Gov­er­nors Island to Hold New York City’s Largest Egg Hunt


The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island today announced the launch of an eggs-cep­tion­al event, the Gov­er­nors Island Egg Hunt, a new spring­time cel­e­bra­tion to be held for the first time on April 8, 2023, from 10:oo a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Par­tic­i­pants will scram­ble to find the 10,000 wood­en paint­ed eggs hid­den in areas through­out the Island’s 172 acres, with Island-spe­cif­ic prizes and give­aways for the most hard-boiled egg hunters. 

The Gov­er­nors Island Egg Hunt is free for all participants…no need to shell out big bucks for a day of eggs-cel­lent fam­i­ly-friend­ly free-range fun. 

Since open­ing to the pub­lic year-round in 2021, Gov­er­nors Island has cement­ed itself as an unmatched des­ti­na­tion for acces­si­ble all-sea­son out­door fun, and we are thrilled to con­tin­ue to expand our free year-round pro­gram­ming with the Island’s first pub­lic egg hunt,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. Togeth­er with the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island, we hope you’ll hop on the fer­ry and join us for a one-of-a-kind spring­time cel­e­bra­tion in the heart of New York Harbor.”

This new event includes sev­er­al lev­els of egg hunts tai­lored to spe­cif­ic age groups, along with an Island-wide scav­enger hunt that every­one can take a crack at. The day-long cel­e­bra­tion at the Parade Ground will also include per­for­mances from Won­der­spark Pup­pets, Brook­lyn Mag­ic Shop, and more to be announced. Spring-themed arts and crafts will be fea­tured all day, and food will be avail­able for pur­chase onsite from Gov­er­nors Island ven­dors along with a beer gar­den from Gov­er­nors Island Beer Co. Vis­i­tors will also have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet and take pic­tures with the East­er Bun­ny and enjoy the hijinx of Looney Tooney the Clown. 

The Friends of Gov­er­nors Island is thrilled to be co-host­ing New York City’s largest egg hunt on Gov­er­nors Island this spring,” said Pat­ti Davis, Inter­im Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island. As our first free pub­lic pro­gram of the spring sea­son, the Egg Hunt will fea­ture activ­i­ties for all ages through­out the His­toric Dis­trict and beyond, extend­ing across our beau­ti­ful open space. The Egg Hunt is a won­der­ful oppor­tu­ni­ty to intro­duce new vis­i­tors and wel­come back old friends as we kick off a won­der­ful spring sea­son on Gov­er­nors Island.”

EVENT SCHED­ULE Events will take place on the Parade Ground unless oth­er­wise not­ed. All egg hunts are as sup­plies last. 

  • 10am-4pm: Reg­is­tra­tion and giveaways 
  • 10am-3pm: Island-wide scav­enger hunt
  • 10am-3pm: Bub­bles with Looney Tooney the Clown
  • 11am-2pm: Meet the East­er Bunny
  • 11am-3pm: Arts & Crafts
  • 11am & 1pm: Egg Hunt A, Parade Ground (ages 2 – 4)
  • 11am & 1pm: Egg Hunt B, Parade Ground (ages 5 – 8)
  • 11:30am: Won­der­spark Pup­pets pup­pet show
  • 12pm: Egg Hunt C, Colonels Row (ages 9 – 13)
  • 12:15 & 1:45pm: Brook­lyn Mag­ic Shop mag­ic show

The Gov­er­nors Island Egg Hunt is co-pre­sent­ed by the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island. 

Gov­er­nors Island’s award-win­ning park is open to the pub­lic every day, along with recre­ation activ­i­ties like bike rentals, a Com­mu­ni­ty Climb­ing Boul­der, Ham­mock Grove, The Hills, Pic­nic Point, and more. Gov­er­nors Island Arts pub­lic art com­mis­sions, includ­ing work from Duke Riley, Rachel Whiteread, Mark Dion, and Mark Hand­forth are also cur­rent­ly on view through­out the Island. Charles Gaines’s The Amer­i­can Man­i­fest Chap­ter Two: Mov­ing Chains will reopen on Gov­er­nors Island lat­er this spring.

QC NY is open dai­ly on Gov­er­nors Island, with two heat­ed out­door pools along­side saunas, steam rooms, relax­ation treat­ments, mas­sages, and a new bar and bistro. This win­ter also marks the return of Win­ter Dog Days, where dogs are allowed on Gov­er­nors Island on Sat­ur­days and Sun­days through­out the end of April. Dogs must be leashed while on Gov­er­nors Island except for in the Week­end Win­ter Dog Park, locat­ed adja­cent to Liggett Terrace. 

Gov­er­nors Island is open to the pub­lic dai­ly from 7am to 6pm. Trust for Gov­er­nors Island-oper­at­ed fer­ries run dai­ly between the Bat­tery Mar­itime Build­ing at 10 South Street in Low­er Man­hat­tan and Sois­sons Land­ing on the Island. For sched­ules and tick­et­ing infor­ma­tion, click here. Trust-oper­at­ed sea­son­al week­end Brook­lyn fer­ry ser­vice will return this summer.

Round-trip fer­ry tick­ets cost $4 for adults. Gov­er­nors Island fer­ries are always free for chil­dren 12 and under, old­er adults ages 65 and up, res­i­dents of NYCHA, IDNYC hold­ers, cur­rent and for­mer mil­i­tary ser­vice mem­bers, and Friends of Gov­er­nors Island mem­bers. Fer­ries before noon on Sat­ur­days and Sun­days are free for all. There is no sur­charge for bicy­cles or strollers at any time.

NYC Fer­ry also serves Gov­er­nors Island dai­ly on the South Brook­lyn route, with stops in Low­er Man­hat­tan and along the Brook­lyn water­front. For tick­et­ing infor­ma­tion and full sched­ules for NYC Fer­ry, vis­it

Trust for Gov­er­nors Island Announces Orga­ni­za­tions in Res­i­dence Select­ed for 2023 Pro­gram­ming Season


Nolan Park; photo by Philip Greenberg

The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island today announced the 2023 Orga­ni­za­tions in Res­i­dence, with non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions from all five bor­oughs set to expand cul­tur­al offer­ings for Gov­er­nors Island vis­i­tors start­ing this spring. More than two dozen orga­ni­za­tions were select­ed for this annu­al sea­son­al pro­gram, and will present free visu­al art, envi­ron­men­tal edu­ca­tion, and cul­tur­al pro­gram­ming inside his­toric for­mer mil­i­tary hous­es from May through Octo­ber 2023.

Pre­sent­ed through Gov­er­nors Island Arts, the Trust’s sig­na­ture arts and cul­tur­al pro­gram, the Orga­ni­za­tions in Res­i­dence ini­tia­tive invites non­prof­its from across the city to present engag­ing pub­lic pro­grams while pro­vid­ing work­space and artist res­i­den­cies. Through this unique pro­gram, the Trust offers non­prof­it groups the oppor­tu­ni­ty to reach a diverse and grow­ing audi­ence of engaged vis­i­tors, where col­lab­o­ra­tion is encour­aged and work­space is pro­vid­ed free of charge. Each year, more than 200 artists and researchers receive flex­i­ble, free work­space through this pro­gram. Over the next decade, the City of New York and the Trust will invest in evolv­ing this sea­son­al pro­gram into year-round per­ma­nent homes for cul­tur­al orga­ni­za­tions on Gov­er­nors Island, cre­at­ing a one-of-a-kind cul­tur­al cam­pus in Nolan Park.

