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Click here for Memorial Day Weekend 2022 updates, schedules & visitor information.

Click here for Memorial Day Weekend 2022 updates, schedules & visitor information.

Gov­er­nors Island Arts and Film at Lin­coln Cen­ter Announce Free Out­door Film Series for 2022 Season

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Photo by Timothy Schenck

Gov­er­nors Island Arts and Film at Lin­coln Cen­ter announced today the return of free out­door film screen­ings on the Island for sum­mer 2022 fea­tur­ing John Cameron Mitchell’s Hed­wig and the Angry Inch on Fri­day, June 3 and Sid­ney Lumet’s The Wiz on Fri­day, August 5. This summer’s screen­ings are curat­ed by Film at Lin­coln Cen­ter and pro­duced by Rooftop Films and will take place on the Island’s his­toric Parade Ground — an expan­sive eight-acre lawn with wide-open views of Low­er Manhattan. 

Out­door films on the Parade Ground have become an icon­ic sum­mer tra­di­tion, and we can­not wait to wel­come film buffs and all New York­ers to Gov­er­nors Island for the fourth year of this land­mark series,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. Ensur­ing access to acces­si­ble, afford­able, and trans­for­ma­tive arts and cul­tur­al expe­ri­ences is a core ten­ant of Gov­er­nors Island Arts, and we are so excit­ed to part­ner with Film at Lin­coln Cen­ter once again for two evenings of free movie mag­ic with our amaz­ing city as backdrop.”

There’s no bet­ter spot than Gov­er­nors Island to catch a free movie under the stars, and this year’s selec­tion pro­vides audi­ences with an incred­i­ble range of engag­ing cin­e­mat­ic expe­ri­ences. We are thrilled to be launch­ing our fourth sea­son of this incred­i­ble part­ner­ship with Film at Lin­coln Cen­ter, pro­vid­ing even more New York­ers with the oppor­tu­ni­ty to gath­er togeth­er and enjoy film on Gov­er­nors Island,” said Mered­ith John­son, VP of Arts and Cul­ture at the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island.

Free out­door screen­ings in the sum­mer are a treat for New York audi­ences. Film at Lin­coln Cen­ter looks for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing icon­ic films on Gov­er­nors Island, a spec­tac­u­lar loca­tion to gath­er,” said Lesli Klain­berg, Pres­i­dent, Film at Lin­coln Cen­ter. With our friends at NewFest we are pleased to show­case the cult clas­sic Hed­wig and the Angry Inch and, togeth­er with our col­leagues at Dance Films Asso­ci­a­tion and the New York Inter­na­tion­al Chil­dren’s Film Fes­ti­val, we invite fam­i­lies and fans to expe­ri­ence the musi­cal adven­ture that is The Wiz.”

Both screen­ings are free and open to the pub­lic with pre-show enter­tain­ment kick­ing off at 7pm and films begin­ning at dusk. Food and drinks will be avail­able for pur­chase, includ­ing a beer gar­den by Threes Brew­ing along with food from Piz­za Yard and addi­tion­al Gov­er­nors Island ven­dors to be announced. 

Evening fer­ry ser­vice will run from Bat­tery Mar­itime Build­ing in Low­er Man­hat­tan, locat­ed at 10 South Street, depart­ing Low­er Man­hat­tan at 5:15, 5:45, 6:15, and 6:45pm. Fer­ries will return to Low­er Man­hat­tan from Sois­sons Land­ing at 9, 9:30, 10, 10:30, and 11pm. 

Vis­i­tors are encour­aged to reserve fer­ry tick­ets at www​.gov​is​land​.org/​ferry in advance of their trip, and face cov­er­ings con­tin­ue to be required on Trust-oper­at­ed fer­ries. 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 ser­vice­mem­bers, 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. 

Gov­er­nors Island is open to the pub­lic dai­ly year-round, Sun­day through Thurs­day from 7am to 6pm and Fri­day and Sat­ur­day from 7am to 7pm. Begin­ning Memo­r­i­al Day Week­end, the Island will remain open until 10pm on Fri­days and Sat­ur­days through Labor Day. 

Fri­day, June 3

Hed­wig and the Angry Inch (2001), direct­ed by John Cameron Mitchell, invites you to rock out! After falling in love with a U.S. Army sergeant, an East Berlin boy named Hansel under­goes a sex-change oper­a­tion so that he can legal­ly mar­ry his beloved. But the oper­a­tion is botched, leav­ing the boy less than a man, but not quite a woman. Desert­ed in a Kansas trail­er park, the boy/​girl, now named Hed­wig, rein­vents himself/​herself as a rock star. Based on the hit off-Broad­way musi­cal. Pre­sent­ed in asso­ci­a­tion with NewFest.

Fri­day, August 5

The Wiz (1978), direct­ed by Sid­ney Lumet, invites you to ease on down the yel­low-brick road! Relive all of the mag­ic of this beloved musi­cal when Dorothy is whisked away to the enchant­i­ng won­der­land of Oz, where she encoun­ters the Scare­crow, the Tin­man and the Lion. The Wiz fea­tures spec­tac­u­lar musi­cal num­bers from leg­endary pro­duc­er Quin­cy Jones and an all-star cast includ­ing Diana Ross, Michael Jack­son, Lena Horne, Richard Pry­or, Nipsey Rus­sell, and Ted Ross. Pre­sent­ed in asso­ci­a­tion with Dance Films Asso­ci­a­tion and New York Inter­na­tion­al Chil­dren’s Film Festival.


Gov­er­nors Island Brook­lyn Fer­ries Return May 72022

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Governors Island ferry departs Red Hook/Atlantic Basin, photo by Julienne Schaer

There are more ways to get to Gov­er­nors Island this sum­mer than ever before! In addi­tion to dai­ly Man­hat­tan fer­ry ser­vice from the Bat­tery Mar­itime Build­ing, Gov­er­nors Island fer­ries will again serve two Brook­lyn loca­tions with week­end ser­vice at Pier Six in Brook­lyn Bridge Park and Atlantic Basin in Red Hook, start­ing May 7, 2022. Click here for sched­ules and tickets.

In addi­tion, Gov­er­nors Island’s spring and sum­mer hours go into effect begin­ning May 7, 2022: Sun­day through Thurs­day from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Fri­day and Sat­ur­day from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. From Memo­r­i­al Day through Labor Day, the Island will remain open until 10:00 PM on Fri­days and Sat­ur­days — invit­ing New York­ers to enjoy evenings under the stars with some of the best views New York City has to offer.

Trust-oper­at­ed fer­ries will serve two Brook­lyn loca­tions again dur­ing the sum­mer months: Pier Six in Brook­lyn Bridge Park and Atlantic Basin in Red Hook. These routes will run direct­ly to Gov­er­nors Island from each loca­tion every Sat­ur­day, Sun­day, and hol­i­day Mon­day from May 7 to Sep­tem­ber 25, 2022, in addi­tion to dai­ly ser­vice from the Bat­tery Mar­itime Build­ing locat­ed at 10 South Street in Low­er Manhattan.

Vis­i­tors are encour­aged to reserve fer­ry tick­ets in advance of their trip, and face cov­er­ings con­tin­ue to be required. 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 ser­vice­mem­bers, 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. 

The trust also offers waived fares for non­prof­it com­mu­ni­ty-based orga­ni­za­tions, youth camps, and senior cen­ters through­out New York City. To inquire about group vis­its, orga­ni­za­tions may email groupvisits@​govisland.​org.

NYC Fer­ry ser­vice to Gov­er­nors Island on the South Brook­lyn route oper­ates week­days and non-sum­mer week­ends. On sum­mer week­ends dur­ing the high­est rid­er­ship sea­son, NYC Fer­ry will con­tin­ue to oper­ate its ded­i­cat­ed shut­tle from Pier 11/​Wall Street in Low­er Man­hat­tan. Tick­et­ing infor­ma­tion and full sched­ules can be found here.

Trust for Gov­er­nors Island Announces Next Steps in Plans to Estab­lish Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solutions

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Photo by Roger Kapsalis

The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island (the Trust) today announced the next steps in the com­pe­ti­tion to estab­lish a glob­al Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions on Gov­er­nors Island. As the final phase of a glob­al com­pe­ti­tion, four teams led by top uni­ver­si­ties will respond to a tar­get­ed Request for Pro­pos­als (RFP) released today. Announced as part of May­or Eric Adams’ Rebuild, Renew, Rein­vent: A Blue­print for NYC’s Eco­nom­ic Recov­ery,” the RFP will select an anchor aca­d­e­m­ic and research part­ner to build a new state of the art insti­tu­tion ded­i­cat­ed to research­ing and demon­strat­ing urban cli­mate solu­tions, and advanc­ing edu­ca­tion and train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for New York­ers in cli­mate and envi­ron­men­tal fields.

The Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions on Gov­er­nors Island will posi­tion New York City as the world­wide leader in devel­op­ing solu­tions to the cri­sis of our time while cre­at­ing thou­sands of new jobs to fuel our city’s post-COVID recov­ery,” said Deputy May­or for Eco­nom­ic and Work­force Devel­op­ment Maria Tor­res-Springer. The new­ly cre­at­ed Cli­mate Cen­ter Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee is made up of experts in their field that are com­mit­ted to the long-term health of our city and our plan­et, and we look for­ward to their guid­ance as we enter the next phase of this process.”

