SEE IT: Thousands of long-lost photos from NYC Summer of 1978 revealed

NEW YORK — As the weather heats up, New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation is allowing people to travel back in time.

In 1978 while The New York Times, New York Daily News and New York Post went on strike, the Parks Department hired eight New York Times photographers. Their assignment was to document parks in all five boroughs during the dog days of summer.

Nearly 3,000 photos were taken. According to The New York Times, the city’s then Park Commissioner Gordon Davis was initially skeptical of the project. After seeing the images, he said, “what [the photographers] came back with made me cry.”

Though the photos served as a time capsule, they weren’t seen again for 40 years. That was until a few months ago when a current NYC Parks official reportedly stumbled upon the slides.

Now more than 60 color photos will be publicly displayed for the first time. The Park’s Department says the images “[depict] life in New York City’s parks during a challenging yet vibrant time which sowed the seeds for renewal.”

The exhibition is free and is running from May 3 to June 14 at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park. The gallery is located at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue, and is open hours between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.