Each year, a dynam­ic group of non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions con­verge here on Gov­er­nors Island to present some of the most excit­ing cul­tur­al expe­ri­ences our city has to offer,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. As the Island’s cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ty con­tin­ues to grow, we look for­ward to wel­com­ing more vis­i­tors than ever to direct­ly engage with the artists, exhi­bi­tions, and oth­er cul­tur­al inter­ven­tions in Nolan Park and Colonels Row.” 

Gov­er­nors Island Arts’ Orga­ni­za­tions in Res­i­dence pro­gram and its par­tic­i­pants con­sis­tent­ly present unique, time­ly works, rep­re­sent­ing a pow­er­ful inter­sec­tion of per­spec­tives and pro­vid­ing an invalu­able cul­tur­al resource for Island vis­i­tors and all New York­ers,” said Juan Pablo Siles, Asso­ciate Cura­tor and Pro­duc­er at the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. With eight new non­prof­its join­ing the Orga­ni­za­tions in Res­i­dence com­mu­ni­ty this year, vis­i­tors can look for­ward to enjoy­ing a range of pub­lic pro­gram offer­ings from cross-dis­ci­pli­nary orga­ni­za­tions from every sin­gle borough.”

This year’s cohort will present pro­gram­ming in and around the his­toric hous­es of Nolan Park and Colonels Row on Gov­er­nors Island, enliven­ing these his­toric dis­tricts dur­ing the Island’s high­est vis­i­ta­tion sea­son and hold­ing 200+ free pub­lic pro­grams for Island vis­i­tors. The hous­es will be open to the pub­lic Fri­day through Sun­day from 11am to 5pm begin­ning May 52023

The 2023 Orga­ni­za­tions in Res­i­dence are:

Amer­i­can Indi­an Com­mu­ni­ty House Man­hat­tan

ArtsCon­nec­tion Man­hat­tan*

Art­Crawl Harlem Man­hat­tan

BronxArt­Space The Bronx

Bil­lion Oys­ter Project Man­hat­tan

Escap­ing Time: Art from U.S. Pris­ons Man­hat­tan

Flux Fac­to­ry Queens

KODA Brook­lyn

Foun­tain House Man­hat­tan*

Har­vest­works Man­hat­tan

The Low­er East­side Girls Club Man­hat­tan*

The Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary African Dias­po­ran Arts (MoCA­DA) Brook­lyn

New Art Deal­ers Alliance (NADA) Man­hat­tan

New York Latin Amer­i­can Art Tri­en­ni­al Man­hat­tan

NYC Audubon Man­hat­tan

Oye Group Brook­lyn*

Pratt School of Archi­tec­ture Brook­lyn

Project Bring It Home/​The Stars of Tomor­row Project, Inc. Man­hat­tan*

Res­i­den­cy Unlim­it­ed (RU) Brook­lyn

Stat­en Island Urban Cen­ter Stat­en Island*

Swale Brook­lyn

Syra­cuse Uni­ver­si­ty Stu­dio Art M.F.A. Syra­cuse, NY

Tai­wanese Amer­i­can Arts Coun­cil Queens*

Trans­Bor­der­Art Queens*

West Harlem Art Fund Man­hat­tan

* Denotes a first-time mem­ber of the Orga­ni­za­tions in Res­i­dence program

In addi­tion, NYU Gal­latin Wet­Lab (Man­hat­tan) and Cumbe: Cen­ter for African and Dias­po­ra Dance (Brook­lyn) will present free out­door pro­grams, class­es, work­shops, and events at dif­fer­ent loca­tions around the Island dur­ing the pro­gram­ming sea­son. Click here to view more infor­ma­tion about the 2023 Orga­ni­za­tions in Residence. 

Since open­ing to the pub­lic in 2005, Gov­er­nors Island has become a beloved des­ti­na­tion and cul­tur­al resource for New York City. Begin­ning in 2013, the Trust has com­mis­sioned sig­nif­i­cant per­ma­nent and tem­po­rary art­works by artists includ­ing Rachel Whiteread, Susan Philip­sz, David Brooks, Jacob Hashimo­to, Shantell Mar­tin, Duke Riley, Richard Move, Sam Van Aken, Mark Dion, and Charles Gaines. 

Gov­er­nors Island has under­gone a tremen­dous trans­for­ma­tion over the last decade, includ­ing the expan­sion of year-round pub­lic access and the cre­ation of a resilient 43-acre park, a grow­ing arts and cul­tur­al pro­gram, and remark­able growth in audi­ence. The Island is home to a diverse num­ber of year-round ten­ants, includ­ing the Urban Assem­bly New York Har­bor School, Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil, Bil­lion Oys­ter Project, Shan­dak­en: Projects, Beam Cen­ter, the Insti­tute for Pub­lic Archi­tec­ture, and QCNY, as well as But­ter­milk Labs — a new mul­ti-ten­ant hub for coastal cli­mate solu­tions announced in Fall 2021

The Trust is cur­rent­ly in the process of select­ing an anchor edu­ca­tion­al and research insti­tu­tion as part of the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions, a ground­break­ing ini­tia­tive designed to fur­ther New York City as a glob­al leader in efforts to respond to the cli­mate cri­sis. A key part of May­or Adams’ Rebuild, Renew, Rein­vent: A Blue­print for NYC’s Eco­nom­ic Recov­ery,” the project will sup­port the research, devel­op­ment and demon­stra­tion of equi­table cli­mate solu­tions for New York City— that can be scaled and applied globally.

Gov­er­nors Island Arts and Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil to Co-Host Sec­ond Annu­al Ice Sculp­ture Show


The winners of the People's Choice award at the 2022 ice sculpture show. Photo by Julienne Schaer

Gov­er­nors Island Arts and Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil (LMCC) announced today they will co-host Gov­er­nors Island’s sec­ond annu­al Win­ter Ice Sculp­ture Show. This one-of-a-kind event will take place on Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 18, 2023, from 12 to 5p.m. at the Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Vil­lage. The fes­tive event pro­vides New York­ers and vis­i­tors from around the world with the sin­gu­lar oppor­tu­ni­ty to expe­ri­ence live ice carv­ing, along­side all of the open space, cul­tur­al, edu­ca­tion­al, and his­toric resources and attrac­tions that the Island offers year-round.

The annu­al ice sculp­ture show pro­vides direct sup­port for local artists and brings New York­ers anoth­er joy­ful, ephemer­al pub­lic art expe­ri­ence on Gov­er­nors Island in the win­ter months,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. This unique event is one of many rea­sons to vis­it the Island dur­ing the win­ter sea­son. We can’t wait to once again wel­come vis­i­tors of all ages to come and enjoy music and warm drinks, expe­ri­ence the thrill of live ice sculpt­ing, and vote on their favorite works.” 

Gov­er­nors Island is known as a major hub for the arts and cre­ativ­i­ty in New York City, the region and beyond, and this ice sculp­ture com­pe­ti­tion high­lights that syn­er­gy and the won­der­ful pro­gram­ming that has made the Island its home,” said Mered­ith John­son, VP of Arts & Cul­ture and Head Cura­tor for the Trust. We look for­ward to wel­com­ing our artists and a curi­ous pub­lic to wit­ness the spec­ta­cle of carv­ing ice with a chain­saw, a thrill that has few rivals.” 

