Experience Governors Island like never before! This weekend Governors Island features several special events in addition to its usual activities. Take advantage of the extended Island hours as we celebrate the Summer Solstice on Friday, June 23rd. Over the weekend, focus your mind and body with Meditation Summer. Be prepared to get wet as we introduce the Island's newest activity for the season - kayaking! Commemorate classical contemporary music with the Rite of Summer Music Festival.
Pinknic, Saturday-Sunday, June 24-June 25, 12 pm-9 pm, Play Lawn.
Following the runaway success of Pinknic’s 2016 debut, New York City’s largest rosé picnic and music festival returns to Governors Island this June for a two-day summer fête. 2017’s Pinknic is going to be full to the brim with delectable food, lively entertainment, and, of course, everyone’s favorite pink drink. Saturday and Sunday, over 12,000 guests all dressed in pink and white, will be invited to take a seat on one of the thousands of rosé-colored, designer-made picnic blankets. From noon till sunset, Governors Island will be transformed into a sea of pink, the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline offering the perfect backdrop for this much-anticipated affair.
In celebration of the Summer Solstice Governors Island will remain open until 10 PM on Friday, June 23! Gaze out from atop the Hills as you watch the breathtaking sunset on one of the longest nights of the year. Walk down to Liggett Terrace for food and cocktails as you experience the island after hours.
Entering its 7th season on Governors Island, Rite of Summer is a classical contemporary music festival featuring the country's finest artists. Pianists Blair McMillen, Pam Goldberg, Anthony De Mare and Phyllis Chen perform John Cage's masterpiece "Sonata & Interludes" with new "Interludes" written by composers Justin Hines, Daniel Felsenfeld, Angelica Negron, and Eleonor Sandresky.
Kayaking, Saturday-Sunday, June 24-June 25. Open to the Public 11 am-4 pm, Pier 101.
Escape the heat and be prepared to get wet! Located on Pier 101, The Downtown Boathouse provides sit-on-top kayaks along with instruction and necessary equipment. As you glide through the water, witness the progress made by activists in their continued effort to restore the harbor.
Meditation Summer, Friday-Sunday, June 23-25. Open to the Public 12 pm-6 pm, Colonels Row 407A.
Calm your mind and find tranquility. Meditation Summer presents six weekends of different meditation sessions led by experts, teachers, and Zen masters. The program also features two exhibits. Meditation and the Brain provides insight into the complexities of the human brain. The F Word: Stories of Forgiveness, only on view this weekend, utilizes meditation to enlighten guests on how to live a meaningful life.
Catch the final weekend of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's River to River Festival, including Open Studios and a gallery reception for A Supple Perimeter by Kameelah Janan Rasheed on Saturday. For the first and only time, witness 7 distinct dance performances meld together in Jennifer Lacey and Wally Cardona's play The Set Up throughout the weekend.
Pictured: Secretary of War George Dern arrives at Soissons Dock, Governors Island in 1934. Photo via the 16th Infantry Association
Governors Island fans know Soissons Landing as the place where the Coursen and Waterways Ferries drop off their visitors every weekend. And while Island history aficionados may know of its original use as a military base for over two centuries, very few know the story behind the name “Soissons”. So who, what, or where, is a Soissons?
As it turns out, Soissons is a city in Northern France that was the site of a WWI battle where a combination of French, British and American forces opposed German troops. Soissons held strategic importance due to its close proximity to Paris, which made it a last line of defense before reaching the capital. Over the five day period in 1918, Allied forces lost 125,000 soldiers, compared to 168,000 German casualties. The Allied troops were also able to regain much of the ground lost during the German Spring offensive, which reversed the deepest advance of the War into Allied territory.
Just after the war, the 16th Regiment was posted to Governors Island, and the ferry landing was named in commemoration of that unit’s role in a victory at Soissons.
