! Alert

Indoor spaces offering public programs & galleries on Governors Island require proof of COVID-19 vaccination in accordance with the Key to NYC Executive Order. Click here to review all health & safety protocols prior to your visit.

Indoor spaces offering public programs & galleries on Governors Island require proof of COVID-19 vaccination in accordance with the Key to NYC Executive Order. Click here to review all health & safety protocols prior to your visit.

Join the Cultural Community on Governors Island as an Organization in Residence

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Image courtesy of The Climate Museum

The Trust for Governors Island has released a call for proposals for organizations in residence, open to artistic, cultural, environmental and educational non-profit organizations for the 2022 public season, between May 1 to October 31 of next year. Unique programming space within—and around—more than two dozen historic former military homes will be offered to qualifying organizations proposing free public programs, including exhibitions, performances, workshops, screenings, talks, residencies and more.

Governors Island offers a dynamic platform for organizations to present creative projects of various forms and connect with a diverse and growing audience of nearly one million annual visitors. In 2021, as part of the Trust’s arts and culture program, more than two dozen organizations presented exhibits, workshops, performances, artist residencies and events in the historic houses of Nolan Park and Colonels Row, which once served as homes to military officers and their families during the Island’s nearly two-century history as an Army and Coast Guard base.

Past arts and cultural organizations in residence include the New Art Dealers Alliance, Pioneer Works, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), the American Indian Community House, 4heads, NARS Foundation, BronxArtSpace, Children’s Museum of the Arts and more. The program has also hosted organizations directly engaging in issues dedicated to addressing the global climate crisis, including the Climate Museum, NYC Audubon, the Billion Oyster Project, and the New York Virtual Volcano Lab, facilitated by volcanologists from CUNY. Resident organizations also have the opportunity to collaborate with year-round cultural tenants on the Island, including The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Beam Center and Shandaken Projects.

The application and additional information is available online here.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the overall quality of the proposed program; fit and alignment with the Island’s dynamic arts, cultural and educational programming; track record of conceptualizing, producing and organizing other programs and events; commitment to connecting with diverse audiences; and engagement with the Island as a site, including its history, ecology, architecture and relationship to the rest of New York City.

Proposals will be accepted through October 29, 2021

Governors Island Welcomes Beam Camp City

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New to Governors Island, Beam Camp City is a day camp run by Brooklyn-based nonprofit organization (and year-round Governors Island tenant) Beam Center that aims to make outdoor activities accessible for New York City youth. Beam Center strives to build communities and bring together youth through engaging projects.

Beam Center’s main mission is to create an outdoor camping experience for New York City kids and to provide space for campers to express their creativity, explore their identity and contribute to a shared experience. Previously, Beam Center spent its summers exclusively at its summer camp in New Hampshire.

With outdoor open space growing more limited in New York City, Governors Island is the ideal location to create Beam Camp City. Intended for city kids and run by city residents, Beam Camp City is a safe space for children to experience the best of what Beam Center has created in New Hampshire, but much closer to home. Surrounded by the Island’s lush foliage, kids spend most of their time outdoors learning about their physical surroundings.

Growing up in New York City, some children may not otherwise have the opportunity to isolate themselves with trees, flowers and, insects. At Beam Camp City, kids are using their natural surroundings to make art and reinforce their level of awareness for their physical space. The Beam Center team has found that building this relationship with the environment and their community can expand campers’ perspective and creativity.

Beam Camp City’s fluidity and flexibility is what makes this summer camp experience so unique. Youth members and leaders listen to what campers have to say. As the children offer their own feedback and experience, camp staff emphasize how important it is that the campers know their voices are heard. The camp curriculum and programs are based on campers' feedback and interests.

Not only is there a powerful connection between the campers and staff, there is also a large network of community support involved in the camp experience. Brian Cohen, Executive Director of Beam Center, says, “We are connected to the city ecosystem of education—we are working hand in hand with both the Department of Education, the Department of Youth and Community Development and other community-based organizations to make this happen. This is a cross-sector partnership, we are not trying to do this on our own.”

For the summer 2021 season, campers partnered with mixed media artist Ye Qin Zhu to create CONSTELLATION, a series of six sculptures made of welded steel and silt-cast ceramic bells, installed across Governors Island through October 2021 to create a literal constellation of ringing bells.

Marisol Castaneda-Salgado, Beam Camp City Director, says, “After a year of isolation and a global pandemic, plus everything that really affected children and youth in New York City, this project gives them an opportunity to see each other.” Along with giving campers the opportunity to see one another, Governors Island’s hundreds of thousands of visitors are engaging with the project as well, further emphasizing the interconnectedness between visitors, the Island and art.

By employing hundreds of city youth each year and inviting campers to get involved through feedback and participatory artwork, Beam Center is working hard to expose the next generation of New York City residents to art, teamwork, environment, and—most importantly—themselves.

Beam Center’s youth Documentation Team has created a photography exhibition titled The Light Show: Beam Camp City, Summer 2021 featuring the photos, they captured throughout their summer on Governors Island. Visitors are invited to the exhibition, open on August 7, 8, 14 and 15 from 11am to 5pm, in Colonels Row Building 407A. RSVP here.

Visitors are also invited to attend Beam Center’s Inventgenuity Festival! All ages from 6 and up are welcome and invited to participate in festival activities. To RSVP click here.

For more information on how to get involved, click here.

Governors Island and Film at Lincoln Center Announce Free Summer Screening for 2021

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© Timothy Schenck

The Trust for Governors Island and Film at Lincoln Center are pleased to announce the return of free outdoor film screenings on the Island, featuring Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues on Friday, August 6, 2021. Curated by Film at Lincoln Center and inspired by the strength and resilience of New York City—and the people who call it home—this year’s screening will take place on the Island’s historic Parade Ground, an eight-acre lawn with expansive open views of Lower Manhattan. The screening is produced by Rooftop Films.

