Like many cities around the world, New York City is facing the reality of climate change and its severe impacts on the urban environment. In Lower Manhattan, high tides with sea level rise are projected to flood multiple city blocks on regular basis in this generation. If we don’t take action, climate threats to this area will put our transit system, critical infrastructure and jobs serving all of New York City and the region at risk. On this virtual walk with the NYCEDC, we’ll explore how the City is taking action by investing over $500 million in climate adaptation projects to protect Lower Manhattan now, as well as planning for long-term climate adaptation to meet the challenges of tomorrow. The program will discuss Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency and the investments happening now, as well as the ongoing planning work to define the right type of infrastructure needed for the Financial District and Seaport neighborhoods and study the potential to extend the existing shoreline. Much work is still left to be done, and public engagement is critical to ensuring a successful plan to adapt these neighborhoods for current and future generations of New Yorkers.
Celebrate Climate Week NYC and learn how climate change has affected Prospect Park and other natural areas in New York City and the projections for the future, including how Prospect Park Alliance and the Natural Areas Conservancy is using the best available science to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and preserve our urban forests. We will again be joined by Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein and Natural Areas Conservancy’s Justin Bowers, program manager for Natural Areas Restoration and the creator of Forest Identification and Restoration Selection Tool (FIRST), which helps forest restoration practitioners manage for and adapt to geographic and climate conditions.
Learn how Prospect Park restores and manages habitat for pollinator conservation, why invertebrates are so important to Brooklyn, how managers choose plants, why native plants are critical to pollinator survival, and how anyone with a little bit of space can plant a pollinator-friendly native garden. We will again be joined by Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein.
Ever since she was a little girl growing up in China’s Hubei Province, Gina Gao has been collecting medicinal herbs, inspired by family traditions and by growing up in the same small town as Li Shizhen, a renowned 16th-century physician and botanist. Each month, she will host a virtual program to show some of the herbs that might be growing in your backyard right here in NYC, share how to dry and prepare them, and discuss their histories and uses in traditional Chinese medicine. In this first program, Gina will tell us about the medicinal properties, preparation and use of mugwort, a valuable and cultivated plant in China that is considered a troublesome invasive plant in New York.
Get to know the trees of Prospect Park! Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein joins us again for a discussion about the 30,000 trees of the park. We will look at common native and invasive tree species (and how to recognize them), the different forest types in the park, why some of our native trees are so valuable to wildlife, some unusual and less common trees, and how the Prospect Park Alliance manages Brooklyn’s last forest.
Join our conversation with Sara Carr, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and Landscape at Northeastern University, who will discuss Frederick Law Olmsted’s origins in public health, and how his background in the US Sanitary Commission during the Civil War, and his journalistic advocacy inspired his designs of Central Park and Prospect Park. Olmsted’s prolific writings give us an insight into how he thought about the intersection of human, ecological, and societal health, which resonate strongly in our pandemic era. But as his living legacies face unprecedented urban challenges, we must also think about how they can sustain and at times even transform for a just and sustainable future. This program is presented in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance.
Vermont is known for its natural beauty, but the National Park Service has only one property in the state, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park. Established in 1992, the park tells the story of three men who occupied the same piece of land over time in the small town of Woodstock, and each had a unique impact on preserving the restoring the natural landscape: diplomat and writer George Perkins Marsh, railroad tycoon Frederick Billings, and scion Laurance Rockefeller. This virtual program will look at the history of conservation as told through this site, and explore some of the features of the park in and around Woodstock.
The Whitehall skiff, a style of boat developed in New York 200 years ago, has been changing the lives of teens in the Bronx for the last 20 years at a program called Rocking the Boat. Founder and Executive Director Adam Green joins us to discuss the Whitehall and the impact of youth development based on teaching with small boats that combines engineering, craft, rowing and sailing, and marine ecology.
NYC naturalist Gabriel Willow gives a multimedia presentation about Pale Male and some of the other Red-tailed Hawks that have made an astonishing and inspiring comeback in the area over the past 30 years. There were no breeding Red-tails in urban NYC & NJ in the 1980s, and now there are at least 50 pairs! We’ll also discuss the basics of raptor identification and conservation challenges as well. Gabriel Willow is an Educator and Urban Naturalist who leads tours and teaches classes for NYC Audubon, Wave Hill, and others, co-created an innovative interactive citizen science program and app called The WildLab, and is an illustrator and DJ.
Join us for a gardening demonstration and conversation with Dimitri Gatanas of the Urban Garden Center at La Marqueta, a third generation family-owned business in East Harlem. We’ll hear the story of his family’s business, which dates back to 1957, discuss generations of gardeners in the local community, learn some gardening tips, and virtually explore the Urban Garden Center’s 20,000-square-foot space.