Today’s announce­ment rep­re­sents a cru­cial step in estab­lish­ing New York City as a glob­al leader in the devel­op­ment of equi­table cli­mate solu­tions,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. Gov­er­nors Island’s sin­gu­lar envi­ron­ment, grow­ing com­mu­ni­ty of ten­ants and part­ners, and cli­mate-resilient land­scapes make it an unpar­al­leled place to devel­op, show­case, and scale new ideas. We look for­ward to work­ing with the final­ist teams, as well as the new­ly formed Cli­mate Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee, on the next phase of this project.”

New York City is at the fore­front of gen­er­at­ing inno­v­a­tive and equi­table solu­tions to some of our nation’s most com­plex chal­lenges,” said Ali­cia Glen, Founder and Man­ag­ing Prin­ci­pal of MSquared and Chair of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island Board of Direc­tors. The Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions on Gov­er­nors Island will fur­ther estab­lish our City as a glob­al leader in com­bat­ing the cli­mate cri­sis. We are excit­ed to work with the final­ist teams and are grate­ful for the amaz­ing set of stake­hold­ers, aca­d­e­mics, and thought lead­ers for being our strate­gic part­ners on the next steps of this journey.”

New York City is fac­ing some of the most com­plex cli­mate adap­ta­tion chal­lenges in the world,” said Kizzy Charles-Guz­man, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the NYC May­or’s Office of Cli­mate and Envi­ron­men­tal Jus­tice. The Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions will bring togeth­er action­able sci­ence, com­mu­ni­ty-based part­ner­ships, and inno­v­a­tive and equi­table solu­tions to com­mu­ni­ties on the front­line of the cli­mate cri­sis. We look for­ward to learn­ing from the world-class work on Gov­er­nors Island and applaud the Trust for their cli­mate leadership.”

The Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions is a ground­break­ing ini­tia­tive designed to fur­ther New York City as a glob­al leader in efforts to respond to the cli­mate cri­sis. On Gov­er­nors Island, the project will sup­port the research, devel­op­ment, and demon­stra­tion of equi­table cli­mate solu­tions for New York City that can be scaled and applied glob­al­ly. Through inter­dis­ci­pli­nary edu­ca­tion, train­ing, and broad pub­lic engage­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties, the Cen­ter will sup­port the growth of green and cli­mate-relat­ed jobs dri­ving New York City’s recov­ery from the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic and will serve as a nation­al mod­el for grow­ing green- and blue-tech sec­tors. At full build, the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions will cre­ate 7,000 per­ma­nent jobs on Gov­er­nors Island alone, and near­ly $1B in fis­cal impact for the city of New York.

The four teams invit­ed to move to the next stage in the com­pe­ti­tion by respond­ing to the RFP were select­ed as final­ists to anchor the Cen­ter based on visions put forth in response to a com­pet­i­tive Request for Expres­sions of Inter­est released in June, 2021 and are led by the fol­low­ing institutions:

  • The City Uni­ver­si­ty of New York (CUNY) and The New School
  • Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy (MIT)
  • North­east­ern University
  • Stony Brook University

As part of the RFP released today, select­ed final­ist teams will have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to fur­ther refine their pro­posed cur­ricu­lum and research pro­gram, design of facil­i­ties, phas­ing, and team mem­bers and struc­ture. Pre-qual­i­fied respon­dents will be required to fur­ther artic­u­late their vision for how their project will advance cli­mate-relat­ed fields and fur­ther the City’s goals, includ­ing con­nect­ing New York­ers with edu­ca­tion­al and work­force train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties, show­cas­ing inno­v­a­tive approach­es to sus­tain­able and resilient design, and enhanc­ing Gov­er­nors Island’s unique phys­i­cal set­ting, and cre­at­ing broad­er oppor­tu­ni­ties for New York­ers. Respons­es to the RFP are due July 27, 2022. To read the full RFP doc­u­ment, please vis­it gov​is​land​.org.

May­or Eric Adams and the Trust also announced today the for­ma­tion of an Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee to sup­port the selec­tion of an anchor aca­d­e­m­ic and research insti­tu­tion for the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions. This group of experts from cli­mate sci­ence, pol­i­cy, envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice, phil­an­thropy, and busi­ness will advise on the city’s efforts to cre­ate a Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions on Gov­er­nors Island through­out the RFP process and will pro­vide input on prospec­tive aca­d­e­m­ic and research part­ners’ pro­pos­als to a selec­tion com­mit­tee made up of City and Trust officials.

The Cli­mate Cen­ter Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee announced today includes the fol­low­ing members:

  • Eddie Bautista, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, NYC-EJA
  • Dana Bour­land, Senior Vice Pres­i­dent, Envi­ron­ment and Strate­gic Ini­tia­tives, The JPB Foundation
  • Chris­t­ian Bra­ne­on, Cli­mate Sci­en­tist, NASA God­dard Insti­tute for Space Studies
  • Mar­co Car­rión, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, El Puente
  • Mark Cham­bers, Senior Direc­tor for Build­ing Emis­sions and Com­mu­ni­ty Resilience, White House Coun­cil on Envi­ron­men­tal Qual­i­ty, Exec­u­tive Office of Pres­i­dent Joseph R. Biden, For­mer Direc­tor of Sus­tain­abil­i­ty, City of New York 
  • Dr. Luz Clau­dio, Pro­fes­sor of Envi­ron­men­tal Med­i­cine and Chief of the Divi­sion of Inter­na­tion­al Health, Icahn School of Med­i­cine at Mount Sinai
  • Cheryl Cohen Effron, Senior Advi­sor, Tish­man Speyer
  • Adam Freed, Prin­ci­pal, Sus­tain­abil­i­ty, Bloomberg Asso­ciates
  • Chante Har­ris, Direc­tor, Cli­mate Invest­ment and Part­ner­ships, Ven­ture for Cli­mateTech, Sec­ond Muse
  • Kyle Kim­ball, Vice Pres­i­dent, Gov­ern­ment Rela­tions, ConEdi­son
  • Michael Northrop, Pro­gram Direc­tor, Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment, Rock­e­feller Broth­ers Fund
  • Michael Oppen­heimer, Albert G. Mil­bank Pro­fes­sor of Geo­sciences and Inter­na­tion­al Affairs, Prince­ton University
  • Henk Ovink, Spe­cial Envoy for Inter­na­tion­al Water Affairs, King­dom of the Netherlands
  • Julie Tighe, Pres­i­dent, New York League of Con­ser­va­tion Voters

Fol­low­ing the response dead­line, the City and the Trust will launch a process in Fall 2022 where infor­ma­tion on received pro­pos­als will be shared with the pub­lic for input to inform the selec­tion of an aca­d­e­m­ic and research partner.

I am proud of our com­pe­ti­tion final­ists, who embody New York City’s lead­er­ship in envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment,” said Sen­a­tor Kirsten Gilli­brand. I want to thank New York City lead­ers and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island for pro­vid­ing the nec­es­sary invest­ments and resources to help our envi­ron­men­tal lead­ers of tomor­row seek bold, inno­v­a­tive, and inclu­sive solu­tions to cli­mate change.”

The release of the tar­get­ed RFP for the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions on Gov­er­nors Island brings us one step clos­er to estab­lish­ing a world class insti­tu­tion to tack­le the exis­ten­tial threat of cli­mate change”, said Con­gress­man Jer­ry Nadler. When this process is final­ly com­plet­ed, New York will be a leader in edu­ca­tion, research and col­lab­o­ra­tion around cli­mate change and help bring green jobs and infra­struc­ture to our city.”

The Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions will play an inte­gral role in our city’s work to respond and adapt to cli­mate change, and I’m excit­ed for the next phase of this process,” said Man­hat­tan Bor­ough Pres­i­dent Mark Levine. These four final­ist teams will have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to ensure the Cli­mate Cen­ter rev­o­lu­tion­izes how we under­stand and plan for the future. I’m look­ing for­ward to work­ing with the Trust and local com­mu­ni­ty through­out the selec­tion process, and could not be more proud that this work will be tak­ing place on Gov­er­nors Island.”

Encour­ag­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion and inno­va­tion from experts and part­ners to help find new ways to com­bat the chal­lenges of cli­mate change is expect­ed to move the nee­dle fur­ther,” said Brook­lyn Bor­ough Pres­i­dent Anto­nio Reynoso. I look for­ward to see­ing what our final­ists put forth for the future Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions on Gov­er­nors Island.”

I con­grat­u­late the final­ists on mak­ing it to the next stage of this process, and the Gov­er­nors Island Trust for attract­ing such strong con­tenders seek­ing to help cre­ate the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions,” said State Sen­a­tor Bri­an Kavanagh, who rep­re­sents Gov­er­nors Island. I look for­ward to learn­ing more about the pro­pos­als in the com­ing months and work­ing with the new­ly formed Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee as the process moves for­ward. I appre­ci­ate the Trust’s con­tin­ued efforts to engage with the com­mu­ni­ty on this and its ded­i­ca­tion to address­ing the cli­mate cri­sis and sup­port­ing equi­table cli­mate solutions.”

Cli­mate change is the exis­ten­tial chal­lenge of our time, and New York City can lead the way in cre­at­ing real solu­tions for our com­mu­ni­ties, and for cities around the world,” said Coun­cil Mem­ber Jim Gen­naro, Chair of the Com­mit­tee on Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion. Locat­ed at the cen­ter of New York Har­bor, Gov­er­nors Island is well posi­tioned to be a hub for sci­en­tif­ic research, learn­ing, and job train­ing to make New York the place for glob­al cli­mate action. I com­mend May­or Eric Adams and the Trust for mov­ing this project for­ward, and look for­ward to work­ing with them in cre­at­ing this cen­ter for cli­mate solutions.”