A uniquely New York story, Mo’ Better Blues follows jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam (Denzel Washington, in his first collaboration with the director) as he navigates career and personal life with the city as a backdrop.

“We are proud to bring our partnership with Film at Lincoln Center into the 2021 season and are especially thrilled to welcome New Yorkers back to the best spot in the city to watch a movie under the stars,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “Governors Island is committed to providing an affordable destination for our visitors to enjoy open space, arts and culture—and that includes this iconic film.”

“Our outdoor film series with Film at Lincoln Center has been a huge success in the past,” said Meredith Johnson, VP of Arts and Culture at the Trust for Governors Island. “As the city continues to reopen, we hope this screening will give even more audiences the opportunity to spend an evening on Governors Island, experiencing the dazzling combination of a Spike Lee film with the stunning Lower Manhattan skyline as a backdrop.”

Film at Lincoln Center Executive Director Lesli Klainberg said, “We're proud to work with Governors Island once again, and to trumpet our city's reopening with Spike Lee's celebration of jazz and NYC, Mo' Better Blues.”

The screening is free and open to the public with pre-show entertainment kicking off at 6pm and the film beginning at dusk. Food and drinks will be available for purchase, including a beer garden by Threes Brewing, food by Makina Café, Melt Bakery and more.

Evening ferry service will run from Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan, located at 10 South Street, departing Lower Manhattan at 5:20, 6, 6:40, 7:20 and 8pm. Ferries will return to Lower Manhattan from Soissons Landing at 9, 10 and 11pm. Ferry ticket reservations are required to manage capacity and ensure social distancing and can be made online at govisland.org/ferry. Face coverings are required when boarding, riding and exiting Governors Island ferries.

Governors Island is open every day from May 1 through October 31. On weekdays, the Island is open from 10am to 6pm. On weekends and holidays, the Island is open from 10am to 7pm. On Friday and Saturday evenings between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend, the Island is open until 10pm.

Late Nights at Governors Island To Start July 2

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© Bruce Monroe

If you’re looking for evening activities this Friday and Saturday, look no further—summer late nights at Governors Island kick off on Friday, July 2! Hop on an evening ferry and explore everything the Island’s 120 acres have to offer, all while enjoying unparalleled New York City sunset views.

Governors Island will be open until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays through Labor Day, with additional ferry service from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Manhattan. Click here for ferry schedules and to book ferry tickets.

There will be plenty to see, eat, and do during these extra hours. Visitors will have their pick of delicious food and beverages—think brick oven pizza, tacos, oysters, Ethiopian and Eritrean fare, ice cream sandwiches and more. Late night food vendors include:

  • Island Oyster
  • Pizza Yard
  • Taco Vista
  • Makina Café
  • Little Eva’s
  • Sea Biscuit
  • Threes Brewing & The Meat Hook
  • Melt Bakery
  • Kimchi Taco
  • Mai Bpen Rai Papaya Salads
  • Malai Ice Cream (Saturdays only)
  • Terry & Yaki

Bicycle rentals & special activities from Blazing Saddles will also be available until sunset on these Fridays and Saturdays, and select arts and cultural programming will also participate: West Harlem Art Fund’s indoor and outdoor exhibitions will be open until 9 p.m. on July 23, July 30, August 6 and August 20; Pratt Institute’s Graduate Architecture & Urban Design (GAUD) program’s exhibit will be open late on July 16 with an opening celebration; Open House New York and Gesso are holding a self-guided audio tour on July 16; and Not for Nutten is on view in the Battery Maritime Building during all late night hours.

Additional late-night vendors, programs and activities will continue to be announced throughout the summer.

GETTING TO LATE NIGHTS AT GOVERNORS ISLAND

Late night ferry service to Governors Island ferries will run until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays between the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Manhattan and Soissons Landing on the Island. Click here to view the expanded schedule and reserve your tickets.

Visitors must reserve ferry tickets in advance of their trip to Governors Island, and face coverings are required while boarding and riding ferries. Governors Island ferries are always free for children 12 and under, seniors 65 and up, residents of NYCHA housing, IDNYC holders, current and former military servicemembers and Governors Island members. There is no surcharge for bicycles or strollers at any time. The Trust also offers waived fares for non-profit community-based organizations, youth camps, and senior centers throughout New York City. To inquire about group visits, organizations may email groupvisits@govisland.org.

Mayor De Blasio and the Trust for Governors Island Announce Global Competition to Establish Leading Climate Solutions Center In New York City

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NEW YORK (June 28, 2021) — Mayor Bill de Blasio and The Trust for Governors Island (the Trust) today launched a global competition to create a climate-focused research and educational hub on Governors Island. The competition invites universities and research institutions to establish an anchor institution for a Climate Solutions Center, dedicated to combatting the climate crisis in the heart of New York City’s harbor. The Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) can be found here.

Trust for Governors Island President Clare Newman was joined by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, US Representative Jerry Nadler, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, representatives from New York City Council Member Margaret Chin’s office, and Jeff Chetirko, Principal of the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School to celebrate the announcement.

The Center will capitalize on New York City’s unique talent pool to prepare communities around the world for the impacts of climate change; create good-paying green jobs across the city; and foster public awareness, dialogue, and action to address the global climate crisis.

