Gov­er­nors Island Will Open to the Pub­lic Year-Round Begin­ning This Fall


May­or Bill de Bla­sio and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island announced today that Gov­er­nors Island will be open to the pub­lic year-round, begin­ning this fall. Start­ing Novem­ber 1, New York­ers will be able to access Gov­er­nors Island’s open space, cul­tur­al pro­gram­ming, and recre­ation­al resources beyond its tra­di­tion­al May through Octo­ber sea­son for the first time.

May­or de Bla­sio, the Trust, and the New York City Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (NYCEDC) also announced today that NYC Fer­ry will serve Gov­er­nors Island dai­ly, year-round begin­ning with the launch of the Coney Island Route this fall. NYC Fer­ry will serve Gov­er­nors Island’s Yan­kee Pier via the South Brook­lyn Route, expand­ing direct access from Red Hook, Atlantic Ave/​Brooklyn Bridge Park-Pier 6, DUMBO/​Fulton Fer­ry, and Cor­lears Hook in the Low­er East Side for Gov­er­nors Island vis­i­tors and grow­ing com­mu­ni­ty of tenants.

The COVID-19 pan­dem­ic has cre­at­ed an unprece­dent­ed oppor­tu­ni­ty to reimag­ine pub­lic space in this city – and now, we’re proud to keep the crown jew­el of our har­bor open to New York­ers all year round,” said May­or Bill de Bla­sio. From expand­ed fer­ry ser­vice, to more ameni­ties than ever, to year-round vis­i­tors from all over the city, there’s no bet­ter time to expe­ri­ence and invest in Gov­er­nors Island.”

Gov­er­nors Island has been an oasis for New York­ers for near­ly two decades, and I’m so pleased that it will now become a des­ti­na­tion in all sea­sons,” said Vic­ki Been, Deputy May­or for Hous­ing and Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment. The Gov­er­nors Island team has been work­ing hard to expand the type and num­ber of part­ner orga­ni­za­tions on the Island – not to men­tion the Cli­mate Solu­tions Cen­ter we have in the works – and this year-round pub­lic fer­ry access is a crit­i­cal part of real­iz­ing our full vision for this green, cul­tur­al, and edu­ca­tion­al hub.”

Over the past two decades, a vision­ary idea to put Gov­er­nors Island on the map as a pub­lic des­ti­na­tion was out­lined, and today we are proud to announce that Gov­er­nors Island will now be open for New York­ers to enjoy year-round,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. This announce­ment is an excit­ing moment in real­iz­ing our vision to increase equi­table access to this remark­able resource and is an impor­tant step in real­iz­ing Gov­er­nors Island’s full poten­tial. I thank May­or Bill de Bla­sio and NYCEDC for their part­ner­ship in this extra­or­di­nary achieve­ment, as well as Coun­cil Mem­bers Mar­garet Chin, Car­li­na Rivera, State Sen­a­tor Bri­an Kavanagh and all of our elect­ed lead­ers for their advo­ca­cy and support.”

We are pleased to sup­port Gov­er­nors Island as it opens year-round to the pub­lic with our expand­ed NYC Fer­ry ser­vice lat­er this year. Water­way trans­porta­tion is key to our recov­ery and open­ing Gov­er­nors Island 12 months of the year is anoth­er illus­tra­tion of New York City’s won­der­ful future,” said Rachel Loeb, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the New York City Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion. Con­grat­u­la­tions to the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and every­one who has made this vision become a reality.”

Today’s announce­ment marks a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in the trans­for­ma­tion of Gov­er­nors Island into a remark­able resource for New York­ers. Fol­low­ing its trans­fer from fed­er­al to local con­trol in 2003, the City of New York and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island have worked to invest in expand­ing pub­lic access to Gov­er­nors Island, which has tra­di­tion­al­ly wel­comed vis­i­tors in the sum­mer months but has long been envi­sioned as a des­ti­na­tion acces­si­ble year-round.

