Indoor spaces offering public programs & galleries on Governors Island require proof of COVID-19 vaccination in accordance with the Key to NYC Executive Order. Click here to review all health & safety protocols prior to your visit.
Indoor spaces offering public programs & galleries on Governors Island require proof of COVID-19 vaccination in accordance with the Key to NYC Executive Order. Click here to review all health & safety protocols prior to your visit.
Governors Island, now open to the public year-round for the first time ever, is the ideal spot for all-season food, beverage, recreational and other amenity concessions. Submit a proposal today to bring your ideas to this iconic location, just minutes from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The Trust for Governors Island is accepting proposals for food, beverage and amenities vendors to operate in any season. The Island is one of New York City’s most unique destinations, with nearly one million visitors enjoying arts and cultural programs, events, recreation and activities, award-winning open space with unrivaled views of the New York City skyline and more each year.
We’re looking for partners that:
Can offer high-quality, affordable, food or recreation activities for our diverse visitors on a consistent schedule.
Complement and support Governors Island’s new year-round public hours. Vendors that can provide winter-appropriate recreation activities that take advantage of the Island’s abundant open space, hills and pathways; winter-friendly food concessions; or holiday markets and winter attractions are strongly encouraged to apply.
Share the Trust’s goal of promoting a sustainable and zero-waste environment.
Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis. Click here to learn more and submit a proposal.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Trust for Governors Island announced today that Governors Island will be open to the public year-round, beginning this fall. Starting November 1, New Yorkers will be able to access Governors Island’s open space, cultural programming, and recreational resources beyond its traditional May through October season for the first time.
Mayor de Blasio, the Trust, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) also announced today that NYC Ferry will serve Governors Island daily, year-round beginning with the launch of the Coney Island Route this fall. NYC Ferry will serve Governors Island’s Yankee Pier via the South Brooklyn Route, expanding direct access from Red Hook, Atlantic Ave/Brooklyn Bridge Park-Pier 6, DUMBO/Fulton Ferry, and Corlears Hook in the Lower East Side for Governors Island visitors and growing community of tenants.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine public space in this city – and now, we’re proud to keep the crown jewel of our harbor open to New Yorkers all year round,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “From expanded ferry service, to more amenities than ever, to year-round visitors from all over the city, there’s no better time to experience and invest in Governors Island.”
“Governors Island has been an oasis for New Yorkers for nearly two decades, and I’m so pleased that it will now become a destination in all seasons,” said Vicki Been, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. “The Governors Island team has been working hard to expand the type and number of partner organizations on the Island – not to mention the Climate Solutions Center we have in the works – and this year-round public ferry access is a critical part of realizing our full vision for this green, cultural, and educational hub.”
“Over the past two decades, a visionary idea to put Governors Island on the map as a public destination was outlined, and today we are proud to announce that Governors Island will now be open for New Yorkers to enjoy year-round,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “This announcement is an exciting moment in realizing our vision to increase equitable access to this remarkable resource and is an important step in realizing Governors Island’s full potential. I thank Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYCEDC for their partnership in this extraordinary achievement, as well as Council Members Margaret Chin, Carlina Rivera, State Senator Brian Kavanagh and all of our elected leaders for their advocacy and support.”
“We are pleased to support Governors Island as it opens year-round to the public with our expanded NYC Ferry service later this year. Waterway transportation is key to our recovery and opening Governors Island 12 months of the year is another illustration of New York City’s wonderful future,” said Rachel Loeb, President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “Congratulations to the Trust for Governors Island and everyone who has made this vision become a reality.”
Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in the transformation of Governors Island into a remarkable resource for New Yorkers. Following its transfer from federal to local control in 2003, the City of New York and the Trust for Governors Island have worked to invest in expanding public access to Governors Island, which has traditionally welcomed visitors in the summer months but has long been envisioned as a destination accessible year-round.
“Over the years, Governors Island has grown into a beloved spot for New Yorkers to play, explore, and relax, and I am proud I played a role in converting this gem in the harbor into a public amenity for New Yorkers,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. “Opening Governors Island to visitors year-round represents an important step in reaching its full potential as a public resource.”
“Expanding access to Governor’s Island is an exciting milestone for New Yorkers, who visit it to enjoy a stroll through nature with loved ones, to see state-of-the-art research facilities, or to just enjoy a ferry ride through the harbor,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I am pleased to welcome year-round service to this unique and dynamic location that every single New Yorker can access at their convenience.”
“Governors Island is truly one of our city’s hidden gems, and I’m pleased that finally after 20 years after I worked on reacquiring the island from the federal government, New Yorkers will finally have year-round ferry service and access to Governors Island,” said U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler. “That means New Yorkers and visitors alike will have more opportunity to play, explore and relax and enjoy this great New York attraction.”
“It is wonderful that Governors Island will soon be open year round for the public seven days a week,” said U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez. “I am even more thrilled that regular weekday ferry service will be provided through a NYC Ferry route from Lower East Side Corlears Hook and three key Brooklyn locations, DUMBO/Fulton Ferry, Pier 6/Atlantic Avenue and Red Hook/Atlantic Basin to allow more Lower East Siders and Brooklynites than ever quick access to all that Governors Island has to offer and more open space recreational options. I salute the Mayor and the Trust for Governors Island for their hard work in making year-round access a reality.”
“The extension of the Governors Island season from six months to year-round is great news for all New Yorkers,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. “The additional fall, winter, and spring months of operation, along with the planned additional ferry service, will give hundreds of thousands more the opportunity to visit this truly unique public space. I look forward to further affordable opportunities to experience outdoor recreational activities, the arts, and other cultural programming. I especially encourage seniors, residents of NYCHA, and IDNYC holders to take advantage of free fares on the Governors Island ferry.”