“Governors Island is a crown jewel of this city – a place where families, workers and students have come to enjoy a beautiful landscape with spectacular views of the greatest city in the world. But we can get more out of this unique space. We can maintain the island’s identity while turning it into a world-class destination for fighting the climate crisis in New York City and across the world. That journey starts today, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“New York City has every asset needed to become the global leader in climate solutions and adaptation. We have the best talent, most innovative and creative entrepreneurs, and now, we’re offering Governors Island as the ideal location to host this existential work,” said Deputy Mayor Vicki Been. “This competition will foster diverse ideas and perspectives on how to create a world-class climate solutions center, and I look forward to seeing institutions from across the globe propose concepts for this once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

“As our city emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, we have a critical opportunity to address the global climate crisis in a way that centers equity, prepares our communities, and involves all New Yorkers in creating solutions,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “Situated at the center of New York Harbor, and at the center of New York City’s global network of talent, institutions, businesses and leaders in climate action, Governors Island offers a visible platform for education, research and public engagement to address one of the defining challenges of our time. We look forward to working with prospective partners to define this important project for Governors Island, and our city.”

“Just as the United Nations was persuaded to locate its headquarters here three-quarters of a century ago, today marks an important step in bringing a world-class institution to New York City to address the defining issue of our time – climate change,” said Alicia Glen, Chair of the Trust for Governors Island. “As we seek to combat the devastating impacts of climate change on our communities, this RFEI acknowledges and builds upon our history as the global center for innovation and progress.”


The RFEI seeks an institution to lease land within 33 acres of development sites, and/or up to one million square feet of adaptive reuse opportunity available within historic buildings on Governors Island. The Trust and the City of New York have partnered to make available up to $150 million of capital funding that may be allocated to support this project.

“A global competition to create a climate-focused research and educational hub on Governors Island is exactly what this city, state, nation and planet needs. And what better place to save the planet in a speedy, just and equitable way than in the very center of the universe, New York City! We have the human capital; we are a magnet to attract international talent; we have the public systems to support and sustain a vital new institution; and we have the passion to tackle this global challenge in a smart, scientific and progressive way. New York City is the world’s center for so many activities so it is only natural that the Big Apple also become the global center for fighting climate change,” said Senator Charles Schumer.

“There is no better place than Governors Island to create a living laboratory focused on climate solutions, research, and education,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I am excited to see what comes out of this global competition and I look forward to working with the Trust for Governors Island to help realize the full potential for this opportunity. The Climate Solutions Center will help make sure that New York continues to be a leader when it comes to resiliency and tackling the climate crisis.”

“The climate crisis is the most urgent threat facing our world, our country, and our city. Just as New York City leads the way in business, technological advancement, and innovation, we should lead the way in developing solutions to this most existential of challenges,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler. “Establishing a world-class institution on Governor’s Island with the specific goal of finding ways to overcome the perils of climate change will bring green jobs to our city, provide meaningful opportunities for education and research, and ensure that any rising tide that lifts all New Yorkers is one we have firmly under our control.”

"As the climate crisis continues to worsen, it has never been more important to develop new and equitable solutions to protect communities from flooding, heatwaves, and other forms of extreme weather," said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor's Office of Climate Resiliency. "New York City is already a global leader in climate adaptation and is advancing some of the most complex resiliency projects anywhere in the world. Creating this new Climate Solutions Center will build on our existing expertise and will help foster research, innovation, and design in an iconic location in the heart of New York Harbor."

"New Yorkers are on the frontline of the climate crisis and will be at the center of equitable climate solutions," said Ben Furnas, Director of the Mayor's Office of Climate and Sustainability. "The capital investment and global competition to build a Climate Solutions Center right here on Governors Island will bring together the brightest minds around the city and the world. Together, we’ll develop climate research and education that empowers us to take action on climate, while improving daily life and creating a cleaner, healthier, and fairer future for all.”

Respondents should articulate a vision that addresses the City’s and the Trust’s goals as outlined in the RFEI. In addition to advancing climate-related fields, respondents’ plans should make a positive contribution to Governors Island’s physical campus and existing community of partners and visitors, while creating broader opportunities for New Yorkers who already enjoy the island. Responses to this RFEI are due on September 29, 2021.

A center for climate solutions on Governors Island is projected to create over 7,000 direct new jobs and nearly $1 billion in economic impact for New York City, both on Governors Island alone.

"I'm happy that the Trust for Governors Island is conducting a RFEI process for the planned climate research center on the island." said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "Community input and public engagement in this selection process will help ensure that the Center will be occupied by the organization that is not only best suited to address the climate crisis, but also responds to the community's needs."

“Governors Island has a long and storied past and I am pleased that the next chapter will include a center for innovative work on one of the great challenges of our time, climate change,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh. “As the RFEI process moves forward, it will be important to ensure that the applicant selected and the proposed development align with the values of the community and all New Yorkers who treasure Governors Island as a green, public open space. We also look forward to ongoing support for the essential work of the environmental and educational organizations already on the Island, including the Billion Oyster Project, Harbor School, and Earth Matters. I am excited to continue to work with the Trust for Governors Island, my colleagues in elected office, our Community Boards in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and the many New Yorkers who care deeply for the Island.”

“Rising tides are an immediate threat to New York City, and our coastline communities are depending on us for solutions to our climate crisis. This Climate Solutions Center is an opportunity to address global warming and bring a world-class institution to Governors Island,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “I am so proud to have worked with the Trust for Governor’s Island to get us to this next phase, and I am thrilled that the Climate Solutions Center is one step closer to being fully actualized.”

“Cities cannot address climate change without ensuring that environmental justice is embedded into our decision-making, policies, and solutions,” said Lisa Garcia, Director of FIX, Grist’s Climate Solutions Lab and member of the Trust for Governors Island’s Board of Directors. “Governors Island is an inspiring example of a place that offers unparalleled opportunities for public engagement in climate action, and for collaboration and co-creation of equitable solutions with leaders in frontline communities, which is what makes it such a compelling place for a Climate Solutions Center.”