Man­hat­tan Com­mu­ni­ty Board 1 is excit­ed to see for­ward progress towards the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions on Gov­er­nors Island. The Board is eager to embark on the next steps of engage­ment with the pub­lic when respons­es are received for this tar­get­ed RFP. We look for­ward to work­ing with the Trust towards com­mon goals of address­ing the cli­mate cri­sis, and also in bal­anc­ing progress on the Island with preser­va­tion of its beloved bucol­ic open spaces and pub­lic assets,” said Tam­my Meltzer, Chair­per­son of Man­hat­tan Com­mu­ni­ty Board 1.

This RFP is an excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for the final­ists to refine their visions for how cli­mate research, inno­va­tion and demon­stra­tion can be inter­wo­ven into the fab­ric of our unique pub­lic space,” said Mer­ritt Birn­baum, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island. The select­ed aca­d­e­m­ic part­ner will bring new resources to enliv­en the Island’s indoor and out­door spaces year-round. We look for­ward to work­ing along­side the Trust and the Island’s com­mu­ni­ty of cli­mate and envi­ron­men­tal-focused orga­ni­za­tions to con­tin­ue enhanc­ing the public’s expe­ri­ence of Gov­er­nors Island.”

The Gov­er­nors Island Cli­mate Cen­ter is tak­ing anoth­er impor­tant step clos­er to real­i­ty,” said Tom Wright, Pres­i­dent and CEO, Region­al Plan Asso­ci­a­tion. Since RPA first launched the Gov­er­nors Island Alliance in 1995 to pro­mote pub­lic uses for the island, we have been pleased to see Gov­er­nors Island become a vital and impor­tant pub­lic ameni­ty. Now, as the region grap­ples with the cli­mate cri­sis, we are proud to stand with the Trust as it becomes a leader for urban cli­mate research, green jobs train­ing, and resiliency.”

Every step in this process brings New York City clos­er to being a leader in an endeav­or that is vital to our future,” said Jes­si­ca Lap­pin, Pres­i­dent of the Alliance for Down­town New York. The Cli­mate Solu­tions Cen­ter will ulti­mate­ly bring two things we des­per­ate­ly need: jobs and hope in our bat­tle against the inex­orable forces of cli­mate change.”

The Asso­ci­a­tion for a Bet­ter New York (ABNY) is pleased to see the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions is one step clos­er to real­i­ty. By issu­ing the Request for Pro­pos­als (RFP) to these four pres­ti­gious final­ists, the Cli­mate Cen­ter Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee undoubt­ed­ly will receive inno­v­a­tive plans focused on cre­at­ing a green, equi­table future for all New York­ers for gen­er­a­tions to come. We applaud May­or Adams and The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island for their ded­i­ca­tion to cre­at­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for New York­ers in the fast-grow­ing cli­mate and envi­ron­men­tal fields, and we look for­ward to the pub­lic review process,” said Mel­va Miller, CEO of the Asso­ci­a­tion for a Bet­ter New York.

Green City Force is excit­ed about the holis­tic approach and com­mit­ment to econ­o­my, ecol­o­gy and equi­ty, fea­tured in the design and vision of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions. The glob­al Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions will be a crit­i­cal fac­tor in NYC’s next chap­ter pri­or­i­tiz­ing real and col­lec­tive action to address cli­mate and resilien­cy in all bor­oughs and cor­ners of our #future­greenci­ty. Recog­ni­tion of the vari­ety of inputs and stake­hold­ers need­ed to build long-term, sol­id careers in the green econ­o­my for all New York­ers is a crit­i­cal part of the frame­work. We look for­ward to work­ing with the cen­ter as a vital new part of the NYC ecosys­tem work­ing to build the resilient and thriv­ing NYC we all need for a just tran­si­tion,” said Tonya Gayle, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Green City Force.

This extra­or­di­nary and vital ini­tia­tive is a great source of excite­ment here at the Cli­mate Muse­um,” said Miran­da Massie, Direc­tor of the Cli­mate Muse­um. We’re proud to have part­nered with the Gov­er­nors Island team from our very begin­ning, and delight­ed to be part of this crit­i­cal next step in a momen­tous time.”

The future of Gov­er­nors Island, one of the jew­els of New York City, is right­ly con­nect­ed to cli­mate solu­tions need­ed for our col­lec­tive future in the com­ing decades and cen­tu­ry,” said Cort­ney Koenig Wor­rall, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Water­front Alliance. Today’s announce­ment is excit­ing as it rep­re­sents one of the final steps in deter­min­ing the direc­tion the City and its future insti­tu­tion­al part­ner will take to bring local and glob­al cli­mate solu­tions, inno­va­tion, and cli­mate jobs to New York City. The cli­mate cri­sis calls for trans­for­ma­tion­al solu­tions for com­mu­ni­ties, indus­try, plan­ning, and infra­struc­ture and we are pleased the oppor­tu­ni­ty at Gov­er­nors Island reflects this challenge.”

New York has so much poten­tial to be a glob­al leader in find­ing solu­tions to cli­mate change,” said Jonathan Bowles, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor for Cen­ter for an Urban Future. Anchor­ing this research cen­ter on Gov­er­nors Island will help the city get there and help spark loads of good jobs in a part of the econ­o­my that’s poised for con­sid­er­able growth.”

Con­grat­u­la­tions to the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island for its progress in estab­lish­ing a Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions,” said GrowNYC Pres­i­dent and CEO Mar­cel Van Ooyen. GrowNY­C’s part­ner­ship with the Trust, allow­ing for the oper­a­tion of our Teach­ing Gar­den on the island, is invalu­able. We are so thank­ful for the many years of sup­port from the Trust and look for­ward to work­ing close­ly with the team that wins the bid.”

It’s encour­ag­ing to see a com­mit­ment to edu­ca­tion and work­force devel­op­ment estab­lished in the foun­da­tion of The Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions,” said Pete Mali­nows­ki, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of Bil­lion Oys­ter Project. Gov­er­nors Island ten­ants, like Bil­lion Oys­ter Project and the Urban Assem­bly New York Har­bor School, view the new Cen­ter as a sig­nif­i­cant step towards build­ing a vibrant, restora­tive, and acces­si­ble New York Harbor.”

Gov­er­nors Island con­tin­ues to lead the charge in being the pre­mier envi­ron­men­tal resource for the stu­dents of the Urban Assem­bly New York Har­bor School and the NYC Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion,” said Jef­frey Che­tirko, Prin­ci­pal of the Urban Assem­bly New York Har­bor School. The wide array of com­mu­ni­ties, who inhab­it Gov­er­nors Island, rep­re­sent the ide­al cur­ricu­lum for our city’s stu­dents’ as they pre­pare for their future: edu­ca­tion, play, well­ness, art, sus­tain­abil­i­ty, hor­ti­cul­ture, restora­tion and now Cli­mate Solu­tion Research. The NYC May­or and Gov­er­nors Island lead­er­ship have cre­at­ed a fair and equi­table process for the inter­est­ed insti­tu­tions. With the inclu­sion of a Cli­mate Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee, experts in their fields will ensure our NYC stu­dents will ben­e­fit in edu­ca­tion and work expe­ri­ence from the cre­ation of the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tion for years to come”

Gov­er­nors Island select­ed a fan­tas­tic group of con­tenders for the site,” said Amy Chester, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of Rebuild by Design. We are excit­ed to see the inno­v­a­tive cli­mate solu­tions the teams will bring to both the Island, and to our City.”

Mes­sage from a Gov­er­nors Island gar­den­er: Sup­port the Crit­i­cal Care for the Park Fund

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Hel­lo! Ele­na here, from the Gov­er­nors Island gar­den­ing team. I have a favor to ask.

Spring is my favorite sea­son on the Island. This spring feels even more excit­ing and full of firsts: Now that Gov­er­nors Island is open year-round, it’s the first time vis­i­tors like you can expe­ri­ence spring here from start to fin­ish. It also marks the start of many bold projects we’re tak­ing on to make this spe­cial place even more beau­ti­ful and wel­com­ing for vis­i­tors, native plants, and pol­li­na­tors alike! The gar­den­ing team can’t do it alone though. Will you pitch in?

Your gift to the Crit­i­cal Care for the Park Fund will help us make progress on impact­ful projects all over the Island:

  • You’ll help my team estab­lish a new 1.7- acre mead­ow of native flow­ers and grass­es, cre­at­ing a haven for bees, but­ter­flies and oth­er pollinators.
  • You’ll strength­en our Island-wide tree-care and repop­u­la­tion plan: from car­ing for the young trees on the Play Lawns and Ham­mock Grove so they can grow and con­tin­ue to pro­vide shade, to plant­i­ng more spring bloom­ing and large canopy trees that will pro­vide wildlife habi­tat and beau­ty on the Island for decades.
  • You’ll sup­port us in estab­lish­ing a wood­land under­sto­ry in Ham­mock Grove, help­ing tran­si­tion the area from a mead­ow to a young urban woodland.

Help us meet our $25,000 fundrais­ing goal by mak­ing a gift today.

Here are a few pho­tos of the gar­den­ing team and some of our amaz­ing gar­den­ing vol­un­teers at work on the Island!

Me in the green­house, check­ing on the plants we’re grow­ing from seed. (Pho­to: Sar­ma Ozols)
This year the team is com­mit­ted to plant­i­ng 100 trees on the Island, as part of our tree re-pop­u­la­tion ini­tia­tive. (Pho­to: Sar­ma Ozols)

Every year the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island raise near­ly 75% of the fund­ing need­ed to care for Gov­er­nors Island’s open spaces, but we can’t do it with­out you. Please pitch in to sup­port the gar­den­ing team in car­ing for the Island and pro­gress­ing these excit­ing, for­ward-look­ing projects. Your impact will ensure the Island’s longevi­ty as a nat­ur­al haven for decades to come. Click here to make your gift today.

