Sustainable Things to Do in NYC
Don’t let your explorations of the city wane with the summer! Check out our free ecofriendly activity suggestions and let us know if we missed something in the comments section.
Bike and Hike the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge: Ride on a combination of bike lanes, city streets, and off-street paths (including the Jamaica Bay Greenway) to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. The American Littoral Society will then provide a guided tour of the refuge, one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the Northeastern United States and one of the best places in New York City to observe migrating species. Jamaica Bay, Sunday, August 10th, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Bird Walk: Both beginner and experienced birders are invited to join NYC Audubon on a weekly bird walk to find hundreds of beautiful bird species in the park, learn about ornithology, and discover the nature our city has to offer. Birders are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and bring binoculars. Van Cortlandt Park Nature Center, Saturday, August 9th, 8 a.m.
Central Park Tour: North Woods: Explore tumbling cascades, rustic bridges, and picturesque pools in the “Manhattan Adirondacks” on this tour while you learn the story of the park’s history, design, and ecology and get an insider’s look at this urban park from the people who take care of it. Central Park, Friday, August 8th, noon to 1:15 p.m.
Compost with Earth Matter: NYC produces 1.1 million tons of compostable garbage every year – enough to fill Yankee stadium from top to bottom. Learn firsthand how compost gets processed as you help volunteers create compost collected from the municipal compost program using pitch forks, rakes, and teamwork. Governors Island, Sunday, August 10th, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dive at the Park Avenue Tunnel: Ditch the car as you walk in this Manhattan tunnel, outfitted with a sound installation by artist Jana Winderen with soundscapes recorded from shallow to deep underwater environments around the world normally undetected by the human ear. Dive is a part of the annual Summer Streets program, when seven miles of NYC are closed off to cars for pedestrian enjoyment. Park Avenue Tunnel, Saturday, August 9th, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival: Bring your family to this weekend-long celebration for this colorful multicultural tradition. Roughly 180 dragon-boat teams from around the world come to race on the Queens park’s lake, while plenty of traditional food and live entertainment (like martial arts demonstrations from the monks of the Shaolin Temple and lion dance performances) wait on shore. Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Saturday and Sunday, August 9th and 10th, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lost Ladybug Project: Over the past 20 years, native ladybugs that were once very common have become rare, while ladybugs from other parts of the world have greatly increased both their numbers and range. Learn about ladybug types and join the citizen science program to help Cornell University scientists track ladybugs in efforts to prevent more native species from becoming rare. Staten Island Greenbelt, Friday, August 8th, 2 p.m.
Perseid Meteor Shower: Explore the universe from the comfort of (what sometimes feels like) its center, New York City. Join the Urban Park Rangers to discuss astronomy and the science of the solar system and to discover the Perseid meteor shower, one of the brighter meteor showers of the year that will be in peak this weekend. Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center, Saturday, August 9th, 9 p.m.