Family-friendly

Welcome to the Weekend!

Looking for more ways to appreciate the summer around NYC? Our ‘Welcome to the Weekend’ summer series brings you a variety of green, fun, and free/affordable activities to do this weekend. We hope you will join some of them, and that you’ll let us know about other events not on our list. As you embark on your adventures, tweet us (@EPAregion2) with our ‘Welcome to the Weekend’ hashtag #WTWEPA!

Friday – July 24, 2015

Land_Slide Art Gallery
Brooklyn
6 – 9 p.m.

Land __ Slide features Caroline Voagen Nelson’s and Rebecca Sherman’s dynamic representations of moving environments in a sustainable, eco-conscious era. Both artists used sustainable products and materials (including sustainable inks and wood) and no harmful chemicals during the process and production of the artworks in this exhibit.

Observing with the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York
Manhattan
7 – 10 p.m.

See Jupiter, Venus and the Moon through members’ telescopes which will be set up on the plaza just north of the fountain at Lincoln Center.

Billopp Shores: The Ebb and Flow of Man and Nature
Staten Island
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

This retrospective exhibition offers a glimpse of man and nature’s impact on the development of the waterfront in Conference House Park.

Saturday – July 25, 2015

Being Green at Home
Hillsborough Township, NJ
9 a.m. – Noon

Have you ever wondered what you could be doing at home to be more sustainable? Join Duke Farms staff member, Clifford Berek, and discuss three main areas where small changes make a big impact. During this program, we will discuss the four “R”s, your options when it comes to power and your impact on your local water resources.

Yoga on the Green with New York Sports Club
Queens
9:30 10:30 a.m.

Summer’s here so join us for some yoga on the Center Green in Glendale. Classes are free. If the weather is questionable or rainy the class will be moved inside NYSC. You don’t need to be a member of NYSC to participate.

Coffee & Tea | Bed-Stuy Community Forum
Brooklyn
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

This environmental, arts, and educational initiative calls on citizens to co-produce creative and open ways to share skills and showcase recent cultural and environmental initiatives happening locally in order to amplify the diverse voices and encourage future civic engagement.

NYC Poetry Festival
Governors Island
Saturday – Sunday
11 a.m.

The Poetry Society of New York will once again invite New Yorkers to come together for this two day festival to celebrate NYC’s vibrant poetry community. The event will include over 60 poetry organizations and 250 poets on its three stages; a Vendor’s Village where local booksellers, artists and craft makers will sell their wares; a beer garden sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery; healthy and delicious food options; poetic installation art throughout, the Ring of Daisies open mic; and last but not least, the Children’s Poetry Festival, complete with writing games and its own fourth, all-kids stage.

Sunday – July 26, 2015

6th Annual Butterfly Day
Lyndhurst, NJ
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The highly-anticipated butterfly festival is back!  Join us for a fun-filled day of butterfly walks and FREE kids activities. Kids activities include a scavenger hunt, face painting, a butterfly costume contest (12 and under), and butterfly crafts. Onsite experts to help identify the various butterflies and provide gardening tips.

Family Art Project: Butterfly Habitat Hats
Bronx 
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

See them and sketch them, flying and sipping the nectar of their favorite shrub or flowering bush. Then learn about local butterfly species and make a butterfly habitat hat.

Wave Hill Garden Highlights Walk
Bronx
2 – 3 p.m.

Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights.

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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Celebrate Summer

Every weekend should be a celebration when it’s the summer! Our ‘Welcome to the Weekend’ summer series guarantees you’ll have a fun, affordable, and green summer.

If you do attend some of these events please be sure to use our ‘Welcome to the Weekend’ hashtag, #WTWEPA, on twitter so we can share the fun!

Friday – July 17, 2015

Zumba on the Green with NYSC
Queens
8000 Cooper Avenue
Friday, July 17, 2015
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Join New York Sports Club in Glendale on Friday evening for an hour of Zumba fun! The class will be on the Center Green and if weather is questionable, don’t worry – the class will be moved inside! This is a treat – you don’t even have to be a NYSC member to take the class.

High Line Park Art Performance
Manhattan
On the High Line at West 34th Street
Friday, July 17, 2015
7 – 8 p.m.

This unique event brings you into the world of local artist Francisca Benitez. Watch as she ‘probes the visible and invisible boundaries that populate our urban space’ at the High Line Park this Friday! Using sign language, her performance will engage park visitors in a series of vignettes that weave throughout the park. This free event open for all ages is one you won’t want to miss!