“In recent years, Governors Island has become an invaluable public space in New York, offering a needed respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, as well as a wide array of recreational opportunities for the whole family to enjoy. That’s why I’m thrilled that it will be open to the public year-round, with ferry service seven days a week to make it accessible for Brooklynites from every background. I thank The Trust for Governors Island for this groundbreaking step, and look forward to working with them and other entities across the city to make sure all New Yorkers have equitable access to all our parks,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“This is an exciting step for Governors Island as this unique New York City gem grows its capacity to welcome visitors from all five boroughs,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “Year-round access combined with ferry service expansion will allow more New Yorkers to spend the day enjoying the island’s beautiful open space and family-friendly activities. I can’t wait to visit after the city’s first snowfall to experience island in a completely new way!”
“For years, we have been calling for expanded transportation to Governors Island that would allow more New Yorkers to experience this unique space, especially as the city invests in resiliency and climate infrastructure. This announcement of year-round access to the island and direct NYC Ferry service from the Lower East Side and Brooklyn is a real commitment to creating more inclusive natural areas and recreational opportunities for the whole city. Thank you Mayor de Blasio, the Trust for Governors Island, and NYCEDC for your responsiveness to communities seeking additional options for open space,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.
“I am thrilled to see that Governors Island will now be available for our neighbors and our city to enjoy year-round,” said Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou. “Governors Island represents something special in my district, where there are relatively few opportunities to enjoy expansive green space and open parkland. Expanding ferry access to Governors Island means that residents of our community will have more opportunities to enjoy the green spaces that make our city special. I’m excited to visit in the winter and see everyone there!”
“Manhattan Community Board 1 is excited about Governors Island opening its doors for year-round visitors,” said Tammy Meltzer, Chairperson, Manhattan Community Board 1. “This will awaken the opportunity for more people to enjoy the bucolic natural beauty and public programming that Governors Island has through all seasons of the year. We look forward to working with the Trust to continue enhancing the public’s access and experience of this priceless resource through sun, snow and beyond.”
Governors Island has undergone a tremendous transformation over the last decade, including the creation of a resilient 43-acre park, a growing arts and cultural program and remarkable growth in audience. Nearly one million visitors have come to the island in 2019.
In June 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Trust for Governors Island announced a competition to establish a Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island. The City is currently seeking an anchor university and research institution through a Request for Expressions of Interest.
The NYC Ferry service announced today will supplement daily ferries run by the Trust that departs from Lower Manhattan, and peak season weekend service from Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 and Red Hook. NYC Ferry will add additional service to Governors Island on weekdays and non-summer weekends via the South Brooklyn route. On peak summer weekends, NYC Ferry will serve Governors Island via dedicated shuttle to Yankee Pier from Wall St./Pier 11. A launch date for weekday NYC Ferry Service to Governors Island will be announced soon. For more information on current ferry service to Governors Island, visit govisland.org.
“Governors Island has served as a prominent gateway to New York Harbor for centuries, and now it serves as an even greater role as a cultural and historic resource for New Yorkers, accessible year-round for the first time,” said Shirley McKinney, Superintendent of Manhattan Sites at the National Park Service. “We’re thrilled that today’s announcement will bring expanded public access to Governors Island, and we look forward to working with our partners at the Trust on expanded access to the Governors Island National Monument.”
“The launch of year-round public access to Governors Island is a game changer,” said Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “Since our founding in the mid-nineties, our primary goal has been to see Governors Island activated as one of our city’s most extraordinary public places – a goal that was never fully realizable without 365-day access. With the introduction of year-round public ferry service from Manhattan and Brooklyn, the city and the Trust for Governors Island are opening up a whole new world for public programming, amenities and events that will enable the Island to be fully interwoven into the fabric of everyday New Yorkers’ lives.”
“The expansion of ferry services and year-round access to Governor’s Island is another step towards fulfilling bold goals and curating a promising future for one of our most valuable public assets,” said Tom Wright, President of the Regional Plan Association. “After a long history that goes back to planning the first few trips to Governors Island, RPA is excited about what these steps mean for the future of Governors Island.”
“As we enter the fall and winter months, New Yorkers will be looking for new ways to meet outside, and opening Governors Island for year-round use will mean more opportunities for residents to enjoy that unique and beautiful public open space,” said Carter Strickland, New York State Director for The Trust for Public Land. “We’re thrilled to see the City of New York and the Trust for Governors Island investing in expanded public access.”
“Lower Manhattan’s backyard’ being open year-round is fantastic news for New Yorkers from every borough as well as for visitors to our city from near and far,” said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. “To have access to this amazing place in every season with fun and exciting things to do is a game changer.”
“Governors Island is the jewel of New York Harbor, and its ongoing transformation into a year-round public space is a major milestone for restoring New Yorkers’ connection with their waterfront. Year-round access and greater integration into the NYC Ferry system send a signal of the island’s future potential as a revitalized, resilient, accessible, and innovative waterfront community,” said Karen Imas, Vice President of Programs, Waterfront Alliance.
“The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School’s community of students, faculty and families, as well as the 1.1 million students of the New York City Department of Education, will benefit immensely from year-long access to the environmental classroom known as Governors Island,” said Jeff Chetirko, Principal of the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School. “Additionally, NYC Ferry-route access from Brooklyn is the much needed first step for more equitable availability for NYC residents to our city’s greatest resource of open spaces, artistic exhibits, and climate solution research and implementation – all available and happening on Governors Island every day. We look forward to continuing our conversations with the NYC Ferry system in providing equitable access from Brooklyn.”
