activities

Upcoming Weekend Activities: NYC

Rain is letting up for the weekend, so get out and enjoy all that NYC has to offer! Check out our sustainable activity suggestions and let us know if we missed something in the comments section.

Come Out and Play Festival: Make NYC your playground (literally!), as you play free unique games all day in the park. Separate adult- and family-friendly games available. Governors Island, Saturday, July 19th, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Family Camping: Make your dream of sleeping under both the stars and the city lights a reality as you dream the night away camping out in Central Park! Limited space available and pre-registration required. Central Park, Saturday, July 19th, 6 p.m.

Freshwater Fishing: Learn about the ecology of our waterways and the ethics of fishing as you discover nature by catch-and-release fishing with Urban Park Rangers. Willowbrook Park, Saturday, July 19th, 11 a.m.

Island Hopping Canoe Exploration: Experienced canoers are invited to explore the uninhabited islands surrounding Orchard Beach Estuary with Urban Park Rangers. Pelham Bay Park, Sunday, July 20th, 9 a.m.

National Moth Week: Stay up late and celebrate National Moth Week by spending a day at the museum with hands-on exhibitions and contemporary dancers, and then follow it with a night hike to see the dark beauty of the Greenbelt in person. Kids under 12 free. Stated Island Museum, Saturday, July 19th, 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Natural Dyeing Workshop: Learn how to create natural, earth-friendly dyes from inedible plants you may find in your backyard or community garden. Wyckoff Farmhouse, Saturday, July 19th, noon to 3 p.m.

Nature and Birding Walk: Join Leslie Day, author of the Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City, as you learn to identify and value the flora and fauna of our urban jungle. Fort Tryon Park, Saturday, July 19th, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Wonderful World of Worms: Help create young naturalists by introducing the little ones in your life to the littler world of worms. Heather Garden, Sunday, July 20th, 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Ecofriendly Weekend Activities

Summer in the city is in full swing, so get out and enjoy all that NYC has to offer! Check out our sustainable activity suggestions and let us know if we missed something in the comments section.

Back to the Beach: Bring your bathing suit to this beachside festival featuring live music, games, and rides. Midland Beach, Saturday and Sunday, July 12 & 13, noon to 8 p.m.

City of Water Day Festival: Enjoy free ferry rides, boat tours, activities, kayaking, and live music as we celebrate the water that surrounds us and brings us together. Governors Island, Saturday, July 12, all day.

Family Bird Watching Tour: Create young naturalists as your family learns to identify the 200 species of birds who, at least for a little while, can call Prospect Park their home. Prospect Park, Saturday, July 12, 10 a.m.

Green Team Cleanup: Beautify the park as you enjoy nature, learn about gardening, and provide essential horticultural care, including planting, mulching, and removing invasive plants. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Saturday, July 12, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Harvesting Our History: New York World’s Fair: Spend the 50th and 75th year anniversaries of the New York World’s Fair at the place where it was held, as you learn about how the historic fair influenced Queens. Queens Botanical Garden, Sunday, July 13, free from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

High Line Artsy Hours: Bring the kids to the famously unique park this and every Saturday to create free sculptures that turn and roll, and then follow it with a free guided walking tour. The High Line, Saturday, July 12, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Historic Richmond Town: Experience life before electricity on a free guided tour in this historic Staten Island town. Richmond Town, Friday, July 11, 2:30 p.m.

Stop n’ Swap: Promote reuse and reduce waste production by bringing items you no longer need and taking something new-to-you for free. Atlas Park, Saturday, July 12, noon to 3 p.m.

Weird, Wild, and Wonderful Flora: Observe the botanical world’s most bizarre flora in this exhibition featuring art created and inspired by visually striking, unusual plants. New York Botanical Garden, Saturday, July 12, free from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Yoga on the Beach: Practice this ancient spiritual and ascetic discipline in a free introductory hatha yoga session. Rockaway Beach, Saturday, July 12, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Upcoming Weekend Activities: NYC

We’ve got some spooky and sustainable suggestions for your weekend in the New York area.  Check out the list below and let us know in the comments section if we missed something.

Cheer for 26.2 Miles: Pick any place along the NYC Marathon route and make up for last year’s cancellation by cheering even louder this year! Sunday, November 3.

East Harlem Bike Friendly Business Ride: Hop on your bike and join Transportation Alternatives for a ride through East Harlem. Saturday, November 2, 1 p.m.