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
Manhattan
2 West 64th Street
Ceremonial Hall- 4th Floor
Friday, July 17, 2015
6:30 – 9 p.m.

If you’re in the area and want to learn more about ensuring a sustainable future, check out Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn’s Documentary Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. The film screening will be followed by an engaging discussion featuring inspiring environmentalists from our area!  

Saturday – July 18, 2015

City of Water Day
New York and New Jersey
Saturday, July 18, 2015
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This free, day-long event will be held on Governors Island, NY and Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken, NJ. It will draw thousands from the metropolitan region to celebrate the water that surrounds us! Join the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and its 800 + partners as they’ve organized hundreds of waterfront activities for this major celebration.

Community Paddle
Manhattan
Concrete Plant Park, Bronx
Saturday, July 18, 2015
24 p.m.

Bring your family out on the water this weekend! This free canoe trip for beginners and families will surely be a fun time. If you decide you want to join last minute, no worries – this event is free and requires no reservations.

Electronics Recycling Collection
Manhattan
119 West 23rd Street
Saturday, July 18, 2015
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Have you ever wondered if there was a better place for all your old iPhones and MP3 players? Consider this the haven for your old electronics. Responsibly recycle all your unwanted or broken electronics but please, no appliances like microwaves or refrigerators. For more details and information click here. 

Sunday – July 19, 2015

The Rubin Block Party
Manhattan
150 West 17th Street
Between 6th and 7th Avenues
Sunday, July 19, 2015
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This event is double the fun! When you attend the block party you also get FREE admission to the museum all day. Inspired by their exhibition, “Becoming Another: The Power of Masks,” the Rubin Museum invites you to ‘transform yourself this summer’. So, why not? Give it a try this weekend and enjoy tours, art making, outdoor family yoga, and a costume contest with your friends and family! You might even catch a performance by the Tibetan Language School of NY and NJ!

*This event will happen rain or shine!

Stop ‘N’ Swap
Manhattan
Soha Square Market, Harlem
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Noon – 3 p.m.

Calling all of Harlem! Come out to the Soha Square Market with any reusable, clean, and portable items that you no longer need. If you see something new-to-you, you can take it home for free! Please – no furniture or large items!

*You don’t have to bring something to take something

Laughter in the Park
Brooklyn
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Enter Old Fulton Street, bear left to Pier 1
Sunday, July 19, 2015
2 – 4 p.m.

Don’t rely on your Twitter or Instagram newsfeeds for your weekend dosage of laughter, just swing by the park for some comedic relief! Keep the weekend spirit alive on Sunday by sitting in on New York’s only free, outdoor comedy show at the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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.

Summer Weekends for Unwinding

As you recover from the Fourth of July festivities, we hope you are settling back into your routine and that you will take the time this weekend to unwind and enjoy the simple and rich pleasures of the environment and eco-friendly activities. Our ‘Welcome to the Weekend’ summer series brings you a variety of green, fun, and free/affordable activities to do this weekend. We hope you will join some of them, and that you’ll let us know about other events not on our list. As you embark on your adventures, tweet us (@EPAregion2) with our ‘Welcome to the Weekend’ hashtag #WTWEPA.

Friday – July 10, 2015

Exhibition: Living Landmarks
Manhattan
Central Park
Friday, July 10, 2015
9 a.m. 5 p.m.

Want to appreciate the outdoors through a variety of media? The Living Landmarks exhibit is celebrating the 50th anniversary of NYC’s landmarks law, displaying historical and contemporary photography, renderings, maps, artifacts, and memorabilia of the city’s nine individually landmarked public parks. Open weekdays until August 28.

Mommy, Music, and Me
Queens
Crocheron Park
Friday, July 10, 2015
10:30 11:30 a.m.

Expose your children to the great outdoors, movement, and music! This event will involve outdoor music and movement activities for children up to age 7. Please bring a low chair or blanket.

Summer Sports Experience
Bronx
Williamsbridge Oval
Friday, July 10, 2015
10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Summer Sports Experience is a free program focused on helping kids develop sports skills. At this particular event, there will be track and field, street hockey, basketball, soccer, flag football and kickball. Best for children ages 6 through 13. To register, email Sarah Bishow-Semevolos at Sarah.Bishow@parks.nyc.gov.

Saturday – July 11, 2015

Canarsie Beach Cleanup
BrooklynCanarsie Beach
Saturday, July 11, 2015
9 a.m.Noon

What’s a better way to spend your summer Saturday than to volunteer to help save the environment? Clean up Canarsie Beach with NYC H2O, Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna, City Councilman Alan Maisel and the National Park Service. You will also see the area’s shell fish and learn about the pier’s history. Optional bus transportation available from Union Square. Please register for the event here.