We are delight­ed to part­ner with Gov­er­nors Island Arts for a sec­ond year of win­ter­time fun and com­mu­ni­ty-build­ing at the 2023 Ice Sculp­ture Event,” said Craig T. Peter­son, Pres­i­dent of LMCC. Through our Open Call, we look for­ward to wel­com­ing artists from all dis­ci­plines to design one-of-a-kind sculp­tures, and con­nect­ing the pub­lic with the won­der­ful vari­eties of artis­tic expres­sion in New York City found all year long at Gov­er­nors Island.”

In late 2022, Gov­er­nors Island Arts and LMCC invit­ed New York City-based artists to sub­mit designs through an open call. Ten designs were select­ed by an esteemed pan­el of New York City cul­tur­al lumi­nar­ies and will be brought to life by the artists dur­ing this live, marathon ice sculpt­ing ses­sion. Each select­ed artist will be paired with pro­fes­sion­al ice carvers from Okamo­to Stu­dio on the day of the event. Vis­i­tors are invit­ed to wit­ness this real-time ice carv­ing and vote on their favorite sculp­ture for the People’s Choice Award” at the end of the event. 

This year’s show will also fea­ture DJ sets from Red Corvette and DJ Sav­age curat­ed by Half Moon, an inde­pen­dent music and media com­pa­ny that cov­ers and rein­forces emerg­ing cul­ture around the world through radio, events, edi­to­r­i­al, and edu­ca­tion­al work­shops with head­quar­ters in New York City and Los Ange­les. In addi­tion to food and drink avail­able from year-round Gov­er­nors Island ven­dor Lit­tle Eva’s, food trucks oper­at­ed by Black-owned busi­ness­es Ms. Spudz and GG’s Fish & Chips will be fea­tured dur­ing the event in hon­or of Black His­to­ry Month. The Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Vil­lage, includ­ing the 7,000-square foot ice skat­ing rink, sea­son­al food options, lawn games, fire pits, and more, will be open to the pub­lic through­out the day.

The esteemed jury pan­el that select­ed entrants and will select win­ners includes: Jonathan Gar­den­hire, Assis­tant Direc­tor of Indi­vid­ual Giv­ing at MoMA PS1; Natasha Logan, Deputy Direc­tor of Cre­ative Time; Shin­taro Okamo­to, Founder/​Creative Direc­tor of Okamo­to Stu­dio, artist José Par­lá, and artist Duke Riley. 

Dur­ing the win­ter months, Gov­er­nors Island is open to the pub­lic dai­ly from 7am to 6pm. Trust for Gov­er­nors Island-oper­at­ed fer­ries run dai­ly between the Bat­tery Mar­itime Build­ing at 10 South Street in Low­er Man­hat­tan and Sois­sons Land­ing on the Island. For sched­ules and tick­et­ing infor­ma­tion, vis­it www​.gov​is​land​.org. Trust-oper­at­ed sea­son­al week­end Brook­lyn fer­ry ser­vice will return in Spring 2023.

Round-trip fer­ry tick­ets cost $4 for adults. Gov­er­nors Island fer­ries are always free for chil­dren 12 and under, old­er adults ages 65 and up, res­i­dents of NYCHA, IDNYC hold­ers, cur­rent and for­mer mil­i­tary ser­vice mem­bers, and Gov­er­nors Island mem­bers. Fer­ries before noon on Sat­ur­days and Sun­days are free for all. There is no sur­charge for bicy­cles or strollers at any time.

NYC Ferry’s South Brook­lyn route is tem­porar­i­ly bypass­ing Gov­er­nors Island through mid-Feb­ru­ary due to planned main­te­nance. Dur­ing this time, Trust ‑oper­at­ed fer­ries con­tin­ue to run dai­ly every half hour from the Bat­tery Mar­itime Build­ing. NYC Fer­ry rid­ers trav­el­ing to Gov­er­nors Island from Brook­lyn can take the fer­ry to Wall Street/​Pier 11 and trans­fer to Trust-oper­at­ed fer­ries at 10 South Street. For more infor­ma­tion on NYC Fer­ry, vis­it

Gov­er­nors Island 2022 Year in Review


Winter, spring, summer, and fall on Governors Island. Photos by Radhika Chalasani, Julienne Schaer, and Sean Jamar

The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island are excit­ed to release our 2022 Year in Review, a com­pre­hen­sive look at all of the incred­i­ble recre­ation­al resources, cul­tur­al mile­stones, cli­mate inno­va­tions, and ten­ant com­mu­ni­ty updates from the first full year that the Island was open to the pub­lic. Read on for high­lights, and thank you for mak­ing 2022 a year to remem­ber on Gov­er­nors Island. Click here to read the full report.


Photo by Julienne Schaer


With 120 acres of open space, Gov­er­nors Island is known through­out New York City as an afford­able and acces­si­ble des­ti­na­tion—pro­vid­ing a year-round out­door oasis for near­ly one mil­lion vis­i­tors each year. In 2022, we wel­comed vis­i­tors from every sin­gle res­i­den­tial zip code in NYC, expand­ed fer­ry ser­vice and reached new audi­ences, pre­sent­ed a diverse cal­en­dar of events and pro­grams, and cel­e­brat­ed the Island’s land­scapes in every sea­son. Read more →


Photo by Philip Greenberg


Gov­er­nors Island is one of New York City’s most dynam­ic cul­tur­al des­ti­na­tions. In 2022, the arts and cul­tur­al pro­grams pre­sent­ed by the Trust launched as Gov­er­nors Island Arts, and the pro­gram debuted two ambi­tious com­mis­sions — each years in the mak­ing — and host­ed a diverse selec­tion of sea­son­al Orga­ni­za­tions in Res­i­dence in Nolan Park and Colonels Row. Read more →


Photo courtesy of Billion Oyster Project


Gov­er­nors Island is com­mit­ted to tack­ling the cli­mate cri­sis head-on through research and edu­ca­tion. 2022 saw mon­u­men­tal steps for­ward in estab­lish­ing an anchor insti­tu­tion for the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions on Gov­er­nors Island. Year-round ten­ants also made progress on long-time goals, includ­ing Bil­lion Oys­ter Project open­ing its first pub­lic shell drop-off site in Brook­lyn and the Urban Assem­bly New York Har­bor School announc­ing the expan­sion of its spe­cial­ty mar­itime and envi­ron­men­tal edu­ca­tion facil­i­ties. Read more →


Photo by Gregory Gentert


Gov­er­nors Island is home to a grow­ing com­mu­ni­ty cross-dis­ci­pli­nary ten­ants, each of which flour­ished in 2022. Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil’s Arts Cen­ter at Gov­er­nors Island grant­ed artist res­i­den­cies and pre­sent­ed three exhi­bi­tions, QC NY opened their unique well­ness space, the Insti­tute for Pub­lic Archi­tec­ture host­ed new pro­grams and res­i­den­cies, Beam Cen­ter host­ed 400+ young New York­ers for an acces­si­ble sum­mer camp expe­ri­ence, and more. Read more →

Open Call: Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Ice Sculp­ture Show


Photo by Julienne Schaer

New York City-based artists and artist teams are invit­ed to sub­mit ideas for an ice sculp­ture, to be com­plet­ed at the sec­ond annu­al Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Ice Sculp­ture Show on Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 18, 2023. Ice sculp­ture com­pe­ti­tions and exhi­bi­tions have a long his­to­ry around the world but are not typ­i­cal­ly seen on a grand scale in New York City — and are often lim­it­ed to artists who spe­cial­ize in ice carv­ing. The Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Ice Show strives to democ­ra­tize this pop­u­lar activ­i­ty, trans­form­ing it into one open to all artists regard­less of dis­ci­pline and pre­vi­ous experience.