Fall Foliage Walk: Your admission to Wave Hill Gardens in the Bronx includes a guided walk of the vibrant trees and shrubs throughout the grounds. Saturday, November 2, 2 p.m.

Free Bootcamp: Work off the extra candy calories at Willowbrook Park in Staten Island. Saturday, November 2, 9 p.m.

Hike and Seek: Head out to Montauk Point State Park on Long Island for a family-friendly hiking adventure. Reservations are required. Call 631-668-2554 for reservations and more information. Saturday, November 2, 1 p.m.

Insects in Contemporary Art: Visit this art exhibition at The Arsenal in Central Park to see how contemporary artists demonstrate the importance of insects through a variety of media. Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (until November 13, 2013)

Jack-O-Lantern and Leaf Compost Collection: Bring your pumpkins and leaves to one of the drop-off locations in Manhattan. Saturday, November 2, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Wildlife Weekends: For two weekends, the Queens County Farm Museum is amping up the fun with activities and events centered around wildlife. Saturday and Sunday, November 2-3, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Upcoming Weekend Activities in NYC: Celebrate the 4th Sustainably!

We’ve got some red, white, blue and green tips for your Independence Day weekend. Check out our list of recommendations and take part in one of these fun and eco-friendly events in the New York area.

Accordions Around the World: Head to Bryant Park to appreciate the live accordionists playing music from all over the world. Musicians will be stationed throughout the park to entertain passers-by. Thursday, July 4, 5- 7 p.m.

Clearwater Deck Tours: Visit Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park and enjoy a tour of the Clearwater, a historical replica of the shipping sloops that sailed the Hudson River in the 18th and 19th centuries. Learn about current environmental issues and experience the river from a whole new perspective! Thursday, July 4, 3 – 5 p.m.

Club Fit Yoga: If you need to stretch out after all the hot dogs you ate on the 4th, take one of the weekly yoga classes sponsored by the New York Restoration Project. Saturday, July 6, 10 – 11 a.m.

Governors Island: There is lots to choose from on summer weekends at Governors Island! Check out the free composting exhibit, art installations, and more. Rent a bike or bring your own. Saturday-Sunday, July 6-7, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Laughter in the Park: Need some funny before heading back to work after the long weekend? Get your laughs in Central Park, Sunday, July 7, 2 – 4 p.m.

Plover Appreciation Day: Make your way to Beach 50th Street and the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk to discover one of NYC’s endangered species – the piping plover. Games, crafts, and giveaways are free for all ages. Saturday, July 6, noon – 3 p.m.

Statue of Liberty: It’s been closed since Superstorm Sandy and reopens July 4! Ferries operate 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Sunset Paddling at Hallets Cove: Just north of the Socrates Sculpture Garden in Long Island City, Queens, the Long Island City Community Boathouse will be offering free kayaking or canoeing. Wednesday, July 3, 6 – 8 p.m.

12×12 Project: Visit a model of a sustainably built, off the grid house at the Queens Botanical Garden. The structure evolves and grows as various artists take up short-term residence. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. through July 31.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Upcoming Weekend Activities: NYC

Have you checked out the new bike share program yet? This weekend could be perfect for riding. If you try it, let us know what you think in the comments section.

Battle of the Boroughs Tennis Challenge: This friendly competition helps support free tennis lessons and activities for children at NYC parks. Come out and support your neighborhood! At various locations.  Saturday, June 1, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Bronx Composting Event: Join this weekly workshop to learn how to compost food waste or just drop off your food waste to be composted. Saturday, June 1, 2 – 4 p.m.

Catch and Release Fishing: Free fishing for families and individuals at Harlem Meer. Poles are available for borrowing; just make sure to release what you catch! Friday-Saturday, May 31-June 1, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Housing Works Open Air Street Fair: All day bazaar with thousands of donated books, thrift shopping and entertainment. Sunday, June 2, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Red Hook Fest: Help support a Brooklyn neighborhood that continues to recover after Sandy. The event features a parade, music, dance, and activities for all ages including kayak rides in New York Harbor. Friday-Saturday, May 31 – June 1.

Strawberry Festival: Head to Queens for the annual Strawberry Festival and celebrate summer with family crafts and games honoring the lovely red berry. Saturday, June 1, noon – 3 p.m.

Street Tree Workshop: Learn how to water and care for the 80,000 new street trees that have been planted around NYC! Register for the MillionTreesNYC workshop and learn about caring for the city’s trees. Saturday, June 1, 10 a.m. – noon.