Bicycling Basics
Bronx
Van Cortlandt Park
Saturday, July 11, 2015
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Learn bicycling basics, such as starting and stopping, shifting gears, adjusting your seat and helmet, and choosing a bike. This free three-hour class is great for adults and mature teens who are beginners. To register, click on the event link in the title of this entry.

Coffee Bark
Brooklyn
Prospect Park
Saturday, July 11, 2015
7 9 a.m.

Calling all dog-lovers: bring your dogs to the park for free treats. There will be other dog lovers there, and you can learn great tips and tricks for having your dog off-leash.

GreenThumb Workshop: Building Your Garden’s Presence
Bronx
Neighborhood Advisory Committee Community Garden
Saturday, July 11, 2015
10 a.m. – Noon

You may love to engage with the environment by gardening, but have you thought more broadly about your garden’s presence? Come to this workshop to learn about how to collect a garden’s oral, written, and visual history. Bring a piece of your garden’s history with you – it can be an elder or founding garden member, photo, or story.

Yoga for Gardeners
Brooklyn
Tranquility Garden
Saturday, July 11, 2015
11 a.m. – Noon

While caring for their plants’ health, avid gardeners might sometimes neglect their own. Come to this yoga class especially designed to help gardeners of all ages and abilities avoid strains and injuries. Bring a yoga mat or large towel if you have one. There will also be some mats available at the event. To register, email mobrien@bbg.org or call 718-623-7385.

Sunday – July 12, 2015

Trail of the Month: Blue Trail (Northwest)
Staten Island
Blood Root Valley
Sunday July 12, 2015
11 a.m. 2 p.m.

Join the Greenbelt Conservancy for a challenging hike on the Trail of the Month, Blue Trail. Departing from the Greenbelt Nature Center, the hike will explore the Bloodroot Valley and provide an opportunity to learn about the history of Seaview Hospital (Staten Island Greenbelt Conservancy). Best for advanced hikers. Be sure to dress for the weather and trail conditions.

Little Red Lighthouse Tour
Manhattan
Fort Washington Park
Sunday, July 12, 2015
1 – 4 p.m.

Urban Park Rangers are experts in studying human and natural history in New York City. In this historic walking tour, Rangers will explore the Jeffrey’s Hook lighthouse, also known as “the Little Red Lighthouse.” Attend this landmark’s open house on a first come, first served basis.

Family Art Project: Friendly Vegetables and Microbes
Bronx
Wave Hill
Sunday, July 12, 2015
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Join visiting artist and sculptor S.E. Nash to learn about the edible plants growing at Wave Hill. Participants will be able to look closely at the inner structures of fermented and fresh vegetables through a microscope. Then visitors are welcome to engage in a fun art project, creating mixed-media collages out of cardboard pieces, recycled materials and burlap.

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.

Red, White & Blue? Make your holiday weekend Green!

Enjoy your 4th of July Weekend fireworks along with these family-friendly outdoor activities. Our ‘Welcome to the Weekend’ summer series brings you a variety of green, fun, and free/affordable activities to do this holiday weekend. We hope you will join some of them, and that you’ll let us know about other events not on our list. As you embark on your adventures, tweet us (@EPAregion2) with our ‘Welcome to the Weekend’ hashtag #WTWEPA! 

Friday – July 3, 2015

Learn How to Forage in the Heart of the Urban Jungle – Central Park Edition!
Manhattan – Central Park
11:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.

Learn how to forage in Central Park! In the Ramble, you can find large stands of field garlic with mild-flavored onion-like bulbs, plus the tender young leaves, which you use like chives. Wet lawn areas could feature spicy hairy bittercress and intensely flavored winter cress, while sunny, grassy spots with poor soil may produce shepherd’s purse, the most mild-flavored of the mustard greens.

Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Disco Party: Saturday Night Fever
Brooklyn – Prospect Park (Lefrak Center at Lakeside)
7:30 10 p.m.

Show off your disco moves at the Saturday Night Fever-themed roller disco party in the park!

Saturday – July 4, 2015

2015 Garden Street Farmers Market
Hoboken, NJ
9 a.m. 2 p.m.

The Hoboken Farmer’s Market serves three purposes. It helps small farmers in New Jersey sell their produce by giving them a venue they would otherwise not have. Local fresh fruits and vegetables are brought to the residents of Hoboken by the people that actually harvest them. And last but certainly not least the Hoboken Farmer’s Market has served as a gathering place for the community, where people exchange smiles, thoughts, and recipes.