Ten pro­pos­als will be select­ed to com­pete by a dis­tin­guished jury of New York City-based cul­tur­al lead­ers. Select­ed artists or teams will receive an award of $2,000 to par­tic­i­pate, will be pro­vid­ed with tools and pro­duc­tion mate­ri­als, and will be matched with a pro­fes­sion­al ice carv­er from Okamo­to Stu­dio to com­plete the work on the day of the event. An ice carv­ing ori­en­ta­tion for all select­ed artists and teams will take place pri­or to the event at Okamo­to Stu­dio. The dead­line to sub­mit pro­pos­als is Tues­day, Jan­u­ary 172023.

Announce­ment date: Tues­day, Decem­ber 20, 2022
Dead­line to apply: Tues­day, Jan­u­ary 17, 2023
The dead­line to sub­mit pro­pos­als has been extend­ed to Fri­day, Jan­u­ary 20, at 11:59pm.

Event date: Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 182023

Click here to apply online.

Host­ed by Gov­er­nors Island Arts in part­ner­ship with Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil (LMCC) and with the expert guid­ance of Okamo­to Stu­dio, the show is an excit­ing one-day event where vis­i­tors will be able to expe­ri­ence live ice carv­ing, enjoy music and warm drinks, and vote on their favorite works for the People’s Choice Award,” pre­sent­ed to the fan favorite.

About the Pre­sent­ing Organizations

Gov­er­nors Island Arts, the pub­lic arts and cul­tur­al pro­gram pre­sent­ed by the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island, cre­ates trans­for­ma­tive encoun­ters with art for all New York­ers, invit­ing artists and researchers to engage with the issues of our time in the con­text of the Island’s lay­ered his­to­ries, envi­ron­ments, and archi­tec­ture. Gov­er­nors Island Arts achieves this mis­sion through tem­po­rary and long-term pub­lic art com­mis­sions, an annu­al Orga­ni­za­tion in Res­i­dence pro­gram in the Island’s his­toric hous­es, and free pub­lic pro­grams and events in part­ner­ship with a wide range of cross-dis­ci­pli­nary NYC cul­tur­al organizations.

Found­ed as Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil, LMCC serves, con­nects, and makes space for artists and com­mu­ni­ty. Since 1973, LMCC has been the cham­pi­on for inde­pen­dent artists in New York City and the cul­tur­al life force of Low­er Man­hat­tan. Curat­ed and pre­sent­ed by LMCC, The Arts Cen­ter at Gov­er­nors Island is an incu­ba­tor for cre­ative exper­i­men­ta­tion and a gath­er­ing space to engage in dia­logue. Work devel­oped and pre­sent­ed at The Arts Cen­ter focus­es on sus­tain­abil­i­ty and equity.

Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Vil­lage Returns Novem­ber 17


Photo by Sari Goodfriend

The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island today announced the Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Vil­lage will open Novem­ber 17, trans­form­ing his­toric Colonels Row into a sin­gu­lar sea­son­al des­ti­na­tion for the sec­ond year in a row. The pop­u­lar Win­ter Vil­lage will include a 7,500-square foot skat­ing rink for vis­i­tors of all ages to enjoy, along with win­tery activ­i­ties, fes­tive dec­o­ra­tions, games, cold-weath­er food and drinks, and warm­ing fire pits. The rink will be open Thurs­day through Sun­day and all New York City pub­lic school hol­i­days, with addi­tion­al Win­ter Vil­lage activ­i­ties avail­able sev­en days a week. 

We are so excit­ed to invite New York­ers and vis­i­tors to Gov­er­nors Island for the return of Win­ter Vil­lage,” said New York City May­or Eric Adams. Cold weath­er doesn’t have to mean being stuck inside — it can mean ice skat­ing and sled­ding with your friends or sit­ting around a fire with your fam­i­ly. And with the return of Win­ter Dog Days, I’m sure Gov­er­nors Island will be a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for every mem­ber of the family.”

Gov­er­nors Island con­tin­ues to show­case its unique and uplift­ing con­tri­bu­tions to New York City’s cul­tur­al land­scape through the Win­ter Vil­lage,” said Deputy May­or for Eco­nom­ic and Work­force Devel­op­ment Maria Tor­res-Springer. From ice skat­ing to Jen­ga to toasty drinks, there’s some­thing for every­one in the fam­i­ly at the Win­ter Vil­lage and I encour­age all New York­ers to take advan­tage of Gov­er­nors Island year-round.”

The secret is out: Gov­er­nors Island is tru­ly a mag­i­cal place all year long, and we are so excit­ed to wel­come New York­ers back to the Win­ter Vil­lage,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. In addi­tion to some pret­ty spec­tac­u­lar skat­ing, Win­ter Vil­lage vis­i­tors will once again be able to enjoy some of the same amaz­ing food trucks, excit­ing pro­gram­ming, and stun­ning land­scapes that make Gov­er­nors Island a great place to vis­it all year long.” 

In addi­tion to the rink, the Vil­lage will fea­ture bike and sled rentals from Blaz­ing Sad­dles NYC and win­tery activ­i­ties includ­ing lawn games like corn­hole, can jam and giant Jen­ga; fire pits; win­ter arts and cul­tur­al pro­gram­ming, and a sparkling dis­play of hol­i­day lights through­out his­toric Colonels Row. The Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Vil­lage will be open through Feb­ru­ary 2023

Expand­ing on last year’s pub­lic hours, the ice rink will be open Thurs­days and Fri­days from noon to 5:30pm and Sat­ur­days and Sun­days from 10am to 5:30pm, with event pack­ages and buy­outs avail­able dur­ing addi­tion­al hours. The rink will also fea­ture events, activ­i­ties, and Free Admis­sion Thurs­days,” with admis­sion fees waived for all vis­i­tors every Thurs­day. Rink admis­sion and skate rentals can be reserved online at www​.gov​is​land​.org start­ing mid-November. 

Island ven­dor Lit­tle Eva’s will be open dai­ly at the Win­ter Vil­lage with a sea­son­al menu, com­plete with warm drinks and new takes on their clas­sic com­fort food like brats, veg­an chili, fish and chips, soups, and more. A rotat­ing series of New York City’s best food trucks, in part­ner­ship with the New York Food Truck Asso­ci­a­tion, will round out the Island’s win­ter eats. 

The Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Vil­lage is pre­sent­ed with sup­port from The May and Samuel Rudin Fam­i­ly Foundation.

Gov­er­nors Island’s award-win­ning park is open to the pub­lic every day, along with recre­ation activ­i­ties like bike rentals, a Com­mu­ni­ty Climb­ing Boul­der, Ham­mock Grove, The Hills, Pic­nic Point, and more. Gov­er­nors Island Arts pub­lic art com­mis­sions, includ­ing work from Charles Gaines, Duke Riley, Rachel Whiteread, Mark Dion, and Mark Hand­forth are also cur­rent­ly on view through­out the Island. 

QC NY Spa con­tin­ues to be open dai­ly on Gov­er­nors Island, with heat­ed out­door pools along­side saunas, steam rooms, relax­ation treat­ments, mas­sages, and a new bar and bistro. This win­ter also marks the return of Win­ter Dog Days, where dogs are allowed on Gov­er­nors Island on Sat­ur­days and Sun­days through­out the win­ter months. Dogs must be leashed while on Gov­er­nors Island except for in the Week­end Win­ter Dog Park, locat­ed adja­cent to Liggett Terrace. 