Thank you for your part­ner­ship in car­ing for this oasis in New York Harbor.

See you on the Island soon,

Ele­na Day, Gov­er­nors Island Gardener

These projects will make the Island a more beau­ti­ful and wel­com­ing place for vis­i­tors, plants and pol­li­na­tors (like these Monarch but­ter­flies), alike!

Mon­u­men­tal Liv­ing Art­work The Open Orchard” by Sam Van Aken Opens April 29

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Fruit from Van Aken's previous Tree of 40 Fruit project

The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island announced today the open­ing of a new com­mis­sioned art­work by mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary artist Sam Van Aken with­in Gov­er­nors Island’s award-win­ning park. Tak­ing the form of a pub­lic orchard com­pris­ing 102 fruit trees, The Open Orchard will act as a liv­ing archive for antique and heir­loom fruit vari­eties that were grown in and around New York City in the past 400 years but have most­ly dis­ap­peared due to cli­mate change and the indus­tri­al­iza­tion of agri­cul­ture. The Open Orchard will open to the pub­lic on Arbor Day, April 292022

The fruit vari­eties present in The Open Orchard all are indige­nous to, orig­i­nat­ed in or have been his­tor­i­cal­ly grown in New York City. Using a unique graft­ing process, Van Aken com­bines mul­ti­ple fruit vari­eties into a sin­gle tree — so dif­fer­ent vari­eties grow along­side one anoth­er and the trees blos­som in a rain­bow of white, pink, and crim­son. Beyond their aes­thet­ic appeal, these hybrid trees under­take the crit­i­cal­ly impor­tant work of pre­serv­ing dozens of rare fruit vari­eties in a safe envi­ron­ment, pro­vid­ing a road map for inno­v­a­tive tech­niques to main­tain vital bio­di­ver­si­ty in the face of a chang­ing climate. 

Arts and cul­ture are essen­tial to the well-being and vital­i­ty of New York City, and May­or Adams’ eco­nom­ic recov­ery blue­print reflects that,” said Deputy May­or for Eco­nom­ic and Work­force Devel­op­ment Maria Tor­res-Springer. As our city con­tin­ues its recov­ery, Gov­er­nors Island will play a major role in sup­port­ing artists, arts orga­ni­za­tions, and audi­ences in deliv­er­ing acces­si­ble cul­tur­al expe­ri­ences. I encour­age all New York­ers to expe­ri­ence this new art­work and explore all that Gov­er­nors Island has to offer.” 

Sam Van Aken’s vital work trans­forms pre­con­ceived notions about what pub­lic art can be, pre­serves the eco­log­i­cal his­to­ry of our region, and allows New York­ers from all five bor­oughs to enjoy a beau­ti­ful pub­lic orchard in the heart of New York har­bor,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. The Island is an ide­al loca­tion to explore issues of envi­ron­men­tal preser­va­tion and the felt impacts of cli­mate change through art and pub­lic engage­ment. We can­not wait to wel­come Island vis­i­tors to expe­ri­ence this ambi­tious work in person.” 

Sam Van Aken’s The Open Orchard is a once in a life­time project that could only exist in the mag­i­cal land­scape that is Gov­er­nors Island,” said Mered­ith John­son, Vice Pres­i­dent of Arts & Cul­ture and Head Cura­tor at the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. It is a gift to work with such a vision­ary artist whose work is a com­bi­na­tion of sculp­ture, archive and pub­lic space, pro­vid­ing New York­ers the rare oppor­tu­ni­ty to phys­i­cal­ly time trav­el by see­ing, touch­ing, and tast­ing his­to­ry while also reflect­ing on our col­lec­tive future.” 

The Open Orchard on Gov­er­nors Island, and the expan­sive orchard tak­ing place across the entire city in com­mu­ni­ty gar­dens in all five bor­oughs, wouldn’t have been pos­si­ble with­out the time, ener­gy, and gen­eros­i­ty of so many invest­ed in art, bio­di­ver­si­ty and revis­it­ing this for­got­ten his­to­ry of New York,” said artist Sam Van Aken. After eight years in devel­op­ment and five years of the project grow­ing at Gov­er­nors Island, I remain indebt­ed to all those involved and hum­bled to find a place and com­mu­ni­ty with the shared vision of rethink­ing not just agri­cul­ture but the cul­ture that sur­rounds it.”

Near­ly 100 addi­tion­al trees that have been cul­ti­vat­ed and cared for in a nurs­ery on Gov­er­nors Island since 2018 will be donat­ed and plant­ed in com­mu­ni­ty gar­dens through­out the five bor­oughs in part­ner­ship with NYC Parks Green­Thumb.

We are grate­ful to the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and the tal­ent­ed Sam Van Aken for the cul­ti­va­tion and dona­tion of these his­toric her­itage fruit trees to our Green­Thumb com­mu­ni­ty gar­dens,” said NYC Parks Com­mis­sion­er Sue Donoghue. With the addi­tion of these trees, and the care of our ded­i­cat­ed vol­un­teer com­mu­ni­ty gar­den­ers, our gar­dens will diver­si­fy their hor­ti­cul­ture adding resilien­cy to the green­spaces and con­tribute to the rich arbo­re­al his­to­ry and lega­cy of our city.”

Inspired by Van Aken’s ear­li­er project Tree of 40 Fruit, which includ­ed sin­gle trees graft­ed to con­tain up to 40 dif­fer­ent vari­eties of fruit, The Open Orchard builds upon the artist’s long­time dream of an expan­sive orchard of trees con­tain­ing hun­dreds of fruit vari­eties locat­ed in the heart of New York City. Fruit trees can­not be saved in seed banks and must be grown as liv­ing trees to be pre­served, so Van Aken planned and cre­at­ed his dream orchard that would pre­serve these fruits for future gen­er­a­tions while allow­ing con­tem­po­rary audi­ences to expe­ri­ence fruits that have not been avail­able to the pub­lic for centuries. 

The Open Orchard is the first com­mis­sioned art­work announced under the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island’s expand­ed cul­tur­al pro­gram, Gov­er­nors Island Arts. Over the next sev­er­al months, the City and the Trust will announce addi­tion­al art com­mis­sions and pub­lic pro­grams and launch a new mar­ket­ing cam­paign and advi­so­ry com­mit­tee ded­i­cat­ed to sup­port­ing Gov­er­nors Island Arts.

Once open, The Open Orchard will invite vis­i­tors to Gov­er­nors Island to expe­ri­ence a range of pub­lic pro­grams includ­ing a con­tin­ued work­shop series, talks and per­for­mances, fruit tast­ings, har­vest events, culi­nary lessons, and more. Addi­tion­al pro­grams will be announced in com­ing months. The Open Orchard, com­mis­sioned through Gov­er­nors Island Arts, is co-curat­ed by Mered­ith John­son, Vice Pres­i­dent for Arts and Cul­ture and Head Cura­tor at the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island, and Shane Bren­nan, for­mer Direc­tor of Pub­lic Programs. 

The Open Orchard by Sam Van Aken is made pos­si­ble through gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tions made by The Gottes­man Fund, Lily Auch­in­closs Foun­da­tion, the Nation­al Endow­ment for the Arts, Sleepy Cat Farm Foun­da­tion, and Dorothea L. Leon­hardt Foun­da­tion. We are also grate­ful to Brightview for their in-kind land­scape support.

Gov­er­nors Island Arts presents its pro­gram with the vision­ary sup­port of the Ford Foun­da­tion, as well the Cha­ri­na Endow­ment Fund, Don­ald R. Mullen Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion, Stavros Niar­chos Foun­da­tion, Bloomberg Phil­an­thropies, The Gottes­man Fund, Don­ald A. Pels Char­i­ta­ble Trust, the Nation­al Endow­ment for the Arts, and the New York State Coun­cil on the Arts.

Gov­er­nors Island Ice Sculp­ture Show to Help Cel­e­brate Final Win­ter Vil­lage Weekend

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Photo courtesy of Okamoto Studio

The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and the Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil (LMCC) will host the Island’s inau­gur­al Ice Sculp­ture Show on Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 26, 2022, from 2 – 5pm at the Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Vil­lage. A live­ly after­noon fea­tur­ing live ice carv­ing, ice dance per­for­mances from Ice The­atre of New York, ice skat­ing and more will cel­e­brate the final week­end of the Island’s inau­gur­al Win­ter Vil­lage, which opened in Decem­ber 2021.

The show will see a host of unique designs from New York City-based artists and artist groups brought to life in real time through an excit­ing live ice carv­ing ses­sion, assist­ed by pro­fes­sion­al ice carvers from Okamo­to Stu­dio. In Jan­u­ary 2022, the Trust and LMCC invit­ed New York City-based artists to sub­mit designs, ten of which were select­ed by an esteemed pan­el of NYC cul­tur­al lumi­nar­ies to be carved live. The jury pan­el that select­ed entrants includes Amy Andrieux — Exec­u­tive Direc­tor + Chief Cura­tor at MoCA­DA, Jean Cooney — Direc­tor of Times Square Arts, Shaun Leonar­do — a mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary artist, and Shin­taro Okamo­to — Founder/​Creative Direc­tor of Okamo­to Studio. 

