Research suggests that exposure to the natural world – including nearby nature in cities – helps improve human health, well-being, and intellectual capacity in ways that science is only recently beginning to understand.
The summer edition of the Urban Park Rangers' publication Outdoors in NYC is now available in PDF form. It lists all the free weekend events that the Urban Park Rangers offer in parks throughout the city. These programs enable adults and families to experience the natural world in new and unexpected ways. They include canoeing, fishing, hiking, special programs for kids and families, and wildlife viewing.
It's May and that means flowers—the 6th annual NYC Wildflower Week is here. This year, they're expanding their programming to all of NYC's nature, including salamanders, birds, and mushrooms along with our native wildﬂowers.
Events range from botanical walks and garden tours throughout the five boroughs to children's activities. See the full schedule of events here.
Presented by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, this will be the sixth annual festival, a day of free entertainment, education, and activities that celebrates the potential of New York City's waterfront. The events will take place on Governors Island and in Liberty State Park.
The Prospect Park Audubon Center has some fun family activities to celebrate Earth Day this Sunday.
From 1-4 PM there will be presentations by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation on responsible fishing, discover tours, lakeshore clean-up, live bird and animal encounters, recycled instrument making, and a performance and parade by Bash the Trash.
Bright Horizons invited Brooklyn child- and parenting-related bloggers to tour their new facility on Kent Avenue in trendy Williamsburg. I attended and must say the place is very nice, and they make a real effort to feature natural materials, calm earth tones, room for gross motor play, and nature and science themed playthings.
Saturday, June 23rd, at the Central Park Bandshell the NYC Parks department will present Adventures NYC, a free day of outdoor adventure sponsored by Backpacker magazine. Activities will include the UBC Rock Climbing Zone, Human Hamster Wheels, hand cycling, health and fitness clinics, the REI Adventure Zone, Kayaking Zone with stand-up paddle boarding tank, Mountain Bike Expo, a bike helmet giveaway by the NYC Department of Transportation, gear exhibits, live music, and more.
The New York City Water Trail Association, a consortium of local boating and waterfront groups, has an online event calendar that lists hundreds of free human-powered boating and other waterfront events. If kayaking in the East River or Jamaica Bay sounds like your cup of tea, check it out! It's a Google calendar, so you can subscribe. They also have a mailing list with regular updates about waterfront access and environmental issues.
We had a lovely time this past Memorial Day weekend at the Strange Creek Campout. This was the festival's tenth year. We also went in 2007 and 2008, and in 2009 went to the Wormtown festival at the same place in the fall. The highlight of the event (besides the music) is the river which borders the site, at least as far as the kids are concerned. The property is actually a summer camp when it isn't hosting music festivals, and includes a playground, cabins, woods, and fields. There seem to be zillions of birds.
It's Earth Day, for the 39th time. The chilly, overcast weather here in NYC is not very conducive to getting out there and enjoying our planet. We've already been out for an 8am soccer game.
There are official Earth Day events here in NYC—you can get details at the Earth Day New York website. Some of them are indoors, at Grand Central Terminal.