Gov­er­nors Island is a jew­el for New York City, not just in the sum­mer months, but now year-round, ” said Con­gress­man Jer­ry Nadler. Today’s announce­ment of Gov­er­nors Islands Win­ter Vil­lage invites vis­i­tors from all over the city to engage in ice skat­ing, hot choco­late by the fire and weath­er friend­ly activ­i­ties and fes­tiv­i­ties. I’m thrilled to con­tin­ue sup­port­ing Gov­er­nors Island as a dynam­ic resource for all New York­ers and I am excit­ed to see the expe­ri­ence cre­at­ed for vis­i­tors in the win­ter season.”

I am hap­py that the Win­ter Vil­lage will be return­ing this sea­son,” said State Sen­a­tor Bri­an Kavanagh, who rep­re­sents Gov­er­nors Island. New York­ers will once again have access to great food and excit­ing events for all ages, includ­ing ice skat­ing, win­ter activ­i­ties, fun games, and fes­tive dec­o­ra­tions. I encour­age every­one to vis­it Gov­er­nors Island this win­ter and enjoy this win­ter won­der­land. I applaud the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island for their ongo­ing efforts to make Gov­er­nors Island a more acces­si­ble, enjoy­able, and engag­ing place to vis­it and explore.”

Regard­less of the time of year, Gov­er­nors Island is always a must-vis­it des­ti­na­tion, and the sec­ond-annu­al Win­ter Vil­lage has some­thing for every­one. I encour­age all New York­ers to hop on the fer­ry and try one of the many win­ter­time activ­i­ties or hud­dle by the fire pits,” said Man­hat­tan Bor­ough Pres­i­dent Mark Levine. Thank you to the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island for being incred­i­ble stew­ards of and con­stant­ly expand­ing pub­lic access to all that the island has to offer.”

Com­ing off the heels of pump­kin point week­end and the many oppor­tu­ni­ties to enjoy the amaz­ing canopy of fall foliage and bucol­ic nat­ur­al beau­ty of Gov­er­nors Island, Man­hat­tan Com­mu­ni­ty Board 1 is delight­ed to wel­come the sec­ond Win­ter Sea­son!” said Tam­my Meltzer, Chair­per­son of Man­hat­tan Com­mu­ni­ty 1. We look for­ward to the pub­lic enjoy­ing the Island’s beloved open spaces glis­ten­ing with fresh snow, the amaz­ing unfet­tered har­bor and sky­line views, events and cul­tur­al pro­gram­ming. Com­mu­ni­ty Board 1 is thrilled that the Trust con­tin­ues to enhance the pub­lic’s access to this price­less nat­ur­al resource through sun, snow and beyond.”

Dur­ing the win­ter months, Gov­er­nors Island is open to the pub­lic dai­ly from 7am to 6pm. Trust for Gov­er­nors Island-oper­at­ed fer­ries run dai­ly between the Bat­tery Mar­itime Build­ing at 10 South Street in Low­er Man­hat­tan and Sois­sons Land­ing on the Island. For sched­ules and tick­et­ing infor­ma­tion, vis­it www​.gov​is​land​.org. Trust-oper­at­ed sea­son­al week­end Brook­lyn fer­ry ser­vice will return in Spring 2023.

Round-trip fer­ry tick­ets cost $4 for adults. Gov­er­nors Island fer­ries are always free for chil­dren 12 and under, seniors 65 and up, res­i­dents of NYCHA, IDNYC hold­ers, cur­rent and for­mer mil­i­tary ser­vice mem­bers, and Gov­er­nors Island mem­bers. Fer­ries before noon on Sat­ur­days and Sun­days are free for all. There is no sur­charge for bicy­cles or strollers at any time.

NYC Fer­ry also serves Gov­er­nors Island dai­ly on the South Brook­lyn route. For tick­et­ing infor­ma­tion and full sched­ules for NYC Fer­ry, vis­it

Mov­ing Chains” to Open on Gov­er­nors Island Octo­ber 15


Rendering courtesy of TOLO Architecture

Cre­ative Time, Gov­er­nors Island Arts, and Times Square Arts are pleased to announce the open­ing of Mov­ing Chains on Gov­er­nors Island on Octo­ber 15, 2022, the sec­ond chap­ter of Charles Gaines’s The Amer­i­can Man­i­fest. The 110-foot kinet­ic sculp­ture acti­vat­ed by colos­sal chains rotat­ing over­head anchors a pub­lic art project that address­es the real­i­ty of sys­temic racism in the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca through embod­ied and visu­al expe­ri­ence, and pro­vides crit­i­cal his­tor­i­cal con­text on our extra­or­di­nary polit­i­cal divi­sion today. 

Announced in June 2022, Charles Gaines’s The Amer­i­can Man­i­fest is an exhi­bi­tion of mul­ti­me­dia sculp­ture, per­for­mances, and edu­ca­tion­al ses­sions that unfold in three parts across New York City and Cincin­nati, Ohio over 2022 – 23. The open­ing of Mov­ing Chains on Gov­er­nors Island fol­lows the project’s pre­mière in Times Square this July 2022 with Man­i­festos 4: The Dred and Har­ri­et Scott Deci­sion and Roots. Open­ing next, Mov­ing Chains will be on view to the pub­lic on Gov­er­nors Island in New York Har­bor from Octo­ber 15, 2022 through June 2023, before it moves to the banks of the Ohio Riv­er in Cincinnati. 

The sec­ond chap­ter in Charles Gaines’s mon­u­men­tal The Amer­i­can Man­i­fest, Mov­ing Chains is Gov­er­nors Island Arts’ largest pub­lic art com­mis­sion to date and will pro­vide a deeply immer­sive oppor­tu­ni­ty for Island vis­i­tors and all New York­ers to engage with the com­plex his­to­ries and lega­cies of Gov­er­nors Island, New York Har­bor, and the Unit­ed States as a whole,” said Mered­ith John­son, Vice Pres­i­dent of Arts and Cul­ture and Head Cura­tor at the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. Gov­er­nors Island Arts is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing trans­for­ma­tive artis­tic inter­ven­tions that encour­age New York­ers to engage with the most press­ing issues of our time, and we are hon­ored to work with Charles Gaines and our incred­i­ble part­ners to bring Mov­ing Chains to Gov­er­nors Island.”

Com­mis­sion­ing part­ner Cre­ative Time Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Jus­tine Lud­wig, elab­o­rates on the project, Cre­ative Time is com­mit­ted to com­mis­sion­ing works of art on the scale of dreams that chal­lenge expec­ta­tion. Ambi­tious pub­lic art projects, like the Mov­ing Chains, allow us to fore­front dif­fi­cult ques­tions and reex­am­ine his­tor­i­cal truths. Charles Gaines has pro­vid­ed a clar­i­ty of vision, and exe­cut­ed it on a large-scale that is impos­si­ble to ignore.”

New York City wel­comes the momen­tous pub­lic art engage­ment for New York­ers and its vis­i­tors, Each year, Gov­er­nors Island expands its con­tri­bu­tions to pub­lic art, cul­ture and cre­ativ­i­ty in our city,” said Deputy May­or for Eco­nom­ic and Work­force Devel­op­ment Maria-Tor­res Springer. I encour­age all New York­ers to take a trip out to expe­ri­ence Mov­ing Chains, Chap­ter Two of Charles Gaines’s The Amer­i­can Man­i­fest—a thought-pro­vok­ing and con­se­quen­tial sculp­ture and the Island’s largest pub­lic art com­mis­sion to date.”