“In a year of unprecedented change, we couldn’t be more thrilled to hear that Governors Island is now a yearlong home for all New Yorkers. For over a decade, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC)’s residency and free public programs at The Arts Center at Governors Island have provided opportunities for hundreds of thousands of artists and visitors to explore the creative process. As active participants of the Island’s diverse working community, we look forward to new partnerships and possibilities that will engage the public, serve artists, and advance our collective vision of cultural and environmental stewardship, sustainability, and climate justice,” said Lili Chopra and Diego S. Segalini, Co-Executive Directors of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC).
“Year-round public access and ferry service from Brooklyn brings Governors Island closer to fulfilling its potential as a spectacular site for learning, exchange and exploration for all NYC youth,” said Brian Cohen, Executive Director of Beam Center.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (Navy Yard) and the Trust for Governors Island (the Trust) announced a new fellowship program dedicated to helping CUNY students from diverse backgrounds gain the professional skills needed for successful careers in the real estate industry and related fields. Together, the Navy Yard and the Trust will host 8 – 10CUNY undergraduate and graduate students during the 2021 – 2022 school year to help them gain direct work experience while advancing their professional and interpersonal skills.
Upon completing the program, fellows will be helped to secure and succeed in interviews that will allow them to obtain quality employment in a real estate or related field.
The Navy Yard and the Trust have launched a pilot of the fellowship program for the 2021 – 2022 academic year, and plan to bring on additional public and private real estate development partners to host fellows for subsequent years. The program is designed to target students from diverse backgrounds, including those who are Pell-eligible, students of color, and first-generation college students. Applications were accepted earlier this year and the inaugural pilot program will serve 10 fellows across the two organizations.
“Creating opportunities for New Yorkers at all skill levels to secure good, high quality jobs is our guiding mission, and we are proud to introduce a pipeline dedicated to helping underserved CUNY students land successful careers in the historically tough-to-break-into real estate industry,” said David Ehrenberg, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. “Starting this fellowship program in tandem with New York City’s economic and real estate rebound creates an unparalleled opportunity for our future leaders to gain the experience and skills they need to excel in our dynamic industry. By working with the Trust, we can ensure our fellows receive robust training and we look forward to seeing all that they accomplish through this program.”
“We’re thrilled to offer this new fellowship program to support the development of career pathways for CUNY students from across the five boroughs,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “Governors Island offers a unique platform for training the next cohort of urban placemaking professionals, with opportunities to develop skills in open space management, real estate and planning, adaptive reuse and more and it is our goal to provide fellows with the real-world skills they need to succeed in any real estate-related sector. We are grateful for our partners at the Navy Yard for helping us make the future of real estate more representative and accessible.”
In the spring before the final year of their academic program, eligible students can apply to one of the following areas: Construction Management or Engineering, Real Estate, Business Management, Property Management or Horticulture. The Navy Yard and Trust have partnered with CUNY campuses offering relevant degree options, including New York City College of Technology, Bronx Community College, City College, Lehman College and Baruch College to recruit students for the program.
The one-year program will progress through the following phases:
PHASE I: Fellows will participate in a 36-week program, which will pay them to work 25 – 30 hours per week onsite at their placement organization, while simultaneously completing coursework toward their academic degree.
PHASEII: At the conclusion of their academic program and fellowship, students will receive support to apply to full-time real estate positions within the public or private sector, including resume assistance, interview support and direct introductions. The Navy Yard and the Trust will launch the next round of applications for the program in the coming months.
The Real Estate Pathways Program is made possible through the generous support of CUNY, Dock72 Team (Boston Properties and Rudin Management Company), Hudson Builders Group, The Liro Group, L+M Development Partners, Plaza Construction and Two Trees Management.
The Trust for Governors Island has released a call for proposals for organizations in residence, open to artistic, cultural, environmental and educational non-profit organizations for the 2022 public season, between May 1 to October 31 of next year. Unique programming space within — and around — more than two dozen historic former military homes will be offered to qualifying organizations proposing free public programs, including exhibitions, performances, workshops, screenings, talks, residencies and more.
Governors Island offers a dynamic platform for organizations to present creative projects of various forms and connect with a diverse and growing audience of nearly one million annual visitors. In 2021, as part of the Trust’s arts and culture program, more than two dozen organizations presented exhibits, workshops, performances, artist residencies and events in the historic houses of Nolan Park and Colonels Row, which once served as homes to military officers and their families during the Island’s nearly two-century history as an Army and Coast Guard base.
Past arts and cultural organizations in residence include the New Art Dealers Alliance, Pioneer Works, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), the American Indian Community House, 4heads, NARS Foundation, BronxArtSpace, Children’s Museum of the Arts and more. The program has also hosted organizations directly engaging in issues dedicated to addressing the global climate crisis, including the Climate Museum, NYC Audubon, the Billion Oyster Project, and the New York Virtual Volcano Lab, facilitated by volcanologists from CUNY. Resident organizations also have the opportunity to collaborate with year-round cultural tenants on the Island, including The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Beam Center and Shandaken Projects.
The application and additional information is available online here.
Proposals will be evaluated based on the overall quality of the proposed program; fit and alignment with the Island’s dynamic arts, cultural and educational programming; track record of conceptualizing, producing and organizing other programs and events; commitment to connecting with diverse audiences; and engagement with the Island as a site, including its history, ecology, architecture and relationship to the rest of New York City.