We are excited to announce the opening of our new Welcome Center! Located behind the Welcome wall to the left of the Manhattan ferry landing, the Welcome Center serves as the information hub for Governors Island. Stop by to learn about all the activities the Island has to offer, including special programming and events for the day. Our friendly Visitor Services team is there to help. Made up of high school interns from our Harbor Internship Program and volunteers, our Visitor Services team will help orient you and answer any questions you have.
The Welcome Center also offers an array of Island essentials like sunblock, umbrellas, picnic blankets, snacks and beverages in addition to one of a kind Governors Island souvenirs and toys.
Loving your Governors Island experience? Become a member! Join online today or in-person at the Welcome Center. Governors Island members receive a 10% discount at the shop!
On Saturday,June 17, the first ever Nature Day Scavenger Hunt, organized and hosted by The Nature Conservancy in New York , is coming to Governors Island! This scavenger hunt, suitable for all ages, will challenge you to navigate a trail of tricky clues and puzzles across the island, where you will learn about the power of nature and the benefits it provides places like New York City.
Whether you’re a first-timer or seasoned visitor of Governors Island, this is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the amazing nature, history, and activities on the island. The hunt is free and open to the public. Teams or individual participants will have two hours from when they begin to complete the mission from Soissons Landing, down to Picnic Point, and finally, to Colonels Row.
Come by anytime between 10AM – 6PM on Saturday, June 17th. Ferries depart Manhattan starting at 10 AM and Brooklyn starting at 11 AM, and don’t delay – the hunt is only available to the first 300 users that arrive and log in! You can find the link to the browser based scavenger hunt on our website June 17th using your mobile device.
Thanks to the The Trust for Governors Island, and our partners Billion Oyster Project, Christodora, Earth Matter, GrowNYC, and Public Works Department, you will have the unique opportunity to discover the incredible nature that thrives on Governors Island. After you’re done with The Nature Conservancy’s Nature Day Scavenger Hunt, use your newly found nature toolkit to continue to explore the island on your own!
New York City depends on nature, and nature depends on us. Join our scavenger hunt and learn more about the critical role nature plays in our everyday lives.
World Ocean Festival Calls Climate Action Heroes to New York’s Governors Island on June 4
Supporters of the #ParisAgreement, Climate Activists and Ocean Lovers to March on New York’s Waterways and Governors Island for @WorldOceanFest
June 4, 2017, supporters of united action against Climate Change and in the pursuit of the global Sustainable Development Goals including ocean-focused Sustainable Development Goal 14 will take to the waterways of New York Harbor and to the shores of Governors Island to send a message to world leaders to #saveourocean.
The inaugural World Ocean Festival, organized by The Global Brain Foundation and hosted by the City of New York, will feature leading marine biologists, ocean advocates, entrepreneurs, and more speaking at a free, public program. The Festival is an effort to bring together people and organizations who care deeply about the ocean and who will stand together for its protection in advance of “The Ocean Conference” at the United Nations (June 5-9).
"The effects of climate change are no longer a question - it is a reality that we must proactively take action to mitigate and reduce our contributions to," said Michael Samuelian, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “As a fragile island destination surrounded by New York Harbor, Governors Island is proud to strongly advocate for the health of our waters and support the World Ocean Festival.”
World Ocean Festival Activities Include:
Ocean Marches (New York Harbor): The World Ocean Festival includes the first-of-its-kind march on the waterways of New York to send a message of support for our world’s ocean. Boats will gather near Pier 64 on the Hudson River Sunday, June 4 starting at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The historic John J. Harvey fireboat will lead the march through the water beginning at 12:00 p.m. Boats will round the tip of Governors Island at approximately 1:00 p.m. and then head up the East River to finish in front of United Nations Headquarters at approximately 2:30 p.m. For safety, boats must register online to participate at: http://www.worldoceanfest.org. Satellite Ocean Marches are being organized in Guadalajara, Mexico, Tenerife, Philippines, Australia, Myanmar, Nepal, Batam, Indonesia with Bali-based World Ocean Festival supporter and leading ocean activist organization Bye Bye Plastic Bags.