Artists and artist teams whose designs were select­ed include: 

  • Den­nis Red­Moon Darkeem
  • Min­gLiang Lu
  • Eliz­a­beth Meggs
  • Shay Salehi/​Rengu Zhang
  • Han­nah Schulman
  • Jes­si­ca Segall
  • Chad Stay­rook
  • Yuliya Tsuk­er­man
  • Bruce Williams
  • Yin Mei

The event will also fea­ture pop-up per­for­mances by the acclaimed Ice The­atre of New York, which presents acces­si­ble ice dance that cel­e­brates joy and col­lab­o­ra­tion in venues through­out the five bor­oughs, start­ing at 1:30pm.

We are beyond excit­ed to part­ner with LMCC to host the Island’s inau­gur­al Ice Sculp­ture Show. Live ice sculpt­ing is a won­der­ful addi­tion to the engag­ing activ­i­ties and expe­ri­ences that the Island has to offer our vis­i­tors dur­ing our first win­ter sea­son,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. We encour­age vis­i­tors to carve out some time to expe­ri­ence the Island dur­ing the win­ter months, and what bet­ter way to do that than to watch the mod­ern-day Michelangelo’s of ice from Okamo­to Stu­dio fash­ion ice to life.”

Arts and cul­tur­al explo­ration is at the core of Gov­er­nors Island’s iden­ti­ty, and we couldn’t be more excit­ed to present the Island’s first ever Win­ter Ice Sculp­ture Show with the Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil,” said Mered­ith John­son, Vice Pres­i­dent of Arts and Cul­ture and Head Cura­tor at the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. Island vis­i­tors of all ages will get a one-of-a-kind expe­ri­ence when they wit­ness ice sculp­tures being carved in real time, bring­ing the visions of an extra­or­di­nary group of New York City artists to life.”

Shar­ing Gov­er­nors Island with our artists-in-res­i­dence in the win­ter months has been a unique priv­i­lege over the last decade. Now, we are thrilled to part­ner with the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island to present fun and unex­pect­ed ways to expe­ri­ence the Island through­out all of the sea­sons,” said Ana Fiore, Direc­tor of Artist Ser­vices at LMCC. The inau­gur­al Ice Sculp­ture Show is an excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for the pub­lic to see new artis­tic col­lab­o­ra­tions take shape and inven­tive visions come to life over the course of a win­tery afternoon.”

The Gov­er­nors Island Ice Sculp­ture Open Call and Show is sup­port­ed in part by pub­lic funds from the New York City Depart­ment of Cul­tur­al Affairs in part­ner­ship with the New York City Council.

Gov­er­nors Island is cel­e­brat­ing its inau­gur­al win­ter sea­son with a ros­ter of cold-weath­er activ­i­ties for the whole fam­i­ly — includ­ing the Win­ter Vil­lage through Feb­ru­ary 27, sled­ding, the Win­ter Dog Days pilot pro­gram and the Win­ter Ice Sculp­ture Show. The rain date for the event is Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 27. Click here to view fer­ry sched­ules and plan your visit.

Gov­er­nors Island 2021 Year in Review

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© Julienne Schaer

The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and Friends of Gov­er­nors Island are pleased to release our 2021 Year in Review! 2021 was a mon­u­men­tal year, with tremen­dous progress in ful­fill­ing our mis­sion to real­ize the full poten­tial of Gov­er­nors Island for the inspi­ra­tion and enjoy­ment of all New York­ers. The year also saw his­toric mile­stones in the Island’s ongo­ing trans­for­ma­tion, from expand­ing pub­lic access to 365 days a year and grow­ing our arts and cul­ture pro­gram, to mov­ing for­ward with our bold vision to estab­lish a lead­ing cen­ter for cli­mate solutions.

...

© Julienne Schaer

In 2021, Gov­er­nors Island pro­vid­ed vital open space for New York­ers as the city con­tin­ues to respond to the evolv­ing COVID-19 pan­dem­ic. We wel­comed vis­i­tors from every sin­gle res­i­den­tial zip code in the five bor­oughs, pre­sent­ed a robust cal­en­dar of free events, part­nered with 23 local food and bev­er­age ven­dors, wel­comed a his­toric num­ber of vol­un­teers and cared for our unique land­scapes with a stead­fast com­mit­ment to sus­tain­able solutions. 

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Pei Ju Chien Pott in Richard Move's "Herstory of the Universe@Governors Island," © Slobodan Randjelović

Cul­tur­al expres­sion is at the core of Gov­er­nors Island’s iden­ti­ty, engag­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of vis­i­tors each year through inno­v­a­tive arts and cul­tur­al inter­ven­tions that inter­act with and respond to the Island’s unique con­di­tions. From the cross-dis­ci­pli­nary cul­tur­al hubs in Nolan Park and Colonels Row to sin­gu­lar pub­lic art expe­ri­ences com­mis­sioned by the Trust, vis­i­tors and cul­tur­al prac­ti­tion­ers alike engaged with the arts in myr­i­ad new ways in 2021

...

© Billion Oyster Project

Gov­er­nors Island is home to a diverse mix of edu­ca­tion­al and envi­ron­men­tal non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions and busi­ness­es draw­ing inspi­ra­tion from the Island’s unique resources. From oys­ter restora­tion to mar­itime edu­ca­tion, Island ten­ants made progress on long-term goals in 2021, with announce­ments of a new mul­ti-ten­ant sus­tain­abil­i­ty hub and a glob­al com­pe­ti­tion to cre­ate a cli­mate-focused research and edu­ca­tion­al cen­ter demon­strat­ing a ded­i­cat­ed com­mit­ment to address­ing the glob­al cli­mate cri­sis head-on. 

Thanks for read­ing. In a year filled with mile­stones, our vis­i­tors were with us every step of the way, and we are thrilled for even more peo­ple to expe­ri­ence the Island in the years to come. We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to grow our com­mu­ni­ty, stew­ard­ing the Island and wel­com­ing vis­i­tors in every season.

Click here to view the full 2021 Year in Review.

Dai­ly NYC Fer­ry Ser­vice to Gov­er­nors Island to Start Jan­u­ary 242022

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New York City Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (NYCEDC) and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island have announced that new, dai­ly, year-round NYC Fer­ry ser­vice to and from Gov­er­nors Island will begin Mon­day, Jan­u­ary 24, 2022. NYC Fer­ry will serve Gov­er­nors Island’s Yan­kee Pier via the South Brook­lyn Route, adding a stop between Red Hook and Sun­set Park, direct­ly con­nect­ing New York­ers to the island from the Low­er East Side and the Brook­lyn water­front. The ser­vice will sig­nif­i­cant­ly expand access to Gov­er­nors Island for vis­i­tors and a grow­ing num­ber of tenants.

I am thrilled that New York­ers will final­ly be able to take NYC Fer­ry to the gem that is Gov­er­nors Island – every day, all year round,” said Maria Tor­res-Springer, Deputy May­or for Eco­nom­ic and Work­force Devel­op­ment. I applaud NYCEDC and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island for their work to make this incred­i­ble asset more acces­si­ble, and I look for­ward to even more peo­ple expe­ri­enc­ing and enjoy­ing all Gov­er­nors Island has to offer.”

We’re proud to deliv­er on the promise of dai­ly, year-round fer­ry ser­vice to Gov­er­nors Island as part of our con­tin­u­ing expan­sion of NYC Ferry’s five-bor­ough net­work, which has become an inte­gral part of New York’s trans­porta­tion sys­tem and the City’s recov­ery,” said NYCEDC Pres­i­dent and CEO Rachel Loeb. We join May­or Adams in con­grat­u­lat­ing the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and all of our part­ners who have worked so hard to turn this vision into reality.” 

This past year, we made his­toric progress in announc­ing that New York­ers will now be able to enjoy all that Gov­er­nors Island has to offer, 365 days per year, and we’re thrilled that we’ll now have expand­ed con­nec­tions to Brook­lyn and Man­hat­tan through NYC Fer­ry,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. Expand­ed fer­ry ser­vice will con­nect more New York­ers than ever to Gov­er­nors Island’s open space, cul­tur­al, edu­ca­tion­al, and his­toric resources while increas­ing access for our grow­ing com­mu­ni­ty of ten­ants. We thank our part­ners at the Mayor’s office and NYCEDC for mak­ing this a reality” 

The new Gov­er­nors Island ser­vice is part of an ongo­ing NYC Fer­ry expan­sion that in the past year has added the St. George route con­nect­ing Stat­en Island to Manhattan’s West Side, and the exten­sion of the Sound­view route with a new land­ing in Fer­ry Point Park in Throgs Neck in the Bronx. NYCEDC also plans to launch ser­vice on a new Coney Island Route by late 2022

In Sep­tem­ber 2021, The Trust and the City announced that Gov­er­nors Island would be open to the pub­lic year-round for the first time in his­to­ry. This new dai­ly, year-round ser­vice will accom­mo­date Gov­er­nors Island’s win­ter hours from 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. For NYC Fer­ry ser­vice sched­ules, vis­it ferry.nyc. For gen­er­al Gov­er­nors Island vis­i­tor infor­ma­tion, and for a full list of fer­ry ser­vice options, vis­it gov​is​land​.org/​ferry.