Proposals will be accepted through October 29, 2021
New to Governors Island, Beam Camp City is a day camp run by Brooklyn-based nonprofit organization (and year-round Governors Island tenant) Beam Center that aims to make outdoor activities accessible for New York City youth. Beam Center strives to build communities and bring together youth through engaging projects.
Beam Center’s main mission is to create an outdoor camping experience for New York City kids and to provide space for campers to express their creativity, explore their identity and contribute to a shared experience. Previously, Beam Center spent its summers exclusively at its summer camp in New Hampshire.
With outdoor open space growing more limited in New York City, Governors Island is the ideal location to create Beam Camp City. Intended for city kids and run by city residents, Beam Camp City is a safe space for children to experience the best of what Beam Center has created in New Hampshire, but much closer to home. Surrounded by the Island’s lush foliage, kids spend most of their time outdoors learning about their physical surroundings.
Growing up in New York City, some children may not otherwise have the opportunity to isolate themselves with trees, flowers and, insects. At Beam Camp City, kids are using their natural surroundings to make art and reinforce their level of awareness for their physical space. The Beam Center team has found that building this relationship with the environment and their community can expand campers’ perspective and creativity.
Beam Camp City’s fluidity and flexibility is what makes this summer camp experience so unique. Youth members and leaders listen to what campers have to say. As the children offer their own feedback and experience, camp staff emphasize how important it is that the campers know their voices are heard. The camp curriculum and programs are based on campers’ feedback and interests.
Not only is there a powerful connection between the campers and staff, there is also a large network of community support involved in the camp experience. Brian Cohen, Executive Director of Beam Center, says, “We are connected to the city ecosystem of education — we are working hand in hand with both the Department of Education, the Department of Youth and Community Development and other community-based organizations to make this happen. This is a cross-sector partnership, we are not trying to do this on our own.”
For the summer 2021 season, campers partnered with mixed media artist Ye Qin Zhu to create CONSTELLATION, a series of six sculptures made of welded steel and silt-cast ceramic bells, installed across Governors Island through October 2021 to create a literal constellation of ringing bells.
Marisol Castaneda-Salgado, Beam Camp City Director, says, “After a year of isolation and a global pandemic, plus everything that really affected children and youth in New York City, this project gives them an opportunity to see each other.” Along with giving campers the opportunity to see one another, Governors Island’s hundreds of thousands of visitors are engaging with the project as well, further emphasizing the interconnectedness between visitors, the Island and art.
By employing hundreds of city youth each year and inviting campers to get involved through feedback and participatory artwork, Beam Center is working hard to expose the next generation of New York City residents to art, teamwork, environment, and — most importantly — themselves.
Beam Center’s youth Documentation Team has created a photography exhibition titled The Light Show: Beam Camp City, Summer 2021 featuring the photos, they captured throughout their summer on Governors Island. Visitors are invited to the exhibition, open on August 7, 8, 14 and 15 from 11am to 5pm, in Colonels Row Building 407A. RSVP here.
Visitors are also invited to attend Beam Center’s Inventgenuity Festival! All ages from 6 and up are welcome and invited to participate in festival activities. To RSVP click here.
For more information on how to get involved, click here.
The Trust for Governors Island and Film at Lincoln Center are pleased to announce the return of free outdoor film screenings on the Island, featuring Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues on Friday, August 6, 2021. Curated by Film at Lincoln Center and inspired by the strength and resilience of New York City — and the people who call it home — this year’s screening will take place on the Island’s historic Parade Ground, an eight-acre lawn with expansive open views of Lower Manhattan. The screening is produced by Rooftop Films.
A uniquely New York story, Mo’ Better Blues follows jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam (Denzel Washington, in his first collaboration with the director) as he navigates career and personal life with the city as a backdrop.
“We are proud to bring our partnership with Film at Lincoln Center into the 2021 season and are especially thrilled to welcome New Yorkers back to the best spot in the city to watch a movie under the stars,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “Governors Island is committed to providing an affordable destination for our visitors to enjoy open space, arts and culture — and that includes this iconic film.”
“Our outdoor film series with Film at Lincoln Center has been a huge success in the past,” said Meredith Johnson, VP of Arts and Culture at the Trust for Governors Island. “As the city continues to reopen, we hope this screening will give even more audiences the opportunity to spend an evening on Governors Island, experiencing the dazzling combination of a Spike Lee film with the stunning Lower Manhattan skyline as a backdrop.”
Film at Lincoln Center Executive Director Lesli Klainberg said, “We’re proud to work with Governors Island once again, and to trumpet our city’s reopening with Spike Lee’s celebration of jazz and NYC, Mo’ Better Blues.”
The screening is free and open to the public with pre-show entertainment kicking off at 6pm and the film beginning at dusk. Food and drinks will be available for purchase, including a beer garden by Threes Brewing, food by Makina Café, Melt Bakery and more.
Evening ferry service will run from Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan, located at 10 South Street, departing Lower Manhattan at 5:20, 6, 6:40, 7:20 and 8pm. Ferries will return to Lower Manhattan from Soissons Landing at 9, 10 and 11pm. Ferry ticket reservations are required to manage capacity and ensure social distancing and can be made online at govisland.org/ferry. Face coverings are required when boarding, riding and exiting Governors Island ferries.
Governors Island is open every day from May 1 through October 31. On weekdays, the Island is open from 10am to 6pm. On weekends and holidays, the Island is open from 10am to 7pm. On Friday and Saturday evenings between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend, the Island is open until 10pm.
If you’re looking for evening activities this Friday and Saturday, look no further — summer late nights at Governors Island kick off on Friday, July 2! Hop on an evening ferry and explore everything the Island’s 120 acres have to offer, all while enjoying unparalleled New York City sunset views.
