Governors Island. August 19, 2023 © Julienne Schaer & Philip Greenberg

Celebrate the NYC climate community with free activities including guided nature walks, scientific demonstrations, exhibitions, and discussions

The Trust for Governors Island announced a lineup of Climate Week activities taking place on Governors Island, featuring guided walking tours, climate art exhibitions, an inside look into the future of the New York Climate Exchange, a showcase exhibition from Obama Foundation alumni, and in-field scientific demos. Climate Week NYC programming, which takes place from September 17 through September 23, 2023, highlights the exciting growth Governors Island has made as a resource for climate innovation, working to implement equitable climate solutions in New York City and around the world. 

“Climate Week is always an important time for Governors Island, and our commitment to developing solutions to climate change—the defining issue of our time—remains as steadfast as ever,” said Clare Newman, President & CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “We encourage New Yorkers and visitors alike to join us for Climate Week, preview our future as the hub for climate solutions, engage directly with the incredible work already happening on the Island, and think more about ways we can reverse course and mitigate the impact of climate change in our city and around the world.” 

With a unique waterfront campus environment, an award-winning park engineered for climate change, a diverse and engaged audience of nearly one million visitors every year, a collection of public art commissions engaging directly with climate issues, and a growing community of educational, non-profit, and commercial tenants — including Billion Oyster Project, the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, Wind Support NYC, and the soon-to-open Buttermilk Labs, a new multi-tenant hub for coastal climate solutions — Governors Island is quickly growing as a hub for climate education, training, and research. 

In April 2023, following a two-year competitive process, Mayor Eric Adams and the Trust for Governors Island announced the selection of a new anchor institution for the Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island. The New York Climate Exchange, led by Stony Brook University, will be a first-of-its-kind, cross-sector nonprofit organization dedicated to climate research, solution development, education, workforce training, and public programs on Governors Island. The Trust also recently announced the launch of the Governors Island Living Lab, a new platform for research, partnerships, and programs to amplify climate action that includes an annual climate solutions challenge open to nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurs, and start-ups; the launch of climate field trip programs; and an interim community convening space on the Island. 

Climate Week NYC on Governors Island Schedule:

Find more information and registration links at

September 17 and September 23: “Meet the New York Climate Exchange” Info Sessions and Tours Liggett Terrace

Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the Exchange’s mission, vision, anticipated programming, and physical design — even before construction officially begins in 2025. Hear how The Exchange will bring people from across the world together to tackle the climate crisis. Free, no registration required. 

September 17-21 and September 24: Billion Oyster Project – Guided Walking Tours and Exhibits Nolan Park Building 16

Beyond softening the blow of powerful waves that threaten our waterfront, oysters maintain a healthy ecosystem by filtering the water around them, and their reefs foster biodiversity. Oysters also offer a social solution to climate change. In these free tours, led by alumni of the New York Harbor School located on Governors Island, Billion Oyster Project will provide hands-on opportunities for visitors to acknowledge the realities of climate change and actively adapt to them. Free, pre-registration required. 

Billion Oyster Project is also one of the Governors Island Arts Organizations in Residence, presenting free exhibits and activities weekends from May through October in the Island’s historic houses. They will be open daily September 17-24 in Nolan Park Building 16. Current exhibits include Aquacultural Adaptation, featuring works that reflect on humanity’s significant impact on the planet and highlights the debate around the term “climate change,” which obscures the disproportionate environmental damage caused by Western civilizations, and Shoals, two oyster-inspired outdoor sculptures by Swedish artist Linnéa Gad. Free, no registration required. 

September 18-22: From individual to collective climate justice leadership: A showcase featuring global climate leaders from the Obama Leadership Network Building 403

The Obama Leadership Network’s Climate Community of Practice will be showcasing diverse work from Obama Foundation alumni working in climate. Projects showcased are focused on connecting individual and collective efforts to minimize the harms of climate change, including on the most marginalized groups. Free, no registration required. 

September 19: Vycarb – Open House and In-Field Demo Pier 101

Witness pioneering carbon dioxide mitigation with Vycarb’s first-of-its-kind pilot. Vycarb, a Brooklyn-based company and member of the Governors Island Living Lab Climate Solutions Piloting Program, will be onsite to demonstrate carbon removal from the East River in real-time. Free, pre-registration required. 

September 22: Governors Island Nature Walk Departing from Liggett Terrace

Led by the Trust for Governors Island’s horticulture team along with CCNY Insect Ecology Professor Amy Berkov, this tour will take participants on a journey through the young urban forest of Hammock Grove and the immersive spaces at Outlook Hill and Discovery Hill. Participants will learn about these resilient, built landscapes directly from the people who know them best, and get the chance to participate in different community science projects. Free, pre-registration required. 

September 22: Pratt Institute – Island(ing) Adaptations and Exhibit Tours Admiral’s House and Nolan Park Building 14

Pratt Institute, alongside partners Pace University and Singapore University of Design and Technology, will bring together cross cutting representation from high level government officials to innovative designers, financial leaders and policy makers discussing how land scarce, water scarce, island-based habitats could inform future urban development. Free, pre-registration required.

Pratt Institute is also one of the Governors Island Arts Organizations in Residence, presenting free exhibits and activities weekends from May through October in the Island’s historic houses. They will be open for free guided exhibit tours on September 19 and September 22 in Nolan Park Building 14. Current exhibits include SO-IL: Grounding Adaptations, which explores adapting buildings to have ground-like capacities; BIG: Adaptive Archipelago, which explores adapting various existing and artificial archipelagos to our planet’s changing climate; Condensations: Living With Water, which examines scalable, nature-based solutions using integrative Artificial Intelligence-based design methods; and Archipelogics 2.0, which features work focused on building adaptation in Nolan Park on Governors Island and urban adaptation in Red Hook. 

September 23: GrowNYC – Sustainability Pledges and Virtual Gardening Workshop Governors Island Urban Farm

The GrowNYC Teaching Garden, located within the Governors Island Urban Farm, aims to engage, excite, and educate its visitors in all aspects of urban farming. On September 23, visitors will be able to make a sustainability pledge in the Teaching Garden in the Urban Farm, where visitors can write down their own sustainability pledge on a card that will be displayed at the Teaching Garden. Free, no registration required. 

GrowNYC is also hosting a virtual workshop that is free for all to join, where participants will explore how climate change affects growing zones, pests, extreme weather events, and more, while discussing solutions and ways to introduce these complex topics to your garden communities. This virtual workshop is great for school gardeners, community gardeners, and anyone interested in agriculture and climate change! Free, pre-registration required. 

On View Daily: Governors Island Arts Public Artworks

Governors Island Arts, the arts and cultural program presented by the Trust, boasts a diverse collection of public art pieces, several of which engage directly with issues of climate and the environment: Sam Van Aken’s The Open Orchard, located in The Hills within the Island’s award-winning park, takes the form of a vast public orchard of hybrid fruit trees, each containing multiple heirloom varieties that were once found in abundance in the New York City area but have largely disappeared due to climate change and the industrialization of agriculture; Mark Dion’s The Field Station of the Melancholy Marine Biologist, located inside Building 105 across from Fort Jay, transforms a historic former arsenal building into an abandoned research outpost that invites visitors to peer inside and imagine the life of a solitary researcher faced with the realities of a future marred by climate change; and Duke Riley’s Not for Nutten, located in the Battery Maritime Building ferry terminal at 10 South Street in Manhattan, is a large-scale mural depicting vignettes from the Island’s history contained within modern-day single-use plastic containers found floating in oceans worldwide in a play on the traditional “ship in a bottle.”

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