“As the impact of climate change on our communities accelerates, we must focus on adapting our urban environments and enhancing resiliency in addition to sharply curtailing carbon emissions,” said Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), the Department of Geosciences, and the High Meadows Environmental Institute at Princeton University and member of the Trust for Governors Island’s Board of Directors. “The vision for the Center for Climate Solutions comes at a time when the need for a cross-disciplinary approach to research, education, and community engagement could not be more urgent. I applaud the City for providing the space, vision, and financing to create a first of its kind center dedicated to advancing climate science, climate solutions, and climate policy”.

“From super storms to extreme heat, New Yorkers have grappled with the impacts of climate change first hand,” said Nathanael Greene, Senior Renewable Energy Advocate at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “The creation of a world-class center for climate solutions on Governor’s Island will help foster new approaches to fight the climate crisis and protect frontline communities. This is another example of how New York City can help lead the way towards a safer and equitable future for all of us.”

“Over the past 19 years, Governors Island has been transformed from an abandoned Coast Guard Base into a magnificent urban park drawing one million visitors each year,” said Tom Wright, President and CEO, Regional Plan Association. “Such vision was championed by a broad alliance of organizations when we began this journey. Now the Governors Island Trust has demonstrated its ability to execute and improve upon that vision. Today’s announcement will help secure the right partners to create a collaborative research platform and advance climate change solutions for the region and beyond.”

“Governors Island is the perfect New York City location for a research center tasked with tackling one of the world's greatest crisis,” said Alliance for Downtown New York President Jessica Lappin. “This program will give our city and its inhabitants an incredible opportunity to contribute directly to solutions for our global community.”

“New York City’s waterfronts are core to the City’s economic recovery and to climate change adaptation. We commend The Trust for Governors Island for the Climate Solutions Center proposal which can bring solutions to the climate crisis and make for a more livable and greener city,” said Cortney Koenig-Worrall, CEO and President, Waterfront Alliance. “We also look forward to a future of expanded ferry service at Governors Island, commitments to a net-zero carbon island, investment in new dock and boating infrastructure, and local green and blue job creation. New opportunities for people to touch the water and enjoy recreational boating will also meet increased demand for recreation in the City.”

"The Association for a Better New York (ABNY) is pleased to see this RFEI move forward. Establishing a world-class climate center on Governors Island presents an opportunity for renewal in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and pursues solutions for the devastation of another extreme threat to humanity, and specifically, to our most vulnerable populations: climate change,” said Melva M. Miller, Chief Executive Officer, Association for a Better New York. “By incorporating existing community partners and visitors into the RFEI's requirements alongside broader goals for research, education, and economic development, the City and the Trust show commitment to advancing positive economic and social outcomes for all New Yorkers."

“Climate change is one of the most persistent and critical challenges our Earth faces today, and we cannot afford to wait another second to turn the tide,” said Dr. Dune Ives, sustainability expert, CEO of ocean conservation nonprofit, Lonely Whale, and co-founding partner of Ocean Heroes Network. “The cross-sectoral living platform of The Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island would sustain not just our future, but my son’s future, all of our children’s future, and everyone and every living thing in between. Now more than ever, the voices of youth are influencing global culture, and it is on all of us to answer their call by driving forward global action and awareness.”

“The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, that inhabits this awe-inspiring island, will be further supported by a Climate Solution Center by enhancing our abilities to provide exceptional, hands-on Maritime Education curriculum to our diverse student population. Our school’s unique Career and Technical Education programming, which strives to break down barriers for young people entering into the Maritime Industry, will be strengthened by providing NYC students the opportunity to engage with the university and/or research center that will occupy this proposed Center,” said Jeffrey Chetirko, Principal of the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School on Governors Island. “It is clear that the development on Governors Island aligns with our school’s mission in educating our city’s citizens about climate change. This awareness of, and movement toward, climate solutions allows us to continue our environmental restoration work all around the New York Harbor with our students and staff alongside the Billion Oyster Project.”

“This initiative represents an extraordinary opportunity for global climate leadership with a focus on equity, community, and civic action--a necessary scale-out of the meaningful work the Trust for Governors Island has already been doing,” said Miranda Massie, Director of the Climate Museum. “We're prouder than ever to be part of the cultural ecosystem the Trust has created, and very excited for all that's to come.”

“The people of Manhattan Community District 1 know about the worst impacts of climate change,” said Tammy, Meltzer, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1. “While this process appears to be moving quickly and we have not yet seen the RFEI, we look forward to establishing robust engagement opportunities as part of our responsibility to the public and we hope that the Trust does the same. We encourage those institutions who intend to respond to the RFEI to balance the world class research with the simultaneous protection of the bucolic nature of the grounds and incredible view that make Governors Island so unique.”

“The National Park Service is proud to welcome visitors to the Governors Island National Monument to explore Governors Island’s rich history each year,” said Shirley McKinney, Manhattan Sites Superintendent for the National Park Service. “We share the Trust for Governors Island’s mission in expanding access to this jewel of New York Harbor, and are thrilled that the City of New York is further investing in this remarkable place.”

“The proposed Center for Climate Solutions represents the culmination of communal efforts we helped initiate 25 years ago to turn an abandoned military base into a vibrant public resource,” said Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “We commend the Trust for Governors Island and the City for the work they’ve already accomplished in creating an extraordinary park and public destination – and for this game-changing next step. Beyond its envisioned contributions to the climate field, the Center will bring huge advantages for everyday New Yorkers, including increased public access, more weekday amenities, new long-term uses for historic buildings and a continued focus on learning, innovation, sustainability and public engagement.”

“For over a decade, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) has served artists and the public at our Arts Center at Governors Island through dynamic programming that encourages creative and critical inquiry around issues of ecology, sustainability, and social practice. A Climate Solutions Center will offer rich opportunities for LMCC and the Island’s cultural and environmental organizations to collaborate on groundbreaking ideas and cross-disciplinary projects, all while driven by our shared commitment to equity and civic participation,” said Lili Chopra, Executive Director, Artistic Programs, and Diego S. Segalini, Executive Director, Finance & Administration, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC).