Governors Island will be open until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays through Labor Day, with additional ferry service from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Manhattan. Click here for ferry schedules and to book ferry tickets.
There will be plenty to see, eat, and do during these extra hours. Visitors will have their pick of delicious food and beverages—think brick oven pizza, tacos, oysters, Ethiopian and Eritrean fare, ice cream sandwiches and more. Late night food vendors include:
Threes Brewing & The Meat Hook
Mai Bpen Rai Papaya Salads
Malai Ice Cream (Saturdays only)
Terry & Yaki
Bicycle rentals & special activities from Blazing Saddles will also be available until sunset on these Fridays and Saturdays, and select arts and cultural programming will also participate: West Harlem Art Fund’s indoor and outdoor exhibitions will be open until 9 p.m. on July 23, July 30, August 6 and August 20; Pratt Institute’s Graduate Architecture & Urban Design (GAUD) program’s exhibit will be open late on July 16 with an opening celebration; Open House New York and Gesso are holding a self-guided audio tour on July 16; and Not for Nutten is on view in the Battery Maritime Building during all late night hours.
Additional late-night vendors, programs and activities will continue to be announced throughout the summer.
Late night ferry service to Governors Island ferries will run until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays between the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Manhattan and Soissons Landing on the Island. Click here to view the expanded schedule and reserve your tickets.
Visitors must reserve ferry tickets in advance of their trip to Governors Island, and face coverings are required while boarding and riding ferries. Governors Island ferries are always free for children 12 and under, seniors 65 and up, residents of NYCHA housing, IDNYC holders, current and former military servicemembers and Governors Island members. There is no surcharge for bicycles or strollers at any time. The Trust also offers waived fares for non-profit community-based organizations, youth camps, and senior centers throughout New York City. To inquire about group visits, organizations may email email@example.com.
NEWYORK (June 28, 2021) — Mayor Bill de Blasio and The Trust for Governors Island (the Trust) today launched a global competition to create a climate-focused research and educational hub on Governors Island. The competition invites universities and research institutions to establish an anchor institution for a Climate Solutions Center, dedicated to combatting the climate crisis in the heart of New York City’s harbor. The Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) can be found here.
Trust for Governors Island President Clare Newman was joined by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, US Representative Jerry Nadler, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, representatives from New York City Council Member Margaret Chin’s office, and Jeff Chetirko, Principal of the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School to celebrate the announcement.
The Center will capitalize on New York City’s unique talent pool to prepare communities around the world for the impacts of climate change; create good-paying green jobs across the city; and foster public awareness, dialogue, and action to address the global climate crisis.
“Governors Island is a crown jewel of this city – a place where families, workers and students have come to enjoy a beautiful landscape with spectacular views of the greatest city in the world. But we can get more out of this unique space. We can maintain the island’s identity while turning it into a world-class destination for fighting the climate crisis in New York City and across the world. That journey starts today, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“New York City has every asset needed to become the global leader in climatesolutions and adaptation. We have the best talent, most innovative and creative entrepreneurs, and now, we’re offering Governors Island as the ideal location to host this existential work,” said Deputy Mayor Vicki Been. “This competition will foster diverse ideas and perspectives on how to create a world-class climate solutions center, and I look forward to seeing institutions from across the globe propose concepts for this once-in-a-generation opportunity.”
“As our city emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, we have a critical opportunity to address the global climate crisis in a way that centers equity, prepares our communities, and involves all New Yorkers in creating solutions,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “Situated at the center of New York Harbor, and at the center of New York City’s global network of talent, institutions, businesses and leaders in climate action, Governors Island offers a visible platform for education, research and public engagement to address one of the defining challenges of our time. We look forward to working with prospective partners to define this important project for Governors Island, and our city.”
“Just as the United Nations was persuaded to locate its headquarters here three-quarters of a century ago, today marks an important step in bringing a world-class institution to New York City to address the defining issue of our time – climate change,” said Alicia Glen, Chair of the Trust for Governors Island. “As we seek to combat the devastating impacts of climate change on our communities, this RFEI acknowledges and builds upon our history as the global center for innovation and progress.”
The RFEI seeks an institution to lease land within 33 acres of development sites, and/or up to one million square feet of adaptive reuse opportunity available within historic buildings on Governors Island. The Trust and the City of New York have partnered to make available up to $150 million of capital funding that may be allocated to support this project.
“A global competition to create a climate-focused research and educational hub on Governors Island is exactly what this city, state, nation and planet needs. And what better place to save the planet in a speedy, just and equitable way than in the very center of the universe, New York City! We have the human capital; we are a magnet to attract international talent; we have the public systems to support and sustain a vital new institution; and we have the passion to tackle this global challenge in a smart, scientific and progressive way. New York City is the world’s center for so many activities so it is only natural that the Big Apple also become the global center for fighting climate change,” said Senator Charles Schumer.
“There is no better place than Governors Island to create a living laboratory focused on climate solutions, research, and education,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I am excited to see what comes out of this global competition and I look forward to working with the Trust for Governors Island to help realize the full potential for this opportunity. The Climate Solutions Center will help make sure that New York continues to be a leader when it comes to resiliency and tackling the climate crisis.”
“The climate crisis is the most urgent threat facing our world, our country, and our city. Just as New York City leads the way in business, technological advancement, and innovation, we should lead the way in developing solutions to this most existential of challenges,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler. “Establishing a world-class institution on Governor’s Island with the specific goal of finding ways to overcome the perils of climate change will bring green jobs to our city, provide meaningful opportunities for education and research, and ensure that any rising tide that lifts all New Yorkers is one we have firmly under our control.”