For near­ly 50 years, Charles Gaines has dis­tin­guished him­self as an artist ded­i­cat­ed to the per­cep­tion of sub­jec­tive and objec­tive truths. In the artist’s first com­mis­sion of pub­lic art, in devel­op­ment for near­ly a decade, Gaines con­fronts the Amer­i­can ori­gin sto­ry — the nation’s found­ing and its expan­sion — with a series of art­works that dis­sect a nar­ra­tive rid­dled with false­hoods and omis­sions that have fur­thered the project of white suprema­cy. Trac­ing the flow of the his­tor­i­cal­ly charged rivers and ports of New York City and Cincinnati’s Ohio Riv­er, Gaines offers a mul­ti­fac­eted inter­ro­ga­tion of the dual role of the north­ern states in both main­tain­ing and abol­ish­ing slav­ery, and the endur­ing impli­ca­tions of the racial­ized sys­tems, myths, and log­ics that under­pin the nation’s eco­nom­ic and legal foun­da­tions today.

Open­ing Octo­ber 152022

Mov­ing Chains is a mon­u­men­tal 110-foot long kinet­ic sculp­ture built from steel and sus­tain­ably har­vest­ed Sapele, com­mon­ly referred to as African Mahogany, a tree native to West Africa. Cre­at­ed by Charles Gaines with col­lab­o­rat­ing archi­tects TOLO Archi­tec­ture, the sculp­ture, which peo­ple may enter and walk through, con­tains nine cus­tom made chains weigh­ing over 1,600 pounds each run­ning its length over­head. Eight of the chains are rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the pace of the cur­rents in New York Har­bor, while a ninth cen­tral chain moves more quick­ly, recall­ing the pace of ship and barge traf­fic that has trav­eled the city’s water­ways for cen­turies. The over­all effect of the weight and motion of the chains pro­duces a rhyth­mic, undu­lat­ing loop, evoca­tive of the sounds of New York Har­bor at the entrance to the Hud­son Riv­er, known to the area’s Indige­nous res­i­dents the Lenape as Mahi­can­tuck, the riv­er that runs two ways. Start­ing dur­ing the Dutch and British occu­pa­tions, this water­way near present-day low­er Man­hat­tan would become an eco­nom­ic pil­lar of the transat­lantic slave trade and seed the sys­tem of racial cap­i­tal­ism foun­da­tion­al to the Unit­ed States. Fac­ing the Stat­ue of Lib­er­ty — an inter­na­tion­al sym­bol of benev­o­lence and human rights, dis­tin­guished by the abo­li­tion­ist iconog­ra­phy of a bro­ken shack­le and chain at her right foot—Mov­ing Chains calls atten­tion to the nation’s eco­nom­ic, judi­cial, and polit­i­cal frame­works that con­tin­ue the lega­cy of slav­ery today.

To accom­pa­ny Mov­ing Chains, Cre­ative Time and Gov­er­nors Island Arts will present a con­fer­ence on abo­li­tion and the lim­its of the law on the Island this Spring 2023, recon­sid­er­ing legal and cul­tur­al def­i­n­i­tions of free­dom and the unfin­ished project of abo­li­tion. Bring­ing togeth­er an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary group of thinkers, the accom­pa­ny­ing pro­grams will ask, how can lib­er­a­tion be defined out­side of the con­fines of slav­ery and racial cap­i­tal­ism? What does free­dom look like? What tac­tics are nec­es­sary to get there? Who is lead­ing us in this work?

On the occa­sion of Mov­ing Chains, Black Gotham Expe­ri­ence, a project that reimag­ines spaces direct­ly impact­ed by the African Dias­po­ra estab­lished by artist and his­to­ri­an Kamau Ware, will offer an audio tour of the pre-colo­nial, colo­nial, and post-colo­nial pat­terns that have informed a cen­turies-long rela­tion­ship with what are known today as the East and Hud­son Rivers and New York Har­bor. Access to the tour will be avail­able through­out the path­way to Mov­ing Chains via QR code and on both the Cre­ative Time and Gov­er­nors Island Arts websites.


Sit­ed with­in two key cities whose his­to­ries have shaped the iden­ti­ty of Amer­i­ca, this project invites the pub­lic to con­sid­er New York and Cincinnati’s water­ways’ in both uphold­ing slav­ery and secur­ing lib­er­a­tion, a dual­i­ty that chal­lenges reduc­tive nar­ra­tives of the his­to­ry of slav­ery in Amer­i­ca, and con­tributes to the ongo­ing dia­logue about sys­tems and cycles of racism, extrac­tion, and oppres­sion expe­ri­enced today. 


Charles Gaines: The Amer­i­can Man­i­fest is made pos­si­ble in New York and Cincin­nati by the vision­ary sup­port of the Ford Foun­da­tion, Lam­bent Foun­da­tion Fund, a fund of Tides Foun­da­tion, the Mel­lon Foun­da­tion, VIA Art Fund, Foto­Fo­cus, The Stavros Niar­chos Foun­da­tion, Cha­ri­na Endow­ment Fund, Don­ald A. Pels Char­i­ta­ble Trust, the Jacques and Natasha Gel­man Foun­da­tion, Mor­gan Stan­ley, Wave Pool, and mediaThe Foun­da­tion, inc. 

Major sup­port is pro­vid­ed by Hauser & Wirth, Suzanne and Bob Cochran, Marie Dou­glas, Karl Iag­nem­ma and Ann-Kris­ten Lund, Jacob and Deb­o­rah Kotzubei, Jon Nei­dich, Bob and Renee Par­sons, San­jeev Rathi, Eric Richter, Wad­dell Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion, Jed Walen­tas, Christo­pher Walk­er, Mar­garet Wang, Debi and Steven Wisch, and addi­tion­al anony­mous donors. 

We are also grate­ful for the sup­port of the Nation­al Endow­ment for the Arts (NEA); pub­lic funds from the New York City Depart­ment of Cul­tur­al Affairs (DCA) in part­ner­ship with the City Coun­cil and May­or Eric Adams; and the New York State Coun­cil on the Arts (NYSCA) with the sup­port of Gov­er­nor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.


Charles Gaines’s Mov­ing Chains was devel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with TOLO Archi­tec­ture, as well as numer­ous pro­duc­tion part­ners in its design and con­struc­tion includ­ing, engi­neer­ing and mechan­i­cal design by AOA; instal­la­tion and build by Tor­silieri & Sons; sound engi­neer­ing by Arup; and fab­ri­ca­tion work by Strong­hold Indus­tries and Rozell Indus­tries.


