the biggest of cities!