Spring on Governors Island. Photo by Timothy Schenck

Free, day-long celebration to feature environmental education activities, volunteer opportunities, and tours of the Island’s award-winning open space

The Trust for Governors Island and the Friends of Governors Island today announced the Island’s second annual Earth Day celebration, offering a day of free programming celebrating our shared connection with nature. New Yorkers are invited to spend the day on Governors Island and enjoy free educational activities and workshops for all ages, guided tours through the Island’s open space, and live performances inspired by ecology and the environment. The festivities will take place on Earth Day, April 22, 2023, from 10am to 3pm. 

“Governors Island is an ecological resource for New York City, and we’re committed to showcasing how New Yorkers can engage with solutions to better care for our planet to combat a changing climate,” said Clare Newman, President & CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “This year we invite New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world to join us for a free day of programming that not only highlights the natural beauty of our Island but also teaches us how we can all assist in the critical fight for a better Earth.”

Earth Day on Governors Island will feature volunteer stewardship projects, free environmental education activities for all ages, guided tours of the Island’s climate-resilient landscapes and unique Urban Farm, a bird walk focused on early migratory birds passing through Governors Island, a hands-on workshop on making your own seed balls with the Trust’s horticulture team, insect ecology activities, free bike lessons with Bike New York, an immersive performance by artist Seung Taek-Lee, and more activities to be announced. For more information and a full schedule of the day’s events, visit www.govisland.org/earth-day

“There’s no better place in New York City to immerse yourself in nature and celebrate Earth Day than Governors Island! From Hammock Grove to Nolan Park, the Island’s green spaces will be in their full splendor on Earth Day,” said Patti Davis, Interim Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “Bring your friends and family to spend the day exploring and learning about the cutting-edge environmental and conservation activities taking place here all year round.”   

EVENT SCHEDULE Events will take place at Colonels Row unless otherwise noted.

  • 10am-12:30pm: Island-wide volunteer projects (registration at Colonels Row)
  • 1pm: Community Celebration with giveaways, performances, food trucks, and more
  • 1pm: Urban Farm Tour with Earth Matter NY
  • 1-3pm: Learn to Ride kids bike class with Bike New York at the Oval
  • 1:30pm: Seeding Your Way to a Native Habitat seed ball workshop at the Urban Farm
  • 2pm: The Earth Performance: Reenactment by Seung Taek-Lee/Canal Projects on the Parade Ground
  • 2pm: Early Migration Bird Walk with NYC Audubon
  • 2pm: Introduction to the Circular Economy with Circular Economy Manufacturing
  • 2pm: Insect Ecology Walk 
  • 2:30pm: Guided landscape tour of The Hills

Earth Day on Governors Island is co-presented by the Trust for Governors Island and the Friends of Governors Island, with programming support from NYC Audubon, Billion Oyster Project, Circular Economy Manufacturing, Wind Support, Earth Matter NY, the National Park Service, Bee Conservancy, Bike New York, Canal Projects, and the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School. 

Governors Island’s award-winning park is open to the public every day, along with recreation activities like bike rentals, a Community Climbing Boulder, Hammock Grove, The Hills, Picnic Point, and more. Governors Island Arts public art commissions, including work from Duke Riley, Rachel Whiteread, Mark Dion, and Mark Handforth are also currently on view throughout the Island. Charles Gaines’s The American Manifest Chapter Two: Moving Chains will reopen on Governors Island later this spring. 

QC NY is open daily on Governors Island, with two heated outdoor pools alongside saunas, steam rooms, relaxation treatments, massages, and a new bar and bistro. This winter also marks the return of Winter Dog Days, where dogs are allowed on Governors Island on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the end of April. Dogs must be leashed while on Governors Island except for in the Weekend Winter Dog Park, located adjacent to Liggett Terrace. The Trust and the Friends will also hold New York City’s largest egg hunt on Saturday, April 8, free and open to all.

Governors Island is open to the public daily from 7am to 6pm. Trust for Governors Island-operated ferries run daily between the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Lower Manhattan and Soissons Landing on the Island. For schedules and ticketing information, visit www.govisland.org. Trust-operated seasonal weekend Brooklyn ferry service will return this summer.

Round-trip ferry tickets cost $4 for adults. Governors Island ferries are always free for children 12 and under, older adults ages 65 and up, residents of NYCHA, IDNYC holders, current and former military service members, and Friends of Governors Island members. Ferries before noon on Saturdays and Sundays are free for all. There is no surcharge for bicycles or strollers at any time.

NYC Ferry also serves Governors Island daily on the South Brooklyn route, with stops in Lower Manhattan and along the Brooklyn waterfront. For ticketing information and full schedules for NYC Ferry, visit www.ferry.nyc.

About the Trust for Governors Island

The Trust for Governors Island is the nonprofit corporation created by the City of New York that is responsible for the redevelopment and operation of 150 acres of Governors Island. The Trust’s mission is to realize the full potential of Governors Island for the inspiration and enjoyment of all New Yorkers, demonstrating a bold vision for public space. For more information, visit www.govisland.org 

About The Friends of Governors Island

The Friends of Governors Island is an independent nonprofit that works to ensure the Island’s continued growth and accessibility as a vibrant public resource. As the designated fundraising partner of the Trust for Governors Island and the National Park Service, the Friends stewards the Island’s green spaces, enhances the visitor experience and builds a community dedicated to the Island’s future.