All photos © Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

Governors Island Extends Weekend Hours with Late Friday and Saturday Nights this Summer

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NEW YORK (June 3, 2021)—The Trust for Governors Island announced today the expansion of weekend late night hours on the Island for summer 2021. From Independence Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, Governors Island will be open to visitors until 10:00 p.m. on all Fridays and Saturdays, adding nearly four extra hours on Fridays and three extra hours on Saturdays for visitors to explore the spectacular open spaces, attractions, vistas and vendors the Island has to offer.

Governors Island will be accessible during these expanded evening hours with ferry service from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Manhattan. This expanded ferry service will allow visitors to enjoy the Island on Friday and Saturday nights between July 2 and September 4. Complete ferry schedules can be viewed at www.govisland.org, with tickets for late Fridays and Saturdays in July available starting today.

“As the city reopens and New Yorkers spend more time outdoors, we are excited to offer expanded weekend hours to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy all that Governors Island has to offer later into the evening,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “We can't wait to welcome visitors back to enjoy the iconic skyline sunsets and twinkling lights of the city from here in the heart of the Harbor once again.”

“Whether you’re looking for a lively cocktail scene, a casual dinner under the stars, or a just tranquil spot to watch the sunset, late nights on Governors Island offer a much-needed summer escape for everyone,” said Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “We're delighted to welcome all New Yorkers to enjoy this evening oasis in the heart of our city.”

Many of Governors Island’s beloved food vendors will offer evening eats and drinks as part of the expanded nighttime hours, including the James Beard Foundation Award-nominated restaurant Island Oyster; wood-fired pizza outpost Pizza Yard; Taco Vista, home to some of the best views and tacos in New York City; Makina Café, an eatery famous for its Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine; summertime grilled fare maestros Little Eva’s and Sea Biscuit; the brews-and-burgers partnership between Threes Brewing and The Meat Hook; and for dessert, Melt Bakery’s enticing ice cream sandwiches. Blazing Saddles bike rentals will also expand bicycle availability until sunset, allowing Island visitors a chance to enjoy twilight rides. Additional late-night vendors, activities and special programs will be announced throughout the season.

GETTING TO GOVERNORS ISLAND

Governors Island ferries run daily between the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Manhattan and Soissons Landing on the Island. This year Governors Island ferries also serve two Brooklyn locations on weekends: Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Atlantic Basin in Red Hook. These routes run directly to Governors Island from each location every Saturday, Sunday and holiday Monday all season long.

Visitors must reserve ferry tickets in advance of their trip to Governors Island, and face coverings are required while boarding and riding ferries. Tickets are available through an online reservation system at www.govisland.org. Governors Island ferries are always free for children 12 and under, seniors 65 and up, residents of NYCHA housing, IDNYC holders, current and former military servicemembers and Governors Island members. Ferries before noon on Saturdays and Sundays are free for all. Round-trip ferry tickets cost $3 for adults at all other times. There is no surcharge for bicycles or strollers at any time. The Trust also offers waived fares for non-profit community-based organizations, youth camps, and senior centers throughout New York City. To inquire about group visits, organizations may email groupvisits@govisland.org.

NYC Ferry also offers additional connections to Governors Island's Yankee Pier via a dedicated weekend shuttle from Wall Street/Pier 11. Ticketing information and full schedules are available at www.ferry.nyc.

See everything to do on Governors Island this opening weekend

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Get ready to enjoy all of your favorite things to do on Governors Island—we reopen to visitors on Saturday, May 1! Below you’ll find everything you can discover during this year’s opening weekend. Plan your trip, book ferry tickets, and ship out for a packed (or relaxed) day on our shore.

The park, open space, and recreation:

120 acres of open space provide ample room to spread out with a picnic, play games, or just watch the clouds float by. Head to the Island’s park to relax in Hammock Grove’s cozy hammocks (and say hello to the sheep!), find breathtaking 360-degree views in The Hills, get moving on the Play Lawns, and camp out in an Adirondack chair at Picnic Point.

Kids and families will love playgrounds like the Hammock Grove Play Area, the water feature at Liggett Terrace, and Slide Hill’s collection of twist-y, turn-y slides. Head to the south end of Nolan Park on weekends 12-4pm to play at play:groundNYC’s The Yard, NYC’s only adventure playground where kids can unleash their imaginations and build their own fun.

Seven miles of car-free paths make Governors Island a pedaler’s paradise. Bring your bike on the ferry for no charge or rent bikes, surreys, pedal cars, scooters and more from Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals, or from three Citi Bike stations across the Island.

Adventures at Governors Island also returns to entice thrill seekers of all ages. Visitors can purchase ticket packages to fly down a zipline, challenge a climbing wall, puzzle through a problem-solving maze, and play a round of mini-golf just steps from Liggett Terrace.

Not for Nutten by Duke Riley. Photo by Timothy Schenck

Free arts, culture and science activities:

See public artworks by world-renowned artists across Governors Island. Before stepping ashore, visitors departing from Manhattan can see a new mural by Duke Riley in the Governors Island Ferry Waiting Room at the Battery Maritime Building. This new commission by the Trust for Governors Island, Not for Nutten, is a richly pigmented homage to nautical traditions and the Island's history that draws attention to modern climate concerns. Previous commissions on view include Shantell Martin’s Church on Colonels Row, Rachel Whiteread’s Cabin on Discovery Hill, and Mark Handforth’s Yankee Hanger at Liggett Terrace.