NYC Fer­ry ser­vice to Gov­er­nors Island on the South Brook­lyn route will oper­ate week­days and non-sum­mer week­ends and sup­ple­ment dai­ly fer­ries from Low­er Man­hat­tan oper­at­ed by the Trust. On sum­mer week­ends dur­ing the high­est rid­er­ship sea­son, NYC Fer­ry will con­tin­ue to oper­ate its ded­i­cat­ed shut­tle from Pier 11 in Low­er Man­hat­tan and the Trust will con­tin­ue to run its shut­tle from Brook­lyn Bridge Park-Pier 6 and Red Hook. When NYC Ferry’s Coney Island route launch­es in late 2022, the South Brook­lyn route will ter­mi­nate at Gov­er­nors Island. Bay Ridge will become part of the new Coney Island Route to pro­vide direct faster access to Pier 11 in Low­er Man­hat­tan and Sun­set Park will con­tin­ue to have express ser­vice to Pier 11 on the Rock­away route. 

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. In 2019, near­ly one mil­lion peo­ple vis­it­ed the Island. The Island is home to a diverse num­ber of year-round ten­ants, includ­ing the Urban Assem­bly New York Har­bor School, the Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil, the Bil­lion Oys­ter Project, Shan­dak­en Projects, Beam Cen­ter, and the Insti­tute for Pub­lic Archi­tec­ture, as well as the soon to open QC NY Spa and But­ter­milk Labs — a new mul­ti-ten­ant hub for coastal cli­mate solu­tions announced in Fall, 2021. In June 2021, the Trust announced a com­pe­ti­tion to attract an anchor edu­ca­tion­al and research insti­tu­tion for its plans to devel­op a Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solutions. 

This is a great day for New York­ers, 20 years after fight­ing to return Gov­er­nors Island to New York, year round fer­ry ser­vice and 7 day access to Gov­er­nors Island is final­ly here,” said US Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jer­ry Nadler. The island is one of the city’s hid­den gems and now res­i­dents and tourists alike will have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore and vis­it this won­der­ful place every day.”

Over the past two years we have learned just how impor­tant the acces­si­bil­i­ty of our city’s open pub­lic spaces are to the health and well­be­ing of all New York­ers,” said Man­hat­tan Bor­ough Pres­i­dent Mark Levine. Open­ing dai­ly fer­ry ser­vice year-round to Gov­er­nors Island will unlock one of New York’s great cen­ters of open space and is anoth­er giant step for increased inclu­sion to all our city’s won­der­ful parks. I thank the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island, the Mayor’s office, and NYCEDC for their tremen­dous work in mak­ing this long-stand­ing plan a real­i­ty and encour­age all New York­ers to dis­cov­er all Gov­er­nors Island has to offer even in the cold­er months.”

Hav­ing dai­ly, year-round fer­ry ser­vice will not only expand access to Gov­er­nors Island for res­i­dents and vis­i­tors alike, it will open the door for more Brook­lynites to enjoy this fan­tas­tic New York trea­sure,” said Brook­lyn Bor­ough Pres­i­dent Anto­nio Reynoso. Expand­ed fer­ry ser­vice also means increased access to the incred­i­bly rich and diverse neigh­bor­hoods in South Brook­lyn and along the Brook­lyn water­front, which opens up new oppor­tu­ni­ties to dis­cov­er every­thing Brook­lyn has to offer. This is a win-win for all New York­ers and I am proud that Brook­lyn will play an inte­gral part in this excit­ing new amenity.”

I am excit­ed to wel­come expand­ed NYC Fer­ry ser­vice to Gov­er­nors Island, sup­port­ing the Island’s year-round access for all New York­ers. I have long advo­cat­ed for addi­tion­al fer­ry ser­vice and I allo­cat­ed funds in the State bud­get to expand ser­vice this past sum­mer, so I am par­tic­u­lar­ly grat­i­fied that the City and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island will be adding new fer­ry ser­vice for res­i­dents of Brook­lyn and the Low­er East Side,” said State Sen­a­tor Bri­an Kavanagh, who rep­re­sents­Gov­er­nors Island, Low­er Man­hat­tan, and west­ern Brook­lyn. I hope that year-round access and more rou­tine fer­ry ser­vice, tak­en togeth­er, will serve to increase people’s aware­ness of Gov­er­nors Island as a great trea­sure in our midst — and make it far eas­i­er for every­one to access the wide-open spaces, breath­tak­ing views, and his­toric archi­tec­ture, dur­ing every season.”

With fer­ry stops added in Red Hook and Sun­set Park, more of our fam­i­lies will be able to enjoy Gov­er­nor’s Island and all that it offers, espe­cial­ly dur­ing the sum­mer months,” said Coun­cil Mem­ber Alexa Avilés. The fer­ry sys­tem is just a piece of pro­vid­ing reli­able pub­lic trans­porta­tion in our dis­trict and around the city. I look for­ward to con­tin­ued expan­sion of our trans­porta­tion net­work, espe­cial­ly through reduc­ing fares and ful­ly inte­grat­ing with the MTA as our neigh­bor­hoods con­tin­ue to recov­er from the pandemic.” 

I’m glad Low­er East Siders, and many oth­er New York­ers, will have greater access to our dis­tric­t’s largest park on Gov­er­nors Island,” said Coun­cil Mem­ber Christo­pher Marte. We des­per­ate­ly lack green space in the Low­er East Side, and this expand­ed fer­ry line is a good step toward mak­ing the pub­lic ameni­ties and resources of our city more equitable.”

Gov­er­nors Island is one of the great pub­lic spaces in the mid­dle of the most spec­tac­u­lar har­bor in the world,” said Coun­cil Mem­ber Lin­coln Restler. While it is a stone’s throw away from our water­front, Brook­lynites will final­ly have dai­ly, year round, afford­able access via fer­ry stops in DUM­BO, Cob­ble Hill, and Red Hook!”

Brook­lyn Com­mu­ni­ty Board 6 is very pleased to see that what we’ve long sup­port­ed – Red Hook as a fer­ry stop with year-round access to Gov­er­nors Island – is now the real­i­ty,” said Michael Raciop­po, Brook­lyn Com­mu­ni­ty Board 6 Dis­trict Man­ag­er.

With Gov­er­nors Island now open 365 days a year, the need for more direct fer­ry con­nec­tions has nev­er been more crit­i­cal,” said Mer­ritt Birn­baum, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island. Becom­ing a reg­u­lar dai­ly stop on the South Brook­lyn line makes it pos­si­ble for the Island to be part of every­day life for more New York­ers. Now for the first time res­i­dents of Red Hook, the Low­er East Side, and oth­er water­front neigh­bor­hoods will be just a few min­utes away from the extra­or­di­nary open space, ameni­ties and pro­gram­ming that make Gov­er­nors Island such a ter­rif­ic pub­lic resource.”

May­or Bill de Bla­sio Announces Final­ists to Anchor City’s Cli­mate Solu­tions Cen­ter on Gov­er­nors Island

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May­or Bill de Bla­sio and The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island (the Trust) today announced the next steps in the City of New York’s ini­tia­tive to estab­lish a glob­al Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions on Gov­er­nors Island. After receiv­ing 12 pro­pos­als as part of a com­pet­i­tive Request for Expres­sions of Inter­est (RFEI) process on Octo­ber 13, 2021, today the May­or and the Trust are announc­ing that four final­ist teams will move for­ward in com­pet­ing to build, pro­gram and oper­ate an insti­tu­tion on Gov­er­nors Island ded­i­cat­ed to research­ing and show­cas­ing how cities around the world can equi­tably adapt to cli­mate change. 

Final­ists announced today include teams led by the fol­low­ing institutions:

  • The City Uni­ver­si­ty of New York (CUNY) and The New School
  • Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy (MIT)
  • North­east­ern University
  • Stony Brook University 

Fol­low­ing today’s announce­ment, final­ist teams will respond to a com­pet­i­tive Request for Pro­pos­als process to be launched in Spring, 2022, where they will have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to fur­ther refine their pro­gram and design.

Gov­er­nors Island is a jew­el of our har­bor, and today we’re tak­ing an impor­tant step toward trans­form­ing it into the nerve cen­ter for our city’s fight against cli­mate change,” said May­or Bill de Bla­sio. These final­ists have sub­mit­ted thought­ful, bold pro­pos­als to lead that mis­sion. We look for­ward to hear­ing more from them as we find the per­fect part­ner to make New York City an inter­na­tion­al leader in solv­ing the planet’s most exis­ten­tial challenge.”

Dur­ing the last eight years we’ve led with trans­for­ma­tive projects and poli­cies that advance equi­table cli­mate action, and the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions will con­tin­ue that lega­cy in fur­ther­ing New York City’s role as a glob­al leader in edu­ca­tion and research to tack­le one of the defin­ing chal­lenges of our time,” said Deputy May­or for Hous­ing and Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment Vic­ki Been. The final­ists announced today pro­pose ambi­tious visions that will cre­ate a safer and more resilient future for cities around the world, and we are thrilled to move for­ward with the next phase of this crit­i­cal invest­ment in cli­mate solutions.”

Address­ing the cli­mate cri­sis through inclu­sive and cross-sec­tor approach­es is imper­a­tive for cities, and an oppor­tu­ni­ty that New York City is poised to lead” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. The Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions will advance New York City’s lead­er­ship in gen­er­at­ing the inno­v­a­tive solu­tions need­ed to cre­ate a resilient future for cities around the world, while expand­ing the train­ing and edu­ca­tion need­ed to pro­vide path­ways to green jobs. These four pro­pos­als show­case ambi­tious and inno­v­a­tive approach­es that under­score the urgency of address­ing chal­lenges posed by cli­mate change. We look for­ward to the next phase of this com­pe­ti­tion and bring­ing this project to life right here on Gov­er­nors Island.” 