Ocean Village (Governors Island): On Governors Island, there will be a Youth Rally and land march as well as exhibits, awards and activities at Ocean Village on the Island’s southern tip: Picnic Point. The World Ocean Festival Speaker Forum sponsored by National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey will feature interactive panel discussions with leading ocean experts, entrepreneurs, scientists and advocates on the topics of Coral Reefs and Climate Change, Plastic Pollution, Fishing and Seafood and Urban Ocean Conservation from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The program is free and open to the public at the Ocean Village exhibition area at Picnic Point at the southern tip of Governors Island. The program will be capped off with a closing ceremony – featuring remarks by world renowned ocean scientist and advocate Dr. Sylvia Earle.
***NOTE *** Press is invited to board earlier ferries from Manhattan beginning at 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Ferries are also available from Brooklyn starting at 11:00 a.m. Press are encouraged to RSVP for waived fare (email@example.com).
The Trust for Governors Island is the nonprofit corporation created by the City of New York that is responsible for the redevelopment and operation of 150 acres of Governors Island. The Trust's mission is to transform Governors Island into a vibrant resource for New York City, making this island at the center of New York Harbor a destination with extraordinary public open space, as well as educational, not-for-profit and commercial facilities. For more information, visit http://www.govisland.com/.
The Global Brain Foundation is a 501 C3 not for profit corporation. Our mission is to create new initiatives and ventures to tackle issues where mass participation and collective action can unlock big change. Our current initiatives are in support of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals and new climate agreements. To learn more, visit: http://www.globalbrain.is/.
For the past 9 summers, FIGMENT has produced an Artist-Designed Mini Golf Course on Governors Island in New York City that is free and open to the public. This year’s theme is “New York City Has the Beat.” We are fortunate to live, work and play in one of the world’s most musically vibrant cities. This year’s Mini Golf holes relate to the sounds of the city or its music scene of the past, present or future.
Below are the 9 winning hole designs of 2017. Come out this summer to play them all! FIGMENT's Mini Golf opens on Saturday, June 3 and is located behind the Library building across from Castle Williams.
2017 Mini Golf Season June 3-August 24th Weekdays: 10am -5pm Weekends: 10am - 6pm
Hole #1: MINImalist GOLF by Night Multimedia Art
MINImalist GOLF is an homage to the New Yorkers who transformed our expectations of music through two musical movements known as minimalism and serialism. Coming out of New York's "downtown scene" of the 1960s, composers including John Cage and Philip Glass have repeatedly reinvented concepts in music, stepping away from the western classical traditions in favor newer experimental forms. We combine these musical elements with visual art by using electronic sensors powered by a microcontroller (a small, programmable computer) to trigger the performance of different segments of music composed by contemporary New York musicians.
Hole #2: Putt & Peal by Ronnie Kataki, Alice Song, Edward Wang
Bells are an essential part of the New York City soundscape.Their sonorous presence atop church spires disrupts and regulates our day, reminding us to take pause and reﬂect. We make reference to these bells with a landscape of 65 hand-made ceramic bells that will be mounted on a soft and vibrant topographic landscape. Mini golfers will putt their golf balls across undulating colors and clusters of ceramic ﬂora that will chime when bounced against, producing an impromptu music for Governors Island.
Hole #3: Honk Honk! Beeeeeep! Get out of my way! It's SHOOOWWWTIME! by Lexy Ho-Tai
New York City streets certainly have a beat of its own. It's exhausting and overwhelming. It's exciting and energizing. It's unapologetically New York City. Putt your way through people rushing about, angry traffic jams, street performers, and all the wonderful and weird nuances and noises of New York City.
Hole #4: Drop the Beat! By Can Vu Bui & Lane Rick
The boombox - the ultimate throwback symbol to the best music scene New York has ever cultivated. If Grandmaster Flex played mini-golf, this would be his jam. This boombox is a little bit different from what the b-boys might expect. Cassette tape obstacles lay in the ball's path and a hidden PLONK! lies somewhere on the way to the hole!