Urban Farm Exploration Days 
Randall’s Island
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Come discover Randall’s Island Urban Farm – all are welcome at these free events! An urban farm expert will be on site to answer questions. You can discover a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, meet the chickens, and learn about the rice paddies.

Pop-Up Audubon II: Fishing Fun 
Brooklyn – Prospect Park
Noon – 6 p.m.

Join the Prospect Park Alliance to explore aquatic and avian ecology in Prospect Park.

Sunday – July 5, 2015

Moderate Nature Exploration Hike
Staten Island – Wilde and Melvin Avenues in Schmul Park
11 a.m. 1 p.m.

Urban Park Ranger hiking guides will introduce you to the hidden gems of New York City and places often off-limits to the general public. On these hikes you can gain orienteering skills, explore our city’s rich history, or just take an hour to unplug from the world. Moderate hikes feature longer, faster paced hikes on rugged terrain. For all hiking programs wear comfortable shoes or boots, and pack water and a light snack.

Fun on the Farm
Brooklyn – Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park
2 5 p.m.

Visitors of all ages can come help Prospect Park Alliance staff take care of the potato plot, herb gardens, and berry patches by pulling weeds and helping to water. Bring a hat and a bottle of water and we will provide the tools and gloves.

Summer on the Hudson: Amplified Sundays Presents Banda Magda
Manhattan – Pier I (in Riverside Park South)
7 – 9 p.m.

Banda Magda plays vibrantly danceable live music accompanied by a spectacular sunset over the Hudson River!

Alley Pond Park Adventure Course
Queens – Alley Pond Park
1 – 3:30 pm

The Alley Pond Park Adventure Course offers free outdoor adventure that fosters trust, communication, and team building. The program is two-hour adventure which includes both low and high elements. The Adventure Course is open for individuals, small groups of friends, and family.

Forest Crew
Manhattan – Highbridge Park
1 – 3:30 pm

The Highbridge Forest Crew works to remove invasive plants from the park and to care for recently planted native trees.

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.

All That Summer Brings

As you settle into the rhythm of summertime, we hope that you’re taking time to enjoy the wonderful outdoor activities that the New York City area has to offer! Our ‘Welcome to the Weekend’ summer series brings you a variety of green, fun, and free/affordable activities to do this weekend. We hope you will join some of them, and that you’ll let us know about other events not on our list. As you embark on your adventures, tweet us (@EPAregion2) with our ‘Welcome to the Weekend’ hashtag #WTWEPA!

 Friday – June 26, 2015 

River to River
Manhattan
Various locations on Governors Island
Friday, June 26, 2015
Noon 5 p.m.

Come to the final weekend of the annual, free 11-day River to River festival! There will be performances and exhibits involving dance, music, visual art, and new media projects. From this festival, you will learn about the history of Lower Manhattan’s architecture, socialize with fellow artists and art-lovers, and experience in a new way the area’s various waterfronts, parks, and historic landmarks.

Nature & Science in Dialogue
Queens
Queens Botanical Garden
Friday, June 26, 2015
8 a.m. 6 p.m.

Are you interested in the intersection of nature and science via art? If so, come to the exhibit of artist Emily Barnett! This exciting show puts science and nature into dialogue by featuring recent collages and installations about quantum corrals, snake skeletons, nests and constellations.

Parent & I Chalk Art
Staten Island
Midland Beach Splash Plaza
Friday, June 26, 2015
9:3010:30 a.m.

Engage your child in creative, hands-on learning while enjoying the outdoors! At this event, children and adults will collaborate to create outdoor chalk art masterpieces.

Tai Chi for Adults
Bronx
Poe Park Visitor Center
Friday, June 26, 2015
11:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.

Exercising is a great way to enjoy the environment while taking care of one’s health. Come to this event to learn Tai Chi, the exercise regimen which includes movement and breathing techniques for health, balance and well-being. Great for senior citizens!

 Saturday – June 27, 2015 

Family Art Project: Lavender Blooms 
Bronx
Wave Hill
Saturday, June 27, 2015
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The calming and fragrant lavender flower makes for great arts and crafts projects and keepsakes. Join this event to make pillows, sachets, Hacky Sacks, and more out of this great flower.

Yoga on the Beach 
Queens
Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk
Saturday, June 27, 2015
8 9 a.m.