Through­out his­to­ry, New York City has always been at the cen­ter of the con­ver­sa­tion in dri­ving solu­tions to the world’s great­est chal­lenges,” said Ali­cia Glen, Chair of the Board of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and for­mer Deputy May­or for Hous­ing and Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment. The pro­pos­als announced today match our ambi­tion for the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions, to build upon New York City’s diverse tal­ent, world-class insti­tu­tions, and resilience to be a mod­el that cities around the world will turn to as we devel­op prac­ti­cal solu­tions to adapt to cli­mate change and reduce the harm our cur­rent prac­tices are impos­ing on our planet.”

The Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions is a ground­break­ing ini­tia­tive designed to fur­ther New York City as a glob­al leader in efforts to respond to the cli­mate cri­sis. On Gov­er­nors Island, the project will sup­port the research, devel­op­ment, and demon­stra­tion of equi­table cli­mate solu­tions for New York City that can be scaled and applied glob­al­ly. Through inter­dis­ci­pli­nary edu­ca­tion, train­ing, and broad pub­lic engage­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties, the Cen­ter will sup­port the growth of green and cli­mate-relat­ed jobs dri­ving New York City’s recov­ery from the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic. At full build, the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions is esti­mat­ed to cre­ate 7,000 direct jobs on Gov­er­nors Island alone and near­ly $1 bil­lion in fis­cal impact for New York City. 

The four final­ists announced today out­lined ambi­tious pro­pos­als to expand edu­ca­tion and applied research in New York City. Pro­pos­als pre­sent­ed a range of inno­v­a­tive approach­es to the unprece­dent­ed oppor­tu­ni­ty to show­case scal­able solu­tions for urban envi­ron­ments. Appli­cants have focused on sus­tain­able and resilient build­ings, nature-based solu­tions, flood and stormwa­ter man­age­ment, ener­gy, cir­cu­lar econ­o­my and waste man­age­ment, cli­mate jus­tice and pub­lic health. In addi­tion, pro­pos­als out­line strate­gies to broad­en the study of cli­mate change across sec­tors, incor­po­rat­ing pol­i­cy and advo­ca­cy with sci­ence and advanc­ing urban adap­ta­tion strategies.

Pro­pos­als announced today were eval­u­at­ed based on how respon­dents artic­u­lat­ed a vision that address­es the City’s and the Trust’s goals as out­lined in the RFEI, includ­ing advanc­ing equi­table cli­mate solu­tions; mak­ing a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to Gov­er­nors Island’s phys­i­cal cam­pus and exist­ing com­mu­ni­ty of part­ners and vis­i­tors; and cre­at­ing broad­er oppor­tu­ni­ties for New Yorkers.

Details announced today regard­ing the final­ist pro­pos­als are out­lined as follows: 

CUNY and The New School (C3: Cli­mate Cen­ter Consortium)

Addi­tion­al Part­ners: Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty, Barnard Col­lege, The Coop­er Union for the Advance­ment of Sci­ence and Art, New York Uni­ver­si­ty, Cary Insti­tute of Ecosys­tem Stud­ies, North­east­ern Uni­ver­si­ty, Uni­ver­si­ty at Albany, Woods Hole Oceano­graph­ic Institution

C3 is a new con­sor­tium of aca­d­e­m­ic, research, and com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions, focused on merg­ing the work of cli­mate adap­ta­tion, mit­i­ga­tion, and envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice. Pro­gram­ming will include for­mal and infor­mal K‑16 learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties, degree-grant­i­ng cours­es, career and work­force devel­op­ment, and con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion cre­den­tials for edu­ca­tors and prac­ti­tion­ers. C3 pro­pos­es to uti­lize Gov­er­nors Island as a liv­ing lab­o­ra­to­ry for just cli­mate solu­tions through trans­dis­ci­pli­nary research, pro­to­typ­ing, and com­mer­cial­iza­tion, focused on build­ing design, tech­nol­o­gy, and nature-based solu­tions. Dis­ci­plines pro­posed include nat­ur­al and social sci­ences, engi­neer­ing, design, the arts, and human­i­ties. Adap­tive reuse of many of the Island’s his­toric build­ings will cre­ate class­rooms, research space, and dor­mi­to­ries. New spaces include areas for con­fer­ences and gath­er­ings, field and for­est research, and pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­to­ry and demon­stra­tion sites. C3 pro­pos­es to facil­i­tate col­lab­o­ra­tion across dis­ci­plines and sec­tors to devel­op cli­mate solu­tions with com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers, envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice orga­ni­za­tions, and stake­hold­er groups on Gov­er­nors Island, through­out New York City, and the world.

Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy (MIT)

Addi­tion­al Part­ners: Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty and Barnard College 

MIT pro­pos­es to cre­ate a ded­i­cat­ed cli­mate change solu­tions and inno­va­tion cen­ter on Gov­er­nors Island to sup­port the research, devel­op­ment, pro­to­typ­ing, and deploy­ment of urban-based solu­tions focused on New York City com­mu­ni­ties, in part­ner­ship with indus­try and gov­ern­ment. Man­aged by MIT’s Envi­ron­men­tal Solu­tions Ini­tia­tive, which is ded­i­cat­ed to mobi­liz­ing the Institute’s sci­en­tif­ic, engi­neer­ing, pol­i­cy, and design capac­i­ty to con­tribute to address­ing cli­mate change, the Gov­er­nors Island cen­ter would host researchers and fac­ul­ty from MIT and oth­er part­ner insti­tu­tions who would focus on the test­ing, rapid com­mer­cial­iza­tion, and deploy­ment of cli­mate solu­tions. Solu­tions-devel­op­ment would focus on the areas of trans­porta­tion, ener­gy, build­ings, the cir­cu­lar econ­o­my, equi­ty and cit­i­zen sci­ence, and bio­di­ver­si­ty. MIT’s cen­ter on Gov­er­nors Island is pro­posed to include research space with a shared pub­lic con­fer­ence hall, pro­to­typ­ing facil­i­ties, and overnight accommodations.

North­east­ern Uni­ver­si­ty (Coastal Cities Impact Team)

Addi­tion­al Part­ners: Woods Hole Oceano­graph­ic Insti­tu­tion, The Uni­ver­si­ty of Tokyo, Uni­ver­si­ty of Puer­to Rico at Mayagüez

North­east­ern Uni­ver­si­ty is propos­ing to build a cli­mate solu­tions research and inno­va­tion cen­ter on Gov­er­nors Island that engages the cit­i­zens of New York with researchers from around the world. The pro­posed cen­ter will be ded­i­cat­ed to dri­ving ideas and dis­cov­er­ies that make coastal cities and com­mu­ni­ties sus­tain­able, resilient, equi­table, and vibrant for all. The Coastal Cities Impact team, with exter­nal part­ners, is propos­ing to dri­ve cli­mate sci­ence, cli­mate jus­tice, and cli­mate adap­ta­tion from the deep ocean to coastal envi­ron­ments to city neigh­bor­hoods. North­east­ern would expand its inter­na­tion­al­ly renowned Coop­er­a­tive Edu­ca­tion pro­gram to accel­er­ate and expand edu­ca­tion­al and career pipelines to cli­mate-relat­ed jobs for New York­ers. Pro­posed facil­i­ties include research and lab­o­ra­to­ry space, space for start-up com­pa­nies and entre­pre­neurs to col­lab­o­rate on research projects, overnight accom­mo­da­tions, and a pub­lic exhi­bi­tion hall with inter­ac­tive learn­ing displays. 

Stony Brook Uni­ver­si­ty (New York Cli­mate Exchange) 

Found­ing Part­ners: Stony Brook Uni­ver­si­ty, Brookhaven Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry, Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford, Uni­ver­si­ty of Washington

Addi­tion­al Aca­d­e­m­ic Part­ners: Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty, Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, Yale Uni­ver­si­ty, SUNY Mar­itime, Rochester Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy, Uni­ver­si­ty of Tokyo 

The New York Cli­mate Exchange, led by Stony Brook Uni­ver­si­ty, pro­pos­es to cre­ate an inno­va­tion cam­pus ded­i­cat­ed to urban coastal sus­tain­abil­i­ty, water, food and ener­gy, and cli­mate jus­tice. The pro­gram would include con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties, a solu­tions-focused semes­ter abroad on Gov­er­nors Island, a K‑12 sum­mer inten­sive pro­gram pro­vid­ing stu­dents the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work on hands-on projects along­side researchers and edu­ca­tors, com­pet­i­tive­ly award­ed research, test­ing, and demon­stra­tion space, and a fel­low­ship and intern­ship pro­gram. Con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties are pro­posed to offer cre­den­tials and micro-cre­den­tials for access­ing green jobs, focused on front­line com­mu­ni­ties and in col­lab­o­ra­tion with labor, work­force devel­op­ment, and com­mu­ni­ty-based orga­ni­za­tions. Pro­posed facil­i­ties include class­room and lab­o­ra­to­ry space, overnight accom­mo­da­tions and dor­mi­to­ries, and a con­fer­ence center.

In June 2021, the City and the Trust released an RFEI seek­ing an edu­ca­tion­al and research insti­tu­tion to anchor the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions. Respon­dents were offered the option to lease land with­in 33 acres of devel­op­ment sites, and/​or up to one mil­lion square feet of adap­tive reuse oppor­tu­ni­ty 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. 

Con­grat­u­la­tions to today’s final­ists. There is no issue more press­ing than the health of our envi­ron­ment and I com­mend city lead­ers and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island for invest­ing in this impor­tant project,” said Sen­a­tor Gilli­brand. New York has always been at the fore­front of tack­ling this cri­sis and the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions will con­tin­ue our state’s lega­cy of seek­ing bold, inno­v­a­tive, and inclu­sive solu­tions to cli­mate change. We must be relent­less in our efforts and I will always serve as a fierce advo­cate in the Sen­ate in our fight to com­bat cli­mate change.”