Hole #5: Feelin’ Groovy by Tad Philipp and Pam Tucker
Inspired by the 59th Street Bridge Song, also known as Feeling Groovy. Putt across a xylophone bridge to a happy place where 60’s style flowers are growin’ and all is groovy. PEACE.
Hole #6: Chiming in with Chamber Music by The Cellos
Make resonant connections to New York City’s musical heritage when you send your golf ball through chimes tuned to classical masterpieces. Listen for the notes of Bach, Mozart and New York City's own George Gershwin!
Hole #7: Here Ears Hear by Anthony May
Noise can annoy the most cavalier of city ears, so here's to pleasant sounds for near ears to hear. Steer sheer right for sincere chimes of cheer or disappear after spinning round a hemisphere tier. Veer from leery interfering to persevere over jeers of pinging and turn the smears of dreary blear into more dear melodies of revere.
Hole #8: Hit It! By Cat Chiu Phillips and Andrew Q Delaney
Hit It is inspired by the diverse and immense musical talent of the city including the legendary streets of Broadway and the Tin Pan Alley. Tee the ball across the course through the glockenspiel ramp through the vinyl records tunnel and down the large sheet music. Hit it to make some beats!
Hole #9: The Lion Dance by Ricky Nguyen
Welcome to Chinatown! Follow the lion dance troupe through this historic neighborhood. Bang and drum your way down Mott Street and end your journey under celebratory fireworks.
On June 4, 2017, the inaugural World Ocean Festival, organized by The Global Brain Foundation and hosted by the City of New York, will feature leading marine biologists, ocean advocates, entrepreneurs, and more speaking at a free, public program called World Ocean Festival Speaker Forum sponsored by National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey. The Festival is an effort to bring together people and organizations who care deeply about the Ocean and who will stand together for its protection in advance of “The Ocean Conference” at the United Nations (June 5-9).
The World Ocean Festival Speaker Forum will feature interactive panel discussions about coral reefs, plastic pollution, fishing and seafood and urban Ocean conservation on Sunday, June 4, 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The program is free and open to the public at the Ocean Village exhibition area at Picnic Point at the southern tip of Governors Island. The program will be capped off with a closing ceremony and awards presentation.
Curated and moderated by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D., Founder Ocean Collectiv, the World Ocean Festival Speaker Forum will delve into the issues that threaten the ocean as well as solutions for addressing them in an engaging way. The program includes panel discussions with the world’s experts on topics including “Coral Reefs and Climate” (11:00 a.m.), “Plastic Pollution” (1:30 p.m.), “Fishing and Seafood” (2:30 p.m.) and “Urban Ocean: Conservation” (3:30 p.m.). The program will include a rally featuring global youth ambassadors for the ocean.
Featured speakers include:
David Gruber, Marine Biologist, Emerging Explorer, National Geographic
Jeremy Jackson, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Jessica Harvey, Cayman Islands Project Manager, Guy Harvey Foundation
Jon Forrest Dohlin, VP & Director, Wildlife Conservation Society & New York Aquarium
Judd Harner, Vice President of Marketing, S’well Bottle
Karin Stratton, Partnership Manager, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program
Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director Europe, Oceana
Lea D’Auriol, Founder, Oceanic Global
Dr. Lisa Emelia Svensson, Director for Ocean, United Nations Environment
Martha Jeffries, Producer & Director, Years of Living Dangerously
Matt Gove, Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager, Surfrider Foundation
Melati Wijsen, Co-Founder, Bye Bye Plastic Bags
Miranda Massie, Director, The Climate Museum
Murray Fisher, Founder, Harbor School & Billion Oyster Project
Nishan Degnarain, Chair Oceans Committee, World Economic Forum
Youth Ambassadors from Sea Youth Rise Up and NYC Junior Ambassadors
In addition to World Ocean Festival Speaker Forum, the World Ocean Festival will include the first-of-its kind Ocean March parade of boats in New York Harbor led by the historic John J. Harvey fireboat. The Festival Village on Governors Island will feature a performance by a Fijian military band and awards for luminaries in the field of ocean science, environmental sustainability, global and local organizing, and ocean advocacy. The full program of activities can be found online at the World Ocean Festival website with registration information and a detailed program listing and speaker bios.