A piv­otal fig­ure in the field of con­cep­tu­al art, Charles Gaines’s body of work engages for­mu­las and sys­tems that inter­ro­gate rela­tion­ships between the objec­tive and the sub­jec­tive realms. Using a gen­er­a­tive approach to cre­ate a series of works in a vari­ety of medi­ums, he has built a bridge between the ear­ly con­cep­tu­al artists of the 1960s and 1970s and sub­se­quent gen­er­a­tions of artists push­ing the lim­its of con­cep­tu­al­ism today. Gaines lives and works in Los Ange­les. He recent­ly retired from the CalArts School of Art, where he was on fac­ul­ty for over 30 years and estab­lished a fel­low­ship to pro­vide crit­i­cal schol­ar­ship sup­port for Black stu­dents in the M.F.A. Art pro­gram. He has been the sub­ject of numer­ous exhi­bi­tions in the Unit­ed States and around the world, most notably a mid-career sur­vey at the Pomona Col­lege Muse­um of Art and the Pitzer Col­lege Art Gallery in Clare­mont CA, as well as a muse­um sur­vey of his Grid­work at The Stu­dio Muse­um, Harlem NY, and Ham­mer Muse­um, Los Ange­les CA. His work has also been pre­sent­ed at the 1975 Whit­ney Bien­ni­al and the Venice Bien­nale in 2007 and 2015. An exhi­bi­tion of his work is cur­rent­ly on long term view at Dia:Beacon in New York. In addi­tion to his artis­tic prac­tice, Gaines has pub­lished sev­er­al essays on con­tem­po­rary art, includ­ing The­ater of Refusal: Black Art and Main­stream Crit­i­cism’ (Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Irvine, 1993) and The New Cos­mopoli­tanism’ (Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, Fuller­ton, 2008). In 2019, Gaines received the 60th Edward Mac­Dow­ell Medal. He was induct­ed into the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Design’s 2020 class of Nation­al Aca­d­e­mi­cians; as well as the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Arts and Let­ters in May 2022. In Jan­u­ary 2023, Gaines will be the sub­ject of a major one per­son exhi­bi­tion of new work at Hauser & Wirth New York.

Pump­kin Point Returns to Gov­er­nors Island on Octo­ber 22


The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island today announced the return of Pump­kin Point, a free annu­al pump­kin patch and fall fes­ti­val on Gov­er­nors Island. Locat­ed in his­toric Nolan Park, Pump­kin Point will bring over 1,000 pump­kins of all shapes and sizes to the Island’s his­toric dis­trict, trans­form­ing the idyl­lic set­ting along with its nat­u­ral­ly stun­ning fall foliage into a delight­ful­ly autum­nal escape with free pro­grams and activ­i­ties for vis­i­tors of all ages. Vis­i­tors are invit­ed to pick out their own pump­kins (free with sug­gest­ed dona­tion) on the week­ends of Octo­ber 22 – 23 and Octo­ber 29 – 30, 2022, from 10am to 5pm.

Fall is the per­fect time to come explore Gov­er­nors Island – from beau­ti­ful fall foliage to a free pump­kin patch to excit­ing pro­gram­ming, there is some­thing for every­one,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. We invite all New York­ers to hop on the fer­ry and take in the chang­ing seasons!”

This year’s fes­tiv­i­ties will include plen­ty of free fall moments, pump­kin paint­ing, and craft­ing activ­i­ties all tak­ing place Octo­ber 22 – 23 and 29 – 30, as well as a rotat­ing sched­ule of spe­cial events and per­for­mances from Ris­ing Sun Per­for­mance Com­pa­ny, Won­der­Spark Pup­pets, Drag Sto­ry Hour, Brook­lyn Mag­ic Shop, Fly­ing Leap Pro­duc­tions in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Gov­er­nors Island ten­ant Beam Cen­ter, the Nation­al Park Ser­vice, and more to be announced. A full sched­ule of each weekend’s events can be found online at www​.gov​is​land​.org/​p​u​m​p​k​i​n​-​point. Trick or treat­ing also returns to Pump­kin Point this year on Sun­day, Octo­ber 30 — cos­tumes encour­aged. Food will be avail­able for pur­chase onsite from Gov­er­nors Island ven­dors each weekend. 

Pump­kins left over from Pump­kin Point will be donat­ed to local orga­ni­za­tions fight­ing hunger in New York City, or com­post­ed on Gov­er­nors Island by Earth Mat­ter, which runs a Com­post Learn­ing Cen­ter at the Urban Farm on Gov­er­nors Island.

Each year, this mag­nif­i­cent free pub­lic event brings togeth­er peo­ple from all over New York City to enjoy the fall atmos­phere here on Gov­er­nors Island — one of the Island’s most mag­i­cal times,” said Dan­ny DiMari­no, Senior Man­ag­er, Vol­un­teer & Vis­i­tor Engage­ment at the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island. We can­not wait to wel­come vis­i­tors to pick up some pump­kins, enjoy free pro­grams, take in the crisp autumn air and chang­ing leaves, and bask in the most mag­i­cal time on Gov­er­nors Island.” 

In addi­tion to Pump­kin Point, vis­i­tors can enjoy a ros­ter of new events and activ­i­ties all month long: Gov­er­nors Island will par­tic­i­pate in For­est for All NYC’s inau­gur­al City of For­est Day with a vol­un­teer activ­i­ty and guid­ed tree walk on Octo­ber 15; Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Council’s Arts Cen­ter at Gov­er­nors Island, open Fri­days through Sun­days through the end of Octo­ber, will hold their month­ly Take Care Series on Octo­ber 16; FAD Mar­ket will hold their final fall pop-up on Octo­ber 15 and 16; NYCRUNS will hold their annu­al Haunt­ed Island 5K and 10K race on Octo­ber 29; Gov­er­nors Island Arts’ Orga­ni­za­tions in Res­i­dence con­tin­ue to present exhi­bi­tions and events in Nolan Park and Colonels Row through the end of Octo­ber; QC NY Spa is open dai­ly with dozens of well­ness expe­ri­ences and two large pools; and more. See a full event cal­en­dar at www​.gov​is​land​.org/​t​h​i​n​g​s​-​to-do.

Pump­kin Point is co-pre­sent­ed by the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island. Gen­er­ous sup­port for the event is pro­vid­ed by Nick­elodeon, Bloomberg Phil­an­thropies, and Intre­pid Productions. 

The Trees of Gov­er­nors Island: Sur­vey­ing Our Diverse Canopy


The young trees of Hammock Grove in the foreground, with the older trees of the North Island surrounding Liggett Hall in the background.

Guest post by Mal­colm Gore, Arborist at the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island

In the Win­ter and Spring of 2022, the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island con­duct­ed a sur­vey of all trees on Gov­er­nors Island to bet­ter under­stand the diver­si­ty, health, and longevi­ty of our unique urban for­est. The Trust received a grant from the New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion in 2021 to com­plete this sur­vey, and con­tract­ed Dav­ey Resource Group, a nation­al­ly respect­ed tree com­pa­ny, to con­duct the sur­vey and cre­ate a Com­mu­ni­ty For­est Man­age­ment Plan for this cru­cial canopy resource sit­u­at­ed in the mid­dle of New York Harbor. 

Why sur­vey our trees? It’s crit­i­cal that we have the full pic­ture of the Island’s tree canopy to make sure we are the best stew­ards we can be, ensur­ing our trees sur­vive — and thrive — for years to come. Gov­er­nors Island is home to almost 3,500 trees (3,496 to be exact) com­pris­ing 123 dif­fer­ent species. Of these trees, 97% are in either fair, good, or excel­lent con­di­tion — mean­ing they will con­tin­ue to pro­vide count­less ben­e­fits to the many human and non-human vis­i­tors of Gov­er­nors Island for years to come. Before div­ing into the spe­cif­ic ben­e­fits pro­vid­ed by our arbo­re­al friends, let’s take a look at the diver­si­ty of this island forest. 