Today’s announce­ment of the four final­ist teams brings us into the excit­ing next phase of estab­lish­ing an insti­tu­tion right here on Gov­er­nors Island which seeks to take an inno­v­a­tive, mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary approach to meet the exis­ten­tial threat of cli­mate change”, said Con­gress­man Jer­ry Nadler. The Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions will allow New York to be a leader in edu­ca­tion, research and col­lab­o­ra­tion around cli­mate change and help bring green jobs and infra­struc­ture to our city.”

I am thrilled to see the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions one step clos­er to being real­ized,” said Coun­cil Mem­ber Mar­garet Chin. The pro­pos­als from these four final­ists all bring so much poten­tial to cement­ing Gov­er­nors Island’s iden­ti­ty as a world-class research hub for cli­mate resilien­cy and sustainability.”

Gov­er­nors Island is a gem of our har­bor, and today’s announce­ment rep­re­sents anoth­er excit­ing step toward mak­ing the island acces­sible to the pub­lic year-round,” said Man­hat­tan Bor­ough Pres­i­dent Gale A. Brew­er.​“Con­grat­u­la­tions to the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and the four final­ists. I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to work togeth­er to ensure that the new Cli­mate Cen­ter com­ple­ments Gov­er­nors Island’s beau­ti­ful open space and places access to oppor­tu­ni­ty for New York­ers from less for­tu­nate back­grounds at its center.”

I con­grat­u­late all those advanc­ing to the next round of this process, and May­or Bill de Bla­sio, Clare New­man, and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island for attract­ing so much inter­est from so many uni­ver­si­ties and research insti­tu­tions with the poten­tial to make the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions a tru­ly inno­v­a­tive and impact­ful place,” said State Sen­a­tor Bri­an Kavanagh, whose dis­trict includes the Island. There are many fac­tors that will need to be con­sid­ered as the respec­tive pro­pos­als pro­ceed, includ­ing the scale of devel­op­ment and how well it can be har­mo­nized with the open spaces, the exist­ing struc­tures, and the unique char­ac­ter of Gov­er­nors Island. But today’s announce­ment val­i­dates the basic premise that it may be pos­si­ble to cre­ate an impor­tant new pub­lic-spir­it­ed insti­tu­tion on the Island to focus on one of the world’s great­est chal­lenges: pro­tect­ing the hab­it­abil­i­ty of our plan­et and the sus­tain­abil­i­ty of our com­mu­ni­ties from the grow­ing threat of cli­mate change.”

I was thrilled last June when May­or de Bla­sio and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island announced the world­wide com­pe­ti­tion to iden­ti­fy a con­sor­tium of insti­tu­tions to cre­ate and lead the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions – a world-lead­ing research and edu­ca­tion­al insti­tute to devel­op solu­tions for the world’s cli­mate chal­lenge and to pre­pare the cli­mate lead­ers of tomor­row. The May­or and I have worked togeth­er over the decades to make New York City a nation­al leader in cli­mate solu­tions, but this Cen­ter will put the world’s great­est city where it right­ful­ly belongs – as the home and incu­ba­tor for world-lead­ing cli­mate sci­ence inno­va­tion and the indi­vid­u­als who will turn that inno­va­tion into real­i­ty,” said Coun­cil Mem­ber James F. Gen­naro. Today, we announce four world-class teams of final­ists that will par­tic­i­pate in the next phase of the selec­tion process. As Chair of the NYC Council’s Com­mit­tee on Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, I look for­ward to the next phase of this excit­ing com­pe­ti­tion, and to col­lab­o­rat­ing with the suc­cess­ful con­sor­tium to make City gov­ern­ment a full part­ner in its glob­al mission.”

The Trees of Gov­er­nors Island: Effec­tive­ly Man­ag­ing an Urban Forest

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Vol­un­teers from Black­stone plant­i­ng trees on Gov­er­nors Island; pho­to by Sar­ma Ozols.

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

Effec­tive­ly man­ag­ing the col­lec­tion of both his­toric and new trees on Gov­er­nors Island is crit­i­cal to cre­at­ing a healthy, func­tion­ing, cli­mate resilient ecosys­tem that will sur­vive — and thrive — for years to come. In July 2021, the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island was award­ed an Urban and Com­mu­ni­ty Forestry Grant by the New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion (NYS DEC) through the Urban and Com­mu­ni­ty Forestry Grant Pro­gram that will help devel­op, among oth­er ini­tia­tives, a Com­mu­ni­ty For­est Man­age­ment Plan for the Island. 

In the sum­mer of 2020, Trop­i­cal Storm Isa­ias took out sev­er­al large trees on Gov­er­nors Island and dam­aged many more. After cleanup was com­plet­ed, the Hor­ti­cul­ture team at the Trust began to dis­cuss replant­i­ng trees to replace the lost canopy and to add bio­di­ver­si­ty to the island through the intro­duc­tion of new species. Math­ews Niel­son Land­scape Archi­tects were con­tract­ed to cre­ate a canopy plan for the His­toric Dis­trict on the North Island. 

They began by con­duct­ing a sur­vey of exist­ing trees and their con­di­tion and longevi­ty, con­sult­ing his­toric Island plant­i­ngs and maps meet­ing reg­u­lar­ly with the Hor­ti­cul­ture team to dis­cuss which kinds of trees would do well in var­i­ous loca­tions. Gov­er­nors Island is a tru­ly sin­gu­lar envi­ron­ment with­in New York City, and care must be tak­en with respect to the char­ac­ter and land­scape design of the Island’s sep­a­rate areas and their expo­sure to a chang­ing cli­mate, includ­ing ris­ing sea lev­els and more intense storms. 

The NYS DEC-sup­port­ed for­est man­age­ment project will con­tin­ue the work under­tak­en by Math­ews Niel­son by sur­vey­ing all the trees on the Island and cre­at­ing a com­pre­hen­sive for­est man­age­ment plan. This data is cur­rent­ly being col­lect­ed and will sup­port the Trust’s efforts to con­tin­ue adding new genus­es and species of native trees to the Island’s unique urban for­est to safe­guard against a mono­cul­ture — ensur­ing that, in the future, no sin­gle type of tree will be dominant. 

A mono­cul­ture of land­scape trees is dan­ger­ous because, if a new pest or dis­ease arrives, it could poten­tial­ly kill all the trees of a sin­gle species and dras­ti­cal­ly alter the char­ac­ter of a land­scape. For instance, in the mid- to late-20th cen­tu­ry, many Amer­i­can towns lost almost all of their canopy and street trees when Dutch Elm Dis­ease swept through the Unit­ed States and killed most Amer­i­can elms that had been plant­ed in rows across the coun­try. The Trust’s ongo­ing for­est man­age­ment plan will be inte­gral to the health of the trees on the Island and will help inform staff and vis­i­tors alike of best prac­tices to ensure all new­ly plant­ed trees will suc­ceed in their for­ev­er homes on Gov­er­nors Island. 

The Com­mu­ni­ty For­est Man­age­ment Plan in Action
In Fall 2021, a cor­po­rate vol­un­teer group from Black­stone plant­ed 40 of these new trees on the his­toric North Island — a morn­ing of work that was a cul­mi­na­tion of a year’s worth of care­ful prepa­ra­tion by the Hor­ti­cul­ture team and an inte­gral step in cul­ti­vat­ing the Island’s diverse tree canopy. This enthu­si­as­tic group worked togeth­er with the team to remove turf, dig holes, amend the soil and, final­ly, plant each tree with care and inten­tion. Once the trees were plant­ed, pro­tec­tive mulch and sur­round­ing fences were added to pre­vent the roots from dry­ing out and the stems from being damaged.

Vol­un­teers from Black­stone plant­i­ng trees on Gov­er­nors Island; pho­to by Sar­ma Ozols.

The group was espe­cial­ly keen to fol­low best prac­tices of plant­i­ng trees. They were eager to learn and even more eager to dig holes and tear up turf, two hor­ti­cul­tur­al activ­i­ties that many gar­den­ers tend to dread. Plant­i­ng 40 trees in a day may seem easy to those unac­quaint­ed with the com­plex ter­rain of Gov­er­nors Island, but mak­ing sure each tree is placed at the right depth, gets a prop­er allot­ment of mulch and is com­plete­ly straight can be quite dif­fi­cult when many are being plant­ed at once. 

The 40 trees plant­ed that day com­prised 11 dif­fer­ent species, sev­en of which were not pre­vi­ous­ly present in the His­toric Dis­trict at all. These new species make the canopy more resilient, pro­vid­ing dif­fer­ent habi­tats and food types to the myr­i­ad insects and birds that vis­it and live on Gov­er­nors Island, and they will delight vis­i­tors in all sea­sons for years with their state­ly struc­ture and var­i­ous flower types. Five new mag­no­lias — two Cucum­ber mag­no­lias and three Sweet­bays — will be espe­cial­ly vibrant in the upcom­ing spring sea­sons, while our new col­lec­tion of Witch Hazels will pop with col­or in the win­ter when every­thing else is grey and dormant. 

By pair­ing these new trees and col­ors with the his­toric archi­tec­ture of Gov­er­nors Island, the Hor­ti­cul­ture team hopes to cre­ate a beau­ti­ful blend of old and new that can inspire New York­ers to revi­tal­ize their own com­mu­ni­ties with new plant­i­ngs of native trees, shrubs and oth­er plants for years to come. 

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