The World Ocean Festival is a public event hosted by the City of New York and organized by The Global Brain Foundation to raise peoples’ voices for the preservation and sustainable use of the Ocean (Sustainable Development Goal 14) in advance of the The Ocean Conference at United Nations Headquarters, which aims to be the game changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity. For more information about the World Ocean Festival and to register for the Ocean March on June 4, 2017, visit: http://www.worldoceanfest.org/
We've had a lovely spring on Governors Island thus far, but Memorial Day Weekend is when the fun really starts to pick up. From ziplining, adventure playgrounds and goat petting to free live music and new arts exhibitions, we've got something for everyone. Check out our guide to what's new this weekend!
Adventures @GI Opening Saturday, May 27. Open 10AM-6PM weekends, 10AM-5PM weekdays.
Adventures at Governors Island is NYC’s new premier destination for recreational entertainment located on the shore of beautiful Governors Island featuring 3 world class attractions; Flywire Zip Line, 3D Climbing Challenge, and the Amazen’ Maze.
Flywire Zip Line – Channel your inner superhero and soar to freedom on the most anticipated zip line in New York City. The Flywire Zip Line allows two people to zip down our 300 feet long cable side by side and hit up to 21 mph. The aerial attraction has a 35 foot peak at its starting point, high enough to deliver a sensational ride for the experienced thrill seeker but also able to accommodate beginner adventure seekers. Perhaps best of all, the ride experience will offer sensational views of the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan. Please note you must be at least 40 inches tall and 45 lbs to ride and must be less than 250 lbs. Safety harnesses must be worn. $12 or 2 tries for $20.
Amazen’ Maze - The kid in all of us is brought to life in this exciting adventure that is pure family fun. A giant maze nearly 3,600 square feet will challenge your sense of direction and problem solving skills. Families can compete with each other or with other families. It is not just about wandering around inside looking for the exit. Kids and adults sharpen their navigation skills. Maze runners must locate four checkpoints, each with a letter they punch on their passport. The object is to spell the word "MAZE” then exit as quickly as possible. $8.
Climbing Challenge - Gone are the days where rock climbing is for only the tried and tested. Participants can jump into the Climbing Challenge with any skill level. Scale your choice of 3 unique 25 foot walls that fit your ability. With a self-guiding belay system, each climber can choose their line and begin at their own pace. The wall challenge is fun for all ages. Please note climbers must weigh at least 40 lbs. and must be less than 250 lbs. to participate. Safety harness must be worn. $6.
Earth Matter NY’s Center on Governors Island showcases numerous devices and methods for making compost and caring for the 60 animals living in the Urban Farm, including goats and chickens (+50,000 if you count worms and bees)! Earth Matter composts yard waste from Governors Island, 28,000 pounds of on-Island food scraps and NYC green markets each month. The public is welcome to learn about composting through activities and animal care workshops with the goats and chickens weekends on Governors Island. https://earthmatter.org/compost-learning-center/
GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden is a 21,000 square foot urban farm that aims to excite and educate its visitors in all aspects of urban farming and environmental sustainability. The garden features over 65 vegetable beds, a ¼ acre small scale vegetable farm, an aquaponics system, an outdoor kitchen, a large solar oven, fruit trees, a rain garden and much more. Visitors can take a tour of the space or drop in on a rotation of programming offering garden activities, scavenger hunts and cooking demonstrations. https://www.grownyc.org/gardens/manhattan/governor...