Refine your flexibility, strength, and endurance while enjoying the beach! Yoga instructor Helen Kilgallen from Elaine’s Dance School will teach this beginner Hatha Yoga class. Bring a mat, large towel, or blanket.

Insect Walk 
Manhattan
Highbridge Park
Saturday, June 27, 2015
9:3011 a.m.

The concrete jungle provides us many opportunities to observe wildlife. Expert naturalist Mike Feller, who has over 25 years of experience in NYC Parks, will lead a tour focusing on Highbridge Park’s insects (and the birds they attract).

Solar Observation 
Bronx
Poe Park Visitor Center
Saturday, June 27, 2015
11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Are you interested in learning about the environment beyond what the eye can see? Join the Amateur Astronomers Association members as they help visitors engage in solar observations during the day! Telescopes specially filtered to view the sun will be provided.

 Sunday – June 28, 2015

Saltwater Fishing
Manhattan
West Harlem Piers Park
Sunday June 28, 2015
11 a.m. 3 p.m.

Catch-and-release fishing is a great way to interact with the environment without depleting it. Experienced Rangers will teach the ethics of fishing and the ecology of our waterways. All equipment will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Children 8 years and older are welcome. Participation in a safety review led by a trained Ranger is required.

Historic New York: Native Americans
Queens
Fort Totten Park

Sunday, June 28, 2015
1 – 2 p.m.

Urban Park Rangers are experts in studying human and natural history in New York City. In this historic walking tour, Rangers will explore the neighborhood of Bayside, originally inhabited by the Matinecock (meaning “hilly country”) Indians, a tribe of the Algonquin nation. The focus will be on the historic sites within the park and Native American culture.

It’s My Park 
Brooklyn
Brower Park
Sunday, June 28, 2015
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Don’t just interact with nature—volunteer to improve its health! “It’s My Park” presents a series of volunteer activities that you can participate in to care for your parks. In this event, volunteers are needed to mulch, weed, and plant a butterfly garden and tree beds. Please bring your own work gloves, and email info@friendsofbrowerpark.org to register for the project.

Frida Kahlo: “Art, Garden, Life”
Bronx
The New York Botanical Garden
Sunday, June 28, 2015
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

This must-see exhibit explores the ways in which nature—especially plant imagery—influences the work of renowned artist Frida Kahlo. Visitors can engage in hands-on art activities for kids, access rare photos, footage, and expert audio commentary, and create their own Frida Selfie.

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.

The World Wide Web in My Kitchen

About the author: Kelly Leovic has worked at EPA for 21 years and manages EPA’s Environmental and Community Outreach Program in Research Triangle Park, NC. She is also EPA’s Federal Women’s Program Manager in Research Triangle Park. On occasion, she can be seen in EPA’s Fitness Center – just another one of EPA’s family-friendly options.

I’m sitting in my kitchen doing email and glance up from the laptop, noticing a good-sized cobweb between two pottery pieces on an upper shelf. I’m working at home this morning as part of EPA’s telecommuting or flexiplace program.

Over 80% of employees at EPA in Research Triangle Park use flexiplace or other family-friendly work options such as flexible work hours, part-time employment, or a compressed work schedule (working 9 hour days, with 1 day off every other week). These flexible work options make work more enjoyable because they allow employees to balance work and personal lives. For me, that would be three kids who span elementary, middle, and high school.

Photo of people sitting around a table at a luncheonEmployees aren’t the only ones who have taken notice of EPA’s family-friendly “environment.” This is the 4th year that our EPA campus has been named to the NC Family Friendly Top 40 which is sponsored by Carolina Parent Magazine. We celebrated on September 17 at a breakfast which honored awardees. Check out the picture…our group of eight even had two EPA guys join us, so you can see that workplace flexibility and family friendly isn’t just a female thing.

In addition to each other’s company, we also enjoyed the keynote speaker, Pamela Stone, who shared data and insights from her research on why well-educated women often opt out of the workforce. In summary, most of the women in her study who “opted out” after having children did so not because of “family” but because their employers didn’t offer them the opportunity to balance their work with their family. I feel fortunate to work at an Agency that does offer a gourmet “menu” of flexibility options as well as for a supervisor who walks the talk with regard to supporting employee flexibility. As a result, I love my job and work hard at it because I love it.

So, what do I do now? Jump out of my seat and get the extended handle duster or stay at my computer and type this Blog? Reflecting on how the web could look by the end of October (say the 31st) and considering what an environmentally-friendly decoration a natural spider web would be, I stay seated and appreciate that I am able to telecommute.

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.