Wellness Fair: PS 89 in Tribeca is hosting a Wellness fair with booths from GrowNYC, Cafeteria Culture and other green organizations from across the city. Discover how one school’s sustainability efforts can branch out to include an entire community. Sunday, June 2, noon – 4 p.m. 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Sustainable Things to Do in NYC: Earth Day Special

In honor of Earth Day, we’re offering an extended list of events continuing through April 23 to help you celebrate the environment in our great city!

Earth Day Celebration at Grand Central: The annual event includes three days of interactive exhibits, sustainability talks, live music, and kids’ activities. Saturday, April 20-Monday April 22, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Earth Week at Queens Libraries: From a week-long green film festival to a wide range of eco-friendly crafts, Queens Libraries are getting into the spirit. Various locations and times.

Electronic Waste Recycling Day: The Lower East Side Ecology Center extends there collection of unwanted electronics to the Upper West Side. Drop off your old tech gear on Amsterdam Ave. between West 74-75th Streets. Sunday, April 21, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Family Volunteer Day: What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by helping to beautify Central Park? Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m. – noon.

Federal Agency Earth Day: Head across the street from EPA’s downtown offices for an afternoon of informational talks and displays from the EPA, FEMA, and Baruch College on topics of sustainability and emergency response. Tuesday, April 23, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

New York City Green Festival: The second annual green festival celebrates a wide variety of solutions to lead people to healthier lives and greener communities. Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, April 21, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

SAFE Disposal Event: The NYC Department of Sanitation is holding five SAFE Disposal Events this spring to provide a one-stop method to get rid of potentially harmful household products. Bring your hazardous household materials to Yankee Stadium on Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

St. George Day: An Earth Day festival that includes a celebration of dragons?! Head to Staten Island to find out what it’s all about. Saturday, April 20, noon-7 p.m.

Waking Up the Farm: Learn more about urban farming, enjoy a mid-afternoon healthy snack, and help with general farm work at Hattie Carthan Herban Farm in Brooklyn. Monday, April 22, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Worm Festival: South Brooklyn Children’s Garden is holding a worm festival for kids to learn about compost and why worms are beneficial for gardens. Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

20th Annual EarthFest Celebration: Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx hosts environmental exhibits, educational programming and children’s activities for this annual event. Sunday, April 21, noon – 3 p.m.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Upcoming Weekend Activities: NYC

Check out our top ecofriendly weekend recommendations and feel free to share your own in the comments section.

Electronic Waste Recycling: The Lower East Side Ecology Center is helping you clear old and unwanted electronics out of your closets without trashing the environment! Drop off your tech gear in front of Tekserve in Chelsea to have it responsibly recycled. Saturday, April 6, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Grow to Learn Grant Writing Workshop: Find out how to apply for a Grow to Learn mini grant and get started on designing a school garden. RSVP required. Saturday, April 6, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Music and Bronx Seaside Trolley: Head to the Bronx for First Fridays – an evening of music and exploration at the Bartow Pell Mansion. Free trolley rides make loops from the 6 train to the mansion. Friday, April 5, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

New York City of Trees Exhibit: Photographic portraits of trees from around the five boroughs bring viewers up close to some of the arboreal residents of the city. Arsenal Gallery of Central Park, Monday to Friday through April 26, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

SAFE Disposal Event: The NYC Department of Sanitation is holding five SAFE Disposal Events this spring to provide a one-stop method to get rid of potentially harmful household products. Bring your hazardous household materials to Prospect Park on Sunday, April 7, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Table Tennis Tournament: New York City Parks sponsors this annual event at the Greenbelt Recreation Center on Staten Island. Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tartan Day Parade: Take part in the largest Scottish outdoor event in Manhattan. The annual celebration of the historic links between Scotland and the U.S. takes place along 6th Avenue on Saturday, April 6.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Eco-friendly New York City Weekend Events

Finally this weekend we should get a taste of spring! Get out and celebrate with some of our suggestions for sustainable things to do in the NYC area.

The Art of Nesting: Come out to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to learn about animal architects and the ways they make homes from plant materials. Children will have a chance to try their own nest-making skills and can bring home a nesting bag for the birds on their block.  Friday, March 29, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Community Environmental Center EcoHouse: Explore this mobile environmental education exhibit at Inwood Hill Park. Friday, March 29, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, March 30, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Early Spring Bird Walk: Hike around the Jamaica Bay ponds and uplands to look for the first birds of spring. See ospreys, oystercatchers, ibis, great egrets, laughing gulls, and phoebes, to name a few. Saturday, March 30, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Exploring Clouds: Discover the different types of clouds and what they can tell us about upcoming weather patterns. Fort Trotten Park Visitor’s Center, Queens. Saturday, March 30, 1 p.m.