Visit Children’s Museum of the Arts’ Free Arts Island Outpost on Governors Island every Saturday & Sunday this summer for free hands-on art making workshops and art-viewing experiences! The open outdoor space of the Free Arts Island Outpost beckons you to come collaboratively create! Young artists will be inspired and challenged to explore big projects utilizing found objects and traditional mediums. www.cmany.org.
play:groundNYC, open to the public weekends 11AM-4PM, Barry Road (near South Battery)
play:groundNYC operates a 50,000 square foot junkyard playground on Governors Island. The playground is free and open to the public every weekend. Trained staff provides materials and supervision so that young adventurers may have the chance to work with tools and building materials and explore physical, social and emotional problem solving. With the provided support, space and materials, young people can take control, construct, create and establish their own agendas. http://play-ground.nyc.
LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island opens Memorial Day weekend with three FREE, art-filled days including the opening of LMCC’s 2017 summer exhibition, A Supple Perimeter by Kameelah Janan Rasheed. In A Supple Perimeter, Rasheed begins with her research into ecology, entropy, and black traditions of experimental writing to construct an immersive ecosystem of texts, videos, projections, objects, and sound experiments that comment on selective legibility and the tension between public and private selves.
The weekend will also include Open Studios with Process Space Artists-in-Residence. Over the course of two days, audiences can roam this historic converted warehouse and experience a wide range of artwork, from live performance and theater to painting and sculpture to fiction and poetry. See the full list of participating artists below.
Finally, there will be four Open Rehearsals with some of LMCC’s Extended Life Artists-in-Residence including Cori Olinghouse, Marjani Forté-Saunders, Jillian Peña, and Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacey.
Writing on It All, Opens May 27 & will be open weekends & Tuesdays May 27-June 25, 1PM-4PM, Nolan Park House 11
Writing On It All is a participatory writing project open to all interested members of the public. In sessions led by artists and writers, participants are invited to write on the interior surfaces of an out-of-use house – and no two sessions are alike. Facilitators and session members take to the walls to write, attending to the dynamics of writing as well as to pressing issues of the day.
Visit Art of Intuitive Photography's juried show with the theme of intuitive photography. A mix of teen and adult students as well as photo teachers will showcase images captured in an intuitive moment. Smartphone and Intuitive Photography classes will be offered at the house on selected afternoons.
Be a Harbor Steward! Come learn about the Billion Oyster Project & New York Harbor School’s efforts to restore NY Harbor. Dive into our estuary and enjoy interactive activites, build your own oyster reef and find out how you can be a part of oyster restoration efforts in your neighborhood!
Entering its 7th season on Governors Island, Rite of Summer is a classical contemporary music festival run by NYC pianists Pam Goldberg and Blair McMillan. Rite of Summer showcases the country’s finest artists with an emphasis on the cutting edge. Memorial Day weekend, will feature Talujon Percussion. Over the past 25 years, Talujon has commissioned dozens of new works for percussion including quartets by Alvin Lucier, Henry Threadgill, Ralph Shapey, Wayne Peterson, Julia Wolfe, Ushio Torikai, Louis Karchin, and Eric Moe. The group has collaborated with composers and institutions including Steve Reich, James Tenney, The Brooklyn Philharmonic, Meredith Monk, and Tan Dun at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Symphony Space, and Roulette as well as universities and concert halls throughout the US, and at such festivals as Taipei’s Lantern Festival, BAM’s Next Wave Festival, Muzik3 Festival, Chautauqua, Festival of New American Music. Talujon maintains an active touring schedule including master classes/workshops at institutions such as the Juilliard School, Stanford University, University of Virginia, SUNY Buffalo, Harvard University, and the University of Oregon.
Kick off an exciting summer on Governors Island! Family Fun Day celebrates the season’s opening and the Island’s playful nature and free-range attitude. All performances and activities are family-friendly and FREE to the public.
Improvise with Story Pirates, be amazed and inspired by Mario the Magician and his inventions, show off your mad dance moves to Grammy-winning Tim Kubart and the Space Cadets, march with Shinbone Alley Stilt Band, and goof around with Loony Toony the Clown!