“As the climate crisis continues to worsen, it has never been more important to develop new and equitable solutions to protect communities from flooding, heatwaves, and other forms of extreme weather,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate Resiliency. “New York City is already a global leader in climate adaptation and is advancing some of the most complex resiliency projects anywhere in the world. Creating this new Climate Solutions Center will build on our existing expertise and will help foster research, innovation, and design in an iconic location in the heart of New York Harbor.”
“New Yorkers are on the frontline of the climate crisis and will be at the center of equitable climate solutions,” said Ben Furnas, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability. “The capital investment and global competition to build a Climate Solutions Center right here on Governors Island will bring together the brightest minds around the city and the world. Together, we’ll develop climate research and education that empowers us to take action on climate, while improving daily life and creating a cleaner, healthier, and fairer future for all.”
Respondents should articulate a vision that addresses the City’s and the Trust’s goals as outlined in the RFEI. In addition to advancing climate-related fields, respondents’ plans should make a positive contribution to Governors Island’s physical campus and existing community of partners and visitors, while creating broader opportunities for New Yorkers who already enjoy the island. Responses to this RFEI are due on September 29, 2021.
A center for climate solutions on Governors Island is projected to create over 7,000 direct new jobs and nearly $1 billion in economic impact for New York City, both on Governors Island alone.
“I’m happy that the Trust for Governors Island is conducting a RFEI process for the planned climate research center on the island.” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Community input and public engagement in this selection process will help ensure that the Center will be occupied by the organization that is not only best suited to address the climate crisis, but also responds to the community’s needs.”
“Governors Island has a long and storied past and I am pleased that the next chapter will include a center for innovative work on one of the great challenges of our time, climate change,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh. “As the RFEI process moves forward, it will be important to ensure that the applicant selected and the proposed development align with the values of the community and all New Yorkers who treasure Governors Island as a green, public open space. We also look forward to ongoing support for the essential work of the environmental and educational organizations already on the Island, including the Billion Oyster Project, Harbor School, and Earth Matters. I am excited to continue to work with the Trust for Governors Island, my colleagues in elected office, our Community Boards in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and the many New Yorkers who care deeply for the Island.”
“Rising tides are an immediate threat to New York City, and our coastline communities are depending on us for solutions to our climate crisis. This Climate Solutions Center is an opportunity to address global warming and bring a world-class institution to Governors Island,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “I am so proud to have worked with the Trust for Governor’s Island to get us to this next phase, and I am thrilled that the Climate Solutions Center is one step closer to being fully actualized.”
“Cities cannot address climate change without ensuring that environmental justice is embedded into our decision-making, policies, and solutions,” said Lisa Garcia, Director of FIX, Grist’s Climate Solutions Lab and member of the Trust for Governors Island’s Board of Directors. “Governors Island is an inspiring example of a place that offers unparalleled opportunities for public engagement in climate action, and for collaboration and co-creation of equitable solutions with leaders in frontline communities, which is what makes it such a compelling place for a Climate Solutions Center.”
“As the impact of climate change on our communities accelerates, we must focus on adapting our urban environments and enhancing resiliency in addition to sharply curtailing carbon emissions,” said Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), the Department of Geosciences, and the High Meadows Environmental Institute at Princeton University and member of the Trust for Governors Island’s Board of Directors. “The vision for the Center for Climate Solutions comes at a time when the need for a cross-disciplinary approach to research, education, and community engagement could not be more urgent. I applaud the City for providing the space, vision, and financing to create a first of its kind center dedicated to advancing climate science, climate solutions, and climate policy”.
“From super storms to extreme heat, New Yorkers have grappled with the impacts of climate change first hand,” said Nathanael Greene, Senior Renewable Energy Advocate at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “The creation of a world-class center for climate solutions on Governor’s Island will help foster new approaches to fight the climate crisis and protect frontline communities. This is another example of how New York City can help lead the way towards a safer and equitable future for all of us.”
“Over the past 19 years, Governors Island has been transformed from an abandoned Coast Guard Base into a magnificent urban park drawing one million visitors each year,” said Tom Wright, President and CEO, Regional Plan Association. “Such vision was championed by a broad alliance of organizations when we began this journey. Now the Governors Island Trust has demonstrated its ability to execute and improve upon that vision. Today’s announcement will help secure the right partners to create a collaborative research platform and advance climate change solutions for the region and beyond.”
“Governors Island is the perfect New York City location for a research center tasked with tackling one of the world’s greatest crisis,” said Alliance for Downtown New York President Jessica Lappin. “This program will give our city and its inhabitants an incredible opportunity to contribute directly to solutions for our global community.”
“New York City’s waterfronts are core to the City’s economic recovery and to climate change adaptation. We commend The Trust for Governors Island for the Climate Solutions Center proposal which can bring solutions to the climate crisis and make for a more livable and greener city,” said Cortney Koenig-Worrall, CEO and President, Waterfront Alliance. “We also look forward to a future of expanded ferry service at Governors Island, commitments to a net-zero carbon island, investment in new dock and boating infrastructure, and local green and blue job creation. New opportunities for people to touch the water and enjoy recreational boating will also meet increased demand for recreation in the City.”
“The Association for a Better New York (ABNY) is pleased to see this RFEI move forward. Establishing a world-class climate center on Governors Island presents an opportunity for renewal in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and pursues solutions for the devastation of another extreme threat to humanity, and specifically, to our most vulnerable populations: climate change,” said Melva M. Miller, Chief Executive Officer, Association for a Better New York. “By incorporating existing community partners and visitors into the RFEI’s requirements alongside broader goals for research, education, and economic development, the City and the Trust show commitment to advancing positive economic and social outcomes for all New Yorkers.”