Arts, culture and science programs return in and around the historic houses of Nolan Park and Colonels Row. This weekend, see PHREATIC!, an exhibition of works by interdisciplinary artists exploring symbiotic ecologies, multispecies interactions and earthliness at points of disruption presented by NYU’s Gallatin School at the New York Virtual Volcano Observatory house, Nolan Park 11, 11AM–5PM. On view outside West Harlem Art Fund at Nolan Park 10, see two public art installations: Regatta III/8 Candy Blue & Teal by Gilbert Boro and Garden Sentinel by Michele Brody. More exhibitions open next weekend, including works by students and faculty at Pratt Institute’s Graduate Architecture and Urban Design program, a group exhibition of photography, film and more at Protocinema, and New Art Dealers Alliance’s NADA House, which includes works by over 50 artists across five houses on Colonels Row.

The Urban Farm also reopens 12–4PM this weekend for visitors to engage with environmental learning programs at GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden, a working urban farm with rows of crops, greenhouses and more, and Earth Matter’s Compost Learning Center and Soil Start Farm, a fully functioning compost center that turns material from all over the city into nutritious compost for use on the Island and elsewhere.

Visitors can also take guided tours of the Island with Friends of Governors Island volunteer docents, leaving from Soissons Landing on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30AM, 1:30PM, and 3:30PM. Or, embark on a self-guided tour through the Island’s history with stunning archival photographs on Urban Archive’s app or website, with a variety of tours available.

Island Oyster. Photo by Radhika Chalasani

Food and drink:

Governors Island’s vendors serve up a wide variety of cuisines to satisfy any craving. From drinks, snack and sweet treats to more substantial options, find our food and beverage vendors across the Island:

  • At Soissons Landing, find Island Oyster’s summer fare and tropically inspired cocktails, and Taco Vista’s tasty tacos and cool drinks with a view
  • Pizza Yard dishes out wood-fried Neapolitan-style pizzas at the south end of Colonels Row
  • On the western shore, grab small plates and drinks at Sea Biscuit or stop by Three Peaks Lodge at Collective Retreats for cocktails and takeaway options
  • Liggett Terrace features many options including Fauzia’s Heavenly Delights’ Jamaican fusion cuisine; coffee, tea and treats from Joe Coffee; Korean-inspired tacos, bowls and snacks at Kimchi Taco; eclectic takes on classic grill fare at Little Eva’s; Makina Café's modern Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine; Melt Bakery’s artisanal ice cream sandwiches; Terry and Yaki’s teriyaki bowls with vegan and halal options; and Threes Brewing’s tasty brews and The Meat Hook’s satisfying sandwiches in a shared shaded garden
  • Keep an eye out for People’s Pops’ uniquely flavored pops and shave ice and Mai Bpen Rai’s Thai-style green papaya salad roving across the Island

If you’d rather cook up your own meal, grills are available by reservation. Reservations are required, with grilling stations available at Picnic Point and near Nolan Park.

You can expect all of this and more this opening weekend. There’s plenty more to see and do on Governors Island in 2021—check back here and follow us on social media for the latest updates. See you on the ferry!

Herd Around Town: Trust for Governors Island Announces New Sheep Employees

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NEW YORK (April 19, 2021)--Today, the Trust for Governors Island officially introduced its five newest employees to New York City—a family of five sheep. These fluffy friends—Flour, Sam, Evening, Chad, and Philip Aries—hail from Friends of Tivoli Lake Preserve and Farm in Albany and will spend the next four to five months on Governors Island, helping to control invasive plant species in beautiful Hammock Grove by eating them.

Sheep’s love for herbaceous plants, such as grasses, phragmites and flowering plants like mugwort and sunflowers make them a natural fit to join the Island’s horticultural division. Replete with such delicacies (phragmites being the sheep’s favorite), the flock will live on the Island, enjoying a lush grove and eating its invasive plants all summer long.

“The shear genius of this idea lies in its simplicity. On behalf of the thousands of New Yorkers flocking to open space on Governors Island every season, I want to thank Flour, Sam, Evening, Chad, and Philip Aries for doing their part to bring New York City baaaack,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Bon appetit, fellas.”

“The sheep are very happy to be joining us on Governors Island for the summer, and we are thrilled to have them here,” said Clare Newman, President & CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “This innovative, environmentally friendly landscaping program will protect our Island’s plant life from invasive species while allowing our horticulture team to spend their time on more productive pursuits than weeding Hammock Grove. Our new sheep employees have arrived at the perfect time, and we welcome their contributions to help protect the natural landscapes of Governors Island.”

“Using animals for vegetation management has many benefits -- not only does it help reduce the vitality and spread of the plants, but it reduces the need for harmful herbicides. The sheep also help return nutrients and carbon back into the soil, creating a healthier ecosystem for both native flora and fauna and park-goers. We are thrilled to expand our grazing efforts to Governors Island and welcome visitors to meet the rest of the flock and community which will continue managing vegetation in Tivoli Lake Preserve and hosting environmental education activities all summer long," said Kim Tateo, Executive Director and Farm Manager, Friends of Tivoli Lake Preserve and Farm.

Mugwort, phragmites and other invasive plant species have a competitive nature and crowd other plantings within the park, essentially creating a monoculture. The sheep eating these herbaceous plants helps to break down and weaken them, preventing them from flowering and the seeds spreading.

Recruiting a herd of sheep is extremely beneficial to the Trust for Governors Island’s efforts to care for the park, as it reduces the time spent on invasive species removal to less than 30 percent of the gardening staff time. Having the sheep deal with the invasive plants allows the horticulture team to focus more on the well-being of the trees and soil and ensure that the forest in Hammock Grove thrives on Governors Island. Previously the horticulture team was spending a tremendous amount of time weeding, and the sheep represent a cost effective and eco-friendly solution that allows the team to be more productive and efficient.

Sheep are also uniquely suited to the work on Governors Island, more so than goats or other animals, since their culinary tastes do not include tree bark. The sheep will eat around the young trees in Hammock Grove and focus on phragmites and other delicacies, while goats would devour virtually any plant life they could get their hooves on, invasive or not.