Last week we brought you the news of the newest member of the Governors Island park team, Quinn, and now we're adding two MORE additions to the Island's animal crew! Help us name the goats by posting your suggestions in the comments on Instagram @governorsisland or @EarthMatterNY. We'll announce the winning submission on Tuesday, May 30.
Each year our friends at Earth Matter bring have two visiting goats who live in Governors Island's Urban Farm. The two three month old kids (females) are visiting from Goodale Farms in Riverhead, Long Island. Like Rice and Beans, last year’s cohorts, the girls will spend open season with the NYC Compost Center hosted by Earth Matter at the Compost Learning Center located in GI’s Urban Farm. After the season, they will return to Goodale Farms, where they will be used for dairy production, and farming education.
The goats, like Earth Matter’s hens, contribute to the composting process by consuming NY residential vegetable scraps. Their manure is also high in Nitrogen and is a perfect “green” ingredient for the compost produced at Earth Matter's Center.
In addition to food scraps, the girls will also feast on excess CLC greenery (leaves, weeds, and branches) and milk (until weaned). Urban Farm visitors can help bottle feed and pet the goats every Saturday and Sunday from 12-1pm. Visitors can check out the NYC Compost Learning Center hosted by Earth Matter and the GrowNYC Teaching Garden weekends from 12-4PM during the season.
Many of you know and love Max, Governors Island's trusty working dog. Max plays an important role in making the Island's 90+ acres of open space enjoyable for humans by chasing flocks of Canada Geese, and serving as the official greeter for the hundreds of thousands of visitors coming off the ferry each season. Now that the Island is open to the public earlier this year and will soon be open year-round, Max's job has gotten even bigger!
While Max has been a star employee, we thought he could use some extra help. With that, we are thrilled to welcome the newest member of the Island's K9 working dog squad, Quinn! Quinn is a one year old rescued female Border Collie who was adopted just this week by our VP for Arts and Culture, Meredith Johnson. Quinn will live with Meredith and her family, but will work closely with six year old Max and his owner Jim Reed, our Director of Park and Public Space. Quinn has already begun the process of training with Jim and Max, and has natural herding instincts! While she will stay on a leash for the first few months of her employment, she will soon begin going on patrol like a pro.
While Canada geese can be lovely to look at, they leave a mess (they eat up to four pounds of grass a day and leave over a pound of waste per goose!), and can be aggressive toward people when they are nesting. To ensure the enjoyment and safety of visitors, as well as the safety of the geese, Max and Quinn will work to keep the geese off our lawns. Reducing the goose population helps our overall efforts to create wildlife habitats and increase ecological diversity on the Island in the form of terns, owls, kestrels, peregrine falcons, song birds etc., as well as a variety of flourishing plant life.
Border Collies are trained to herd and discourage the geese from hanging out, but they will never harm the animals. In fact, Border Collies are recommended by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Humane Society due to their highly evolved herding instincts. Like Max, Quinn was adopted from our friends at Mid Atlantic Border Collie Rescue Program in Maryland (http://www.mabcr.org).
Border Collies tend to be type “A” personalities that require challenging jobs in order to be happy dogs. They love training, rules and order, and they are well tempered, wonderful companions.
Here on Governors Island Max and Quinn will work together and in shifts, with Quinn learning commands and watching Max's patrols, allowing you to picnic, play ball and enjoy our new park spaces without having to worry about goose waste. While the Island doesn't allow pets with the exception of service animals, our working dogs Max and Quinn are friendly and are great with people. Max is always in his "Working Dog" uniform, and Quinn will wear her "In Training" vest as she gets up to speed. Feel free to stop and say hi when you see them on the Island this summer!
Follow Max and Quinn's adventures on Governors Island on Instagram @GIWorkingDogs, and be sure to follow @GovernorsIsland for the latest updates on what's happening this season.