Herb Planting: Check out the Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park to see how their herb gardens are coming along. Plant your own pot of herbs to take home using newspaper, soil and seeds. March 29, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

SAFE Disposal Event: The NYC Department of Sanitation is holding five SAFE Disposal Events this spring to provide a one-stop method to get rid of potentially harmful household products. Bring your hazardous household materials to Citi Field on Saturday, March 30, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Spring Egg Hunt: Visit the Queens Botanical Garden for a family friendly spring egg hunt. Other activities include seed planting, face painting and a visit from Flora the Flower. Saturday, March 30, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Volunteer Meadow Shearing: Head uptown to Sherman Creek Park for a unique volunteer opportunity. Learn about preparing flower beds for spring and help cut back grass and wildflowers in the meadow to help the park get ready for the warmer season. Saturday, March 30, 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Sustainable Things to Do in NYC This Weekend

St. Patrick’s Day may be the ‘greenest’ holiday of the year, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually eco-friendly. We’ve got recommendations to make sure your weekend is sustainable as well as fun!

Bronx Historical Society Free Public Lecture: Find out more about historical buildings and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Saturday, March 16, 11 a.m.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Bike Tour: Explore Brooklyn’s urban industrial park on your bike and check out the solar and wind-powered street lamps and New York City’s first building-mounted wind turbines. Sunday, March 17, noon.

Family Art Project at Wave Hill: Search for real animal tracks on the garden grounds, then using simple printmaking methods make some bold prints of your own. Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Grow Our Grassroots: Join NYC government agencies and non-profits while networking with residents committed to making our city more sustainable at this second annual summit. Saturday, March 16, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Irish Arts Center Open House: Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with an afternoon of authentic Irish music, language, crafts and film. March 17, noon – 5 p.m.

Maple Weekend: Head upstate for this annual weekend event hosted by the New York State Maple Producers Association. Learn how maple syrup and other related products are made. Tastings and activities vary depending on location. March 16 – 17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

School Garden Raised Bed Construction Workshop: Join Green Thumb Community Gardens to learn how to build raised beds for your garden. Saturday, March 16, 11 a.m. – noon.

Union Square Park Walking Tour: Join Big Onion Walking Tours for a free, 90 minute tour of the Union Square neighborhood. Saturday, March 16, 2 p.m.

Waking up the Farm: Volunteers and future members are invited to come help clean up, start seeds and plant bulbs at La Finca Del Sur – the first women-led urban farm in the Bronx. Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Have Fun With Science This Summer

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Summer vacation is fast approaching and many parents are looking for activities to entertain their children during the summer months. Now is the best time to plan ahead so you and your children can find fun ways to explore the environment and learn about science at summer camps and children’s museums throughout the country. In the Washington area, there are many museum-related science enrichment opportunities for children. Organizations like 4-H, the Boys and Girls Scouts of America also offer fun and hands-on activities during the summer and year round. In fact, these organizations were engaging youth in environmental protection even before going green became the latest fad.

EPA’s website offers a variety of fun facts and projects for students and educators to learn more about the environment and the importance of science in our daily lives. For example, the Water Science and Technology Office, provides interesting activities, science projects and games. The Agency’s Office of Environmental Education offers educational resources, grants opportunities and fellowships to encourage individuals to learn more about how their actions affect the environment. This knowledge is essential to enable them to make better informed decisions to protect the world we live in.

In speaking with many of my colleagues at EPA and other federal agencies such as NASANOAAUSGS, there is one common theme in their motivation to pursue a career in the sciences. In the majority of the cases, their love of science did not start in the classroom. It started with personal experiences at home, a trip to the park, a visit to the beach, a fishing trip, a starry spring evening… These simple experiences helped awaken their sense of wonder and awe at an early age. This sense of exploration for the world around us is essential for any researcher or scientist. Why do we see lightning before hearing thunder? Why do certain elements react the way they do? What are the impacts of human activities on the environment?

We don’t have to have Ph.D’s to teach our children to explore their surroundings. There are simple steps we can take to protect our environment. And when you come to think about it, at the heart of many of these activities, you will find science. So let the fun begin!

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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