“Climate change is one of the most persistent and critical challenges our Earth faces today, and we cannot afford to wait another second to turn the tide,” said Dr. Dune Ives, sustainability expert, CEO of ocean conservation nonprofit, Lonely Whale, and co-founding partner of Ocean Heroes Network. “The cross-sectoral living platform of The Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island would sustain not just our future, but my son’s future, all of our children’s future, and everyone and every living thing in between. Now more than ever, the voices of youth are influencing global culture, and it is on all of us to answer their call by driving forward global action and awareness.”
“The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, that inhabits this awe-inspiring island, will be further supported by a Climate Solution Center by enhancing our abilities to provide exceptional, hands-on Maritime Education curriculum to our diverse student population. Our school’s unique Career and Technical Education programming, which strives to break down barriers for young people entering into the Maritime Industry, will be strengthened by providing NYC students the opportunity to engage with the university and/or research center that will occupy this proposed Center,” said Jeffrey Chetirko, Principal of the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School on Governors Island. “It is clear that the development on Governors Island aligns with our school’s mission in educating our city’s citizens about climate change. This awareness of, and movement toward, climate solutions allows us to continue our environmental restoration work all around the New York Harbor with our students and staff alongside the Billion Oyster Project.”
“This initiative represents an extraordinary opportunity for global climate leadership with a focus on equity, community, and civic action – a necessary scale-out of the meaningful work the Trust for Governors Island has already been doing,” said Miranda Massie, Director of the Climate Museum. “We’re prouder than ever to be part of the cultural ecosystem the Trust has created, and very excited for all that’s to come.”
“The people of Manhattan Community District 1 know about the worst impacts of climate change,” said Tammy, Meltzer, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1. “While this process appears to be moving quickly and we have not yet seen the RFEI, we look forward to establishing robust engagement opportunities as part of our responsibility to the public and we hope that the Trust does the same. We encourage those institutions who intend to respond to the RFEI to balance the world class research with the simultaneous protection of the bucolic nature of the grounds and incredible view that make Governors Island so unique.”
“The National Park Service is proud to welcome visitors to the Governors Island National Monument to explore Governors Island’s rich history each year,” said Shirley McKinney, Manhattan Sites Superintendent for the National Park Service. “We share the Trust for Governors Island’s mission in expanding access to this jewel of New York Harbor, and are thrilled that the City of New York is further investing in this remarkable place.”
“The proposed Center for Climate Solutions represents the culmination of communal efforts we helped initiate 25 years ago to turn an abandoned military base into a vibrant public resource,” said Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “We commend the Trust for Governors Island and the City for the work they’ve already accomplished in creating an extraordinary park and public destination – and for this game-changing next step. Beyond its envisioned contributions to the climate field, the Center will bring huge advantages for everyday New Yorkers, including increased public access, more weekday amenities, new long-term uses for historic buildings and a continued focus on learning, innovation, sustainability and public engagement.”
“For over a decade, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) has served artists and the public at our Arts Center at Governors Island through dynamic programming that encourages creative and critical inquiry around issues of ecology, sustainability, and social practice. A Climate Solutions Center will offer rich opportunities for LMCC and the Island’s cultural and environmental organizations to collaborate on groundbreaking ideas and cross-disciplinary projects, all while driven by our shared commitment to equity and civic participation,” said Lili Chopra, Executive Director, Artistic Programs, and Diego S. Segalini, Executive Director, Finance & Administration, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC).
NEWYORK (June 3, 2021)—The Trust for Governors Island announced today the expansion of weekend late night hours on the Island for summer 2021. From Independence Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, Governors Island will be open to visitors until 10:00 p.m. on all Fridays and Saturdays, adding nearly four extra hours on Fridays and three extra hours on Saturdays for visitors to explore the spectacular open spaces, attractions, vistas and vendors the Island has to offer.
Governors Island will be accessible during these expanded evening hours with ferry service from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Manhattan. This expanded ferry service will allow visitors to enjoy the Island on Friday and Saturday nights between July 2 and September 4. Complete ferry schedules can be viewed at www.govisland.org, with tickets for late Fridays and Saturdays in July available starting today.
“As the city reopens and New Yorkers spend more time outdoors, we are excited to offer expanded weekend hours to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy all that Governors Island has to offer later into the evening,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “We can’t wait to welcome visitors back to enjoy the iconic skyline sunsets and twinkling lights of the city from here in the heart of the Harbor once again.”
“Whether you’re looking for a lively cocktail scene, a casual dinner under the stars, or a just tranquil spot to watch the sunset, late nights on Governors Island offer a much-needed summer escape for everyone,” said Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “We’re delighted to welcome all New Yorkers to enjoy this evening oasis in the heart of our city.”
Many of Governors Island’s beloved food vendors will offer evening eats and drinks as part of the expanded nighttime hours, including the James Beard Foundation Award-nominated restaurant Island Oyster; wood-fired pizza outpost Pizza Yard; Taco Vista, home to some of the best views and tacos in New York City; Makina Café, an eatery famous for its Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine; summertime grilled fare maestros Little Eva’s and Sea Biscuit; the brews-and-burgers partnership between Threes Brewing and The Meat Hook; and for dessert, Melt Bakery’s enticing ice cream sandwiches. Blazing Saddles bike rentals will also expand bicycle availability until sunset, allowing Island visitors a chance to enjoy twilight rides. Additional late-night vendors, activities and special programs will be announced throughout the season.