Lon­don Plane Trees, with their dis­tinc­tive white bark and arch­ing branch­es, are the most plen­ti­ful tree on the Island as the 422 indi­vid­u­als rep­re­sent 12% of the total tree pop­u­la­tion on Gov­er­nors Island. They also account for a whop­ping 54% of the total leaf cov­er on the island, since most of them are mature trees that were plant­ed when Robert Moses was NYC Parks Com­mis­sion­er (while we aren’t sure the extent to which he had a say in the trees plant­ed on Gov­er­nors Island, Lon­don Plane Trees sprung up in huge num­bers across the city dur­ing this time peri­od— it seems they were his favorite tree). Hav­ing a sin­gle tree take up 12% of the canopy does come with some risk — if a new dis­ease that affect­ed Lon­don Plane Trees were to sweep through New York, Gov­er­nors Island would lose a lot of its canopy. This dis­ease risk is pre­cise­ly why the Trust is active­ly plant­i­ng many dif­fer­ent native tree species that will make our urban for­est more resilient. 

Com­ing in sec­ond are Swamp White Oaks, with 202 indi­vid­u­als that com­prise 6% of the total, fol­lowed by 150 of both North­ern Red Oaks and Riv­er Birch­es. Round­ing out the top five are the 120 Sweet­gums that call the Island home. These native tree species are vital­ly impor­tant to bird and insect pop­u­la­tions, as many types of cater­pil­lars (AKA baby bird food) feed on their leaves in the spring and summer. 

Addi­tion­al­ly, the major­i­ty of these trees are young and, as they grow and mature, will pro­vide more habi­tat and food for the pletho­ra of fau­na that vis­it the Island every year. 


Photo by Sarma Ozols

Bio­di­ver­si­ty isn’t the only impor­tant thing to con­sid­er when main­tain­ing a healthy tree canopy; the age diver­si­ty of the Island’s tree pop­u­la­tion is also impor­tant. Mature trees pro­vide more habi­tat and shade, but are also riski­er giv­en their greater bulk and sur­face area to catch wind­storms. The below chart rep­re­sents the rel­a­tive age of Gov­er­nors Island’s trees as com­pared to the ide­al to sus­tain a healthy forest.


Age breakdown of Governors Island's trees as compared to the ideal, compiled by Davey Resource Group, Inc.

As you can see, Gov­er­nors Island’s tree canopy con­tains near­ly dou­ble the amount of rec­om­mend­ed young trees — this is large­ly due to all of the trees plant­ed with­in the last five years in the Island’s award-win­ning park space. With prop­er care and time, these young trees should devel­op into estab­lished ones as soon as 2024, and this new urban for­est will become more robust and self-sufficient. 

Cur­rent­ly, only about 91 acres of Gov­er­nors Island’s 172 acres are con­sid­ered shad­ed, and the vast major­i­ty of that is in the Island’s His­toric Dis­trict under those 422 Lon­don Plane Trees. As the young oaks, sweet­gums, and birch­es grow and mature on the South Island, more of the Island will expe­ri­ence the cool­ing ben­e­fits of tree shade, thus ensur­ing that the island becomes a place to escape the city heat in upcom­ing summers. 

Besides shade, what oth­er ben­e­fits do these 3,500 trees pro­vide for New York­ers? For one, trees are experts at remov­ing pol­lu­tion from the air. The Island’s for­est removes 1,160 pounds of air pol­lu­tants annu­al­ly, improv­ing the air qual­i­ty and lung health of peo­ple in the sur­round­ing area. The more trees in a giv­en area, the bet­ter the air qual­i­ty which trans­lates to reduced rates of asth­ma and stress, and improved cog­ni­tion.

Trees also ben­e­fit the health of the plan­et by stor­ing car­bon. The trees of Gov­er­nors Island con­tain approx­i­mate­ly 1,245 tons of stored car­bon, and every year they cap­ture and sequester an addi­tion­al 22 tons. Mature trees store more car­bon that younger ones, sim­ply because they have more sur­face area and larg­er root sys­tems. Every year, trees grow a dense net­work of small feed­er roots, made of car­bon, that will die and be turned into organ­ic mat­ter in the late fall. The larg­er the tree, the more feed­er roots they grow each year, and the more car­bon they sequester underground. 

This is just one rea­son why the Trust is ded­i­cat­ed to main­tain­ing the health and longevi­ty of as many mature trees as pos­si­ble, and is tak­ing steps to reduce the upper canopy of at-risk trees so their roots sys­tems can con­tin­ue to cap­ture and store car­bon for many years to come. 

In addi­tion to stor­ing car­bon, trees can help mit­i­gate the effects of cli­mate change by reduc­ing storm dam­age and runoff. Tree roots act as giant sponges, soak­ing up vast quan­ti­ties of water that could quick­ly turn into tox­ic runoff, and the canopy inter­cepts del­uges of rain that would oth­er­wise hit the ground with force and cause com­paction or flash floods. On Gov­er­nors Island, the canopy pre­vents up to 378,000 gal­lons of runoff annu­al­ly, improv­ing the soil of our park space and pre­vent­ing pol­lu­tants from con­t­a­m­i­nat­ing New York Harbor.

All the data result­ing from this sur­vey is incred­i­bly valu­able to the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island, as it will help inform deci­sions on tree plant­i­ng, park main­te­nance, con­struc­tion projects, and pro­gram­ming events. The 3,500 trees on Gov­er­nors Island are a vital resource to the peo­ple of New York, and the Trust is com­mit­ted to ensur­ing that this cru­cial urban for­est remains healthy and resilient for many years to come. To learn more about urban forests and trees, come to Gov­er­nors Island on Octo­ber 15 for our City of For­est Day event — includ­ing a spe­cial vol­un­teer activ­i­ty and a tree walk­ing tour around the Island. Click here to learn more and register.

Gov­er­nors Island Cel­e­brates Cli­mate Week NYC 2022


Photo by Timothy Schenck

Sep­tem­ber 19 – 25, 2022, marks the four­teenth annu­al Cli­mate Week NYC, the biggest glob­al cli­mate event of its kind — an entire week ded­i­cat­ed to tak­ing action in the face of cli­mate change to ensure a bet­ter, more sus­tain­able future. Orga­nized by The Cli­mate Group in con­junc­tion with the Unit­ed Nations Gen­er­al Assem­bly and the City of New York, this year’s pro­gram­ming cen­ters around the theme Get­ting it Done.” 

The week is packed full of events — both vir­tu­al and in-per­son — held by a host of lead­ing cli­mate orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing some Gov­er­nors Island part­ners and ten­ants. Check out the full sched­ule of events online at cli​mate​week​nyc​.org.

Whether it’s through mon­u­men­tal pub­lic art com­mis­sions that engage direct­ly with the cli­mate cri­sis, the cli­mate solu­tions lit­er­al­ly built into the Island’s award-win­ning, 43-acre park, or the vibrant com­mu­ni­ty of ten­ants and part­ner orga­ni­za­tions lead­ing cli­mate work in inno­v­a­tive and equi­table ways, Gov­er­nors Island is a hub for cli­mate edu­ca­tion, arts, cul­ture, and oth­er pro­gram­ming every week of the year. We look for­ward to fur­ther expand­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for edu­ca­tion and research, encour­ag­ing pub­lic engage­ment in the cli­mate cri­sis, incu­bat­ing equi­table solu­tions, and grow­ing NYC-based green jobs through the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions on Gov­er­nors Island. Vis­it gov​is​land​.org/​c​l​imate to learn more about this vision and fol­low along with us on social media all week long for a look into every­thing that helps make Gov­er­nors Island a sus­tain­able community.

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