As a gesture of gratitude to their new home city, the sheep provided visitors to their welcome party with a lunch of invasive plants and grasses to all media in attendance.

Governors Island Announces Commission of New Artwork by Duke Riley

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The Trust for Governors Island announced today that a mural by artist Duke Riley will open as part of its ongoing art commissioning series. Riley’s installation, entitled Not for Nutten, will open at the Governors Island Ferry Waiting Room located in the historic Battery Maritime Building on May 1 and remain on exhibit long term, with the work on view this public season and in the years ahead.

Riley’s mural expands on the tradition of ships in a bottle, referencing single-use plastic containers of today such as detergent bottles and caulking tubes, which can be found floating and accumulating in oceans worldwide. Unlike their blown glass counterparts, Riley’s painted, nautical vignettes appear etched like scrimshaw on the surfaces of familiar items that plague our waterways. The richly pigmented artwork provides visitors with an introduction to their journey across the Harbor to Governors Island, reflecting on how storytelling, memory, and human consumption all make imprints on our ever-evolving understanding of place, history, and the physical landscapes that we inhabit.

“As a historic center for the arts, Governors Island is proud to welcome yet another celebrated artist to enliven our public spaces,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “Riley's work marries the Harbor’s rich history with the Island’s present focus on the pressing issues of the ongoing climate crisis. This intricately beautiful mural looks to both the past and the future, giving visitors the chance to pause and reflect as they enjoy everything the Island has to offer.”

“Duke Riley’s expansive work for the Governors Island ferry building links visitors to the Island’s past and present, with scenes ranging in time from the Island’s British occupation to a sea creature caught with a Covid-era rubber glove,” said Meredith Johnson, VP of Arts and Culture and Head Curator at the Trust. “Blending fact and fiction, humor and tragedy, Riley’s works acts as a collection of past stories anchored in the reality of what’s to come.”

Riley anchors his work, Not for Nutten, in location with nautical flags that spell out “Paggank”, the name given to the Island by the Lenape. The name translates to “Nut Island,” a reference to the many nut trees found on its shores. In 1624, Dutch settlers called the Island “Noten Eylandt,” which the British later mispronounced as “Nutten Island.” Riley’s play of the term “not for nothing,” a phrase whose origin is speculated to be uniquely from New York City, frames the reading of the mural and its environmental warning, emphasizing important news about to be delivered.

Not for Nutten is curated by Meredith Johnson, The Trust for Governors Island’s Vice President for Arts and Culture and Head Curator. Since opening to the public in 2005, the Island has been home to hundreds of artists and arts and cultural organizations from across New York City, bringing a robust calendar of commissions, exhibitions and events to the Island’s diverse audience. The Trust’s commissioning program gives artists the opportunity to engage with audiences through site-specific projects responding to the Island’s unique conditions. Existing commissions that will remain on view for the 2021 season include Rachel Whiteread’s Cabin, Mark Handforth’s Yankee Hanger, and Shantell Martin’s Church. Previous commissions include Susan Philipsz’s Day is Done, David Brooks’ Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird, and Jacob Hashimoto’s Never Comes Tomorrow. Learn more about public art commissions on Governors Island at govisland.org/things-to-do/public-art.

Not for Nutten was made possible through the generous support of Charina Endowment Fund and The O’Grady Foundation.

In 2021, Governors Island will open to the public from May 1-October 31. For more information, visit govisland.org.

About Duke Riley

Duke Riley is a Brooklyn-based artist and seafarer, whose work is intertwined with maritime history and urban waterways. His installations, paintings, drawings, sculptures, and mosaics weave historical and contemporary events with elements of fiction and myth. In 2007, Riley built, launched, and piloted a full-scale replica of the Turtle, reenacting its 1776 mission near the shores of Governors Island in the Buttermilk Channel for his project The Battle of Brooklyn. Born in Boston, Riley received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and his M.F.A. from Pratt Institute. Riley’s work has been widely exhibited in shows and public projects in New York, nationally, and internationally.

Mayor de Blasio Announces New Appointments to Trust for Governors Island Board of Directors

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the appointments of Donnel Baird, Alice Blank, Lisa Garcia, Grace Lee, Michael Oppenheimer and Matthew Washington to the Trust for Governors Island board of directors. With leadership in green tech, climate science, environmental justice, architecture, business, government and advocacy, the appointments announced today will bring years of experience to oversee the Trust’s activities in the planning, operations and ongoing development of Governors Island.

The Trust for Governors Island’s 17-member board provides strategic oversight, reviews and approves operating and capital budgets, authorizes leases on Governors Island, and approves significant contracts.

“The Trust for Governors Island does extraordinary work to maintain and improve an iconic open space in this city. These new expert voices will further that work and keep the island a vibrant, accessible, and enjoyable destination for generations of New Yorkers to come,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“As Governors Island continues it work in creating a world-class climate hub, it’s so important that it has board leadership to help achieve this goal,” said Deputy Mayor Vicki Been. “Donnel, Lisa and Michael are leading voices in climate and environmental fields, and their expertise—along with the experience in architecture, advocacy and government that Alice, Grace and Matthew bring—will be critical to moving the Island towards its next, exciting phase.”

“These six new board members bring a deep bench of experience and we’re honored to have their leadership as we embark on an exciting moment for Governors Island,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “With strong ties to the New York City community and vital expertise in civic, parks and environmental stewardship, we’re thrilled to partner with our board in realizing Governors Island’s potential as a recreational and cultural resource, and its growing use as a center for climate solutions.”

This month, Mayor de Blasio and the Trust announced Governors Island will reopen the public on May 1st, returning to its pre-pandemic season calendar. In addition to daily Manhattan ferry service, for the first time Governors Island ferries will serve two Brooklyn locations for weekend service at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Atlantic Basin in Red Hook, allowing easy access to the Island for a wider range of Brooklyn residents. For more information, go to www.govisland.org.