Governors Island ferries run daily between the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Manhattan and Soissons Landing on the Island. This year Governors Island ferries also serve two Brooklyn locations on weekends: Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Atlantic Basin in Red Hook. These routes run directly to Governors Island from each location every Saturday, Sunday and holiday Monday all season long.
Visitors must reserve ferry tickets in advance of their trip to Governors Island, and face coverings are required while boarding and riding ferries. Tickets are available through an online reservation system at www.govisland.org. Governors Island ferries are always free for children 12 and under, seniors 65 and up, residents of NYCHA housing, IDNYC holders, current and former military servicemembers and Governors Island members. Ferries before noon on Saturdays and Sundays are free for all. Round-trip ferry tickets cost $3 for adults at all other times. There is no surcharge for bicycles or strollers at any time. The Trust also offers waived fares for non-profit community-based organizations, youth camps, and senior centers throughout New York City. To inquire about group visits, organizations may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NYC Ferry also offers additional connections to Governors Island’s Yankee Pier via a dedicated weekend shuttle from Wall Street/Pier 11. Ticketing information and full schedules are available at www.ferry.nyc.
Get ready to enjoy all of your favorite things to do on Governors Island — we reopen to visitors on Saturday, May 1! Below you’ll find everything you can discover during this year’s opening weekend. Plan your trip, book ferry tickets, and ship out for a packed (or relaxed) day on our shore.
The park, open space, and recreation:
120 acres of open space provide ample room to spread out with a picnic, play games, or just watch the clouds float by. Head to the Island’s park to relax in Hammock Grove’s cozy hammocks (and say hello to the sheep!), find breathtaking 360-degree views in The Hills, get moving on the Play Lawns, and camp out in an Adirondack chair at Picnic Point.
Kids and families will love playgrounds like the Hammock Grove Play Area, the water feature at Liggett Terrace, and Slide Hill’s collection of twist‑y, turn‑y slides. Head to the south end of Nolan Park on weekends 12 – 4pm to play at play:groundNYC’s The Yard, NYC’s only adventure playground where kids can unleash their imaginations and build their own fun.
Seven miles of car-free paths make Governors Island a pedaler’s paradise. Bring your bike on the ferry for no charge or rent bikes, surreys, pedal cars, scooters and more from Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals, or from three Citi Bike stations across the Island.
Adventures at Governors Island also returns to entice thrill seekers of all ages. Visitors can purchase ticket packages to fly down a zipline, challenge a climbing wall, puzzle through a problem-solving maze, and play a round of mini-golf just steps from Liggett Terrace.
Free arts, culture and science activities:
See public artworks by world-renowned artists across Governors Island. Before stepping ashore, visitors departing from Manhattan can see a new mural by Duke Riley in the Governors Island Ferry Waiting Room at the Battery Maritime Building. This new commission by the Trust for Governors Island, Not for Nutten, is a richly pigmented homage to nautical traditions and the Island’s history that draws attention to modern climate concerns. Previous commissions on view include Shantell Martin’s Churchon Colonels Row, Rachel Whiteread’s Cabin on Discovery Hill, and Mark Handforth’s Yankee Hanger at Liggett Terrace.
Arts, culture and science programs return in and around the historic houses of Nolan Park and Colonels Row. This weekend, see PHREATIC!, an exhibition of works by interdisciplinary artists exploring symbiotic ecologies, multispecies interactions and earthliness at points of disruption presented by NYU’s Gallatin School at the New York Virtual Volcano Observatory house, Nolan Park 11, 11AM – 5PM. On view outside West Harlem Art Fund at Nolan Park 10, see two public art installations: Regatta III/8 Candy Blue & Teal by Gilbert Boro and Garden Sentinel by Michele Brody. More exhibitions open next weekend, including works by students and faculty at Pratt Institute’s Graduate Architecture and Urban Designprogram, a group exhibition of photography, film and more at Protocinema, and New Art Dealers Alliance’s NADA House, which includes works by over 50 artists across five houses on Colonels Row.
Visitors can also take guided tours of the Island with Friends of Governors Island volunteer docents, leaving from Soissons Landing on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30AM, 1:30PM, and 3:30PM. Or, embark on a self-guided tour through the Island’s history with stunning archival photographs on Urban Archive’s app or website, with a variety of tours available.
Food and drink:
Governors Island’s vendors serve up a wide variety of cuisines to satisfy any craving. From drinks, snack and sweet treats to more substantial options, find our food and beverage vendors across the Island:
At Soissons Landing, find Island Oyster’s summer fare and tropically inspired cocktails, and Taco Vista’s tasty tacos and cool drinks with a view
Pizza Yard dishes out wood-fried Neapolitan-style pizzas at the south end of Colonels Row
On the western shore, grab small plates and drinks at Sea Biscuit or stop by Three Peaks Lodge at Collective Retreats for cocktails and takeaway options
Liggett Terrace features many options including Fauzia’s Heavenly Delights’ Jamaican fusion cuisine; coffee, tea and treats from Joe Coffee; Korean-inspired tacos, bowls and snacks at Kimchi Taco; eclectic takes on classic grill fare at Little Eva’s; Makina Café’s modern Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine; Melt Bakery’s artisanal ice cream sandwiches; Terry and Yaki’s teriyaki bowls with vegan and halal options; and Threes Brewing’s tasty brews and The Meat Hook’s satisfying sandwiches in a shared shaded garden
Keep an eye out for People’s Pops’ uniquely flavored pops and shave ice and Mai Bpen Rai’s Thai-style green papaya salad roving across the Island
You can expect all of this and more this opening weekend. There’s plenty more to see and do on Governors Island in 2021 — check back here and follow us on social media for the latest updates. See you on the ferry!