About today’s appointments:

Donnel Baird

Donnel Baird is the founder of BlocPower, a clean tech startup based in New York City. BlocPower develops portfolios of clean energy retrofit opportunities in underserved communities, and connects those opportunities to investors seeking social, environmental, and financial returns. BlocPower creates jobs for qualified local low-income workers, energy savings for community institutions, reduces carbon emissions, and provides returns to investors. BlocPower is backed by Kapor Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Eric and Wendy Schmidt, the American Family Institute for social and environmental impact, and Salesforce. Baird is a graduate of Duke University and Columbia Business School, where he was a recipient of the Board of Overseers Fellowship and a recipient of investment from the Lang Fund for Entrepreneurial Initiatives. He spent four years as a political and community organizer, and more than two years managing a national initiative to leverage American Reinvestment and Recovery Act energy efficiency investments in underserved communities. Baird lives in his native borough of Brooklyn with his wife and son.

Alice Blank

Alice Blank is the principal of Alice Blank, Architect, an architectural and design studio carrying out innovative residential and commercial projects in the metropolitan region since 1995. Prior to establishing her firm, she worked as an architect and as an urban planner in Cairo, Egypt and in Neuchatel, Switzerland. Alice has taught architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning at Hunter College, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Catholic University of America, and led several international public design competitions including Ideas Afloat – a series of competitions and events that generated development strategies for the 42 islands comprising the archipelago of New York City. She is the Vice Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1 and the Chair of the Board’s Environmental Protection Committee where she helps lead the Lower Manhattan community in addressing critical land use issues in the City. Alice also serves as a Member of the Board of The City Club of New York and is actively involved with many of the City's preservation and environmental groups.

Alice Blank will serve on the Trust’s Board of Directors as a representative of Manhattan Community Board 1.

Lisa Garcia

Lisa Garcia is the Director of Fix, the climate solutions lab from Grist.org — a national nonprofit media organization dedicated to telling stories of climate solutions and a more just future. Garcia was brought on to help develop and run Fix, a new program that combines storytelling, events and network-building focused on climate justice. Fix identifies and lifts up a diverse array of leaders developing solutions to environmental and social-justice challenges and brings them together to break down silos, develop new collaborations, and accelerate solutions to climate change.

In 2009, Garcia joined the Obama administration to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental-justice work, serving as both an associate administrator and advisor to EPA administrators, Lisa P. Jackson, and Gina McCarthy. Garcia helped create and implement Plan EJ 2014, a roadmap for weaving environmental justice into all of the EPA’s work, and was the principal drafter of President Obama’s 2014 proclamation on Environmental Justice. She also led the federal Environmental Justice Interagency Workgroup, collaborating with other agencies across the U.S. government to address some of the country’s most persistent environmental challenges.

Before joining Fix, Garcia was at the nonprofit public-interest law organization Earthjustice, where, as vice president, she led high-impact litigation work designed to protect communities and families from toxic pesticides, refinery and factory pollution, chemical dumping, and unsustainable industrial development. She also spearheaded an effort to build diverse partnerships and coalitions.

Garcia lives in Brooklyn along with her family and pet turtle, Ziggy.

Grace Lee

Grace is a Lower Manhattan resident, a mother of three children, a small business owner and a community activist. She is the co-founder of Children First, a parent-led activist group fighting for the safe cleanup of a toxic site located in the South Street Seaport affecting thousands of children and residents in the district. Prior to Children First, she was the New York events director for Swing Left, a progressive political group that helped Democrats take back the House following the election of Donald Trump. She is also the co-founder of Nine Naturals, a toxin-free beauty line for pregnant and new moms. Prior to her political and community work, Grace was a Vice President and equity analyst covering the financial sector. Grace also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Battery Conservancy.

Grace Lee will serve on the Trust’s Board of Directors as a representative of New York City Councilmember Margaret Chin.

Michael Oppenheimer

Michael Oppenheimer is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), the Department of Geosciences, and the High Meadows Environmental Institute at Princeton University. He is the Director of the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment (C-PREE) at SPIA and Faculty Associate of the Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences Program and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies.

Oppenheimer joined the Princeton faculty after more than two decades with The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a non-governmental, environmental organization, where he served as chief scientist and manager of the Climate and Air Program. He continues to serve as a science advisor to EDF.

Oppenheimer is a long-time participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, most recently serving as a Coordinating Lead Author on IPCC’s Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (2019) and as a Review Editor on the upcoming Sixth Assessment Report. Oppenheimer served previously as a member of several panels of the National Academy of Sciences as well as the National Academies’ Board on Energy and Environmental Studies and the New York City Panel on Climate Change, providing technical advice to the City. He is also a winner of the 2010 Heinz Award and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Oppenheimer is co-editor-in-chief of interdisciplinary scientific journal, Climatic Change.

Prior to his position at The Environmental Defense Fund, Dr. Oppenheimer served as Atomic and Molecular Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Lecturer on Astronomy at Harvard University. He received an S.B. in chemistry from M.I.T., a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Chicago and pursued post-doctoral research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Matthew S. Washington

Matthew S. Washington is a Deputy Manhattan Borough President where he oversees the distribution of over $130 million in capital funding to enhance parks, theaters, hospitals, museums, affordable housing developments, community centers and public schools. Previously, Matthew served as Deputy Director of External Affairs at The Durst Organization where he managed public affairs for new development in Queens and other projects, including New York Water Taxi. He has also served in a diverse background in non-profit management as the Executive Director of Friends of the High School for Environmental Studies and as Deputy Director of Friends of Hudson River Park.

Matthew Washington will serve on the Trust’s Board of Directors as a representative of Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer.

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