Over the years, Gov­er­nors Island has grown into a beloved spot for New York­ers to play, explore, and relax, and I am proud I played a role in con­vert­ing this gem in the har­bor into a pub­lic ameni­ty for New York­ers,” said Sen­a­tor Chuck Schumer. Open­ing Gov­er­nors Island to vis­i­tors year-round rep­re­sents an impor­tant step in reach­ing its full poten­tial as a pub­lic resource.”

Expand­ing access to Governor’s Island is an excit­ing mile­stone for New York­ers, who vis­it it to enjoy a stroll through nature with loved ones, to see state-of-the-art research facil­i­ties, or to just enjoy a fer­ry ride through the har­bor,” said Sen­a­tor Kirsten Gilli­brand. I am pleased to wel­come year-round ser­vice to this unique and dynam­ic loca­tion that every sin­gle New York­er can access at their convenience.”

Gov­er­nors Island is tru­ly one of our city’s hid­den gems, and I’m pleased that final­ly after 20 years after I worked on reac­quir­ing the island from the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, New York­ers will final­ly have year-round fer­ry ser­vice and access to Gov­er­nors Island,” said U.S. Rep. Jer­ry Nadler. That means New York­ers and vis­i­tors alike will have more oppor­tu­ni­ty to play, explore and relax and enjoy this great New York attraction.”

It is won­der­ful that Gov­er­nors Island will soon be open year round for the pub­lic sev­en days a week,” said U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez. I am even more thrilled that reg­u­lar week­day fer­ry ser­vice will be pro­vid­ed through a NYC Fer­ry route from Low­er East Side Cor­lears Hook and three key Brook­lyn loca­tions, DUMBO/​Fulton Fer­ry, Pier 6/​Atlantic Avenue and Red Hook/​Atlantic Basin to allow more Low­er East Siders and Brook­lynites than ever quick access to all that Gov­er­nors Island has to offer and more open space recre­ation­al options. I salute the May­or and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island for their hard work in mak­ing year-round access a reality.”

The exten­sion of the Gov­er­nors Island sea­son from six months to year-round is great news for all New York­ers,” said Man­hat­tan Bor­ough Pres­i­dent Gale Brew­er. The addi­tion­al fall, win­ter, and spring months of oper­a­tion, along with the planned addi­tion­al fer­ry ser­vice, will give hun­dreds of thou­sands more the oppor­tu­ni­ty to vis­it this tru­ly unique pub­lic space. I look for­ward to fur­ther afford­able oppor­tu­ni­ties to expe­ri­ence out­door recre­ation­al activ­i­ties, the arts, and oth­er cul­tur­al pro­gram­ming. I espe­cial­ly encour­age seniors, res­i­dents of NYCHA, and IDNYC hold­ers to take advan­tage of free fares on the Gov­er­nors Island ferry.”

In recent years, Gov­er­nors Island has become an invalu­able pub­lic space in New York, offer­ing a need­ed respite from the hus­tle and bus­tle of city life, as well as a wide array of recre­ation­al oppor­tu­ni­ties for the whole fam­i­ly to enjoy. That’s why I’m thrilled that it will be open to the pub­lic year-round, with fer­ry ser­vice sev­en days a week to make it acces­si­ble for Brook­lynites from every back­ground. I thank The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island for this ground­break­ing step, and look for­ward to work­ing with them and oth­er enti­ties across the city to make sure all New York­ers have equi­table access to all our parks,” said Brook­lyn Bor­ough Pres­i­dent Eric Adams.

This is an excit­ing step for Gov­er­nors Island as this unique New York City gem grows its capac­i­ty to wel­come vis­i­tors from all five bor­oughs,” said Coun­cil Mem­ber Mar­garet Chin. Year-round access com­bined with fer­ry ser­vice expan­sion will allow more New York­ers to spend the day enjoy­ing the island’s beau­ti­ful open space and fam­i­ly-friend­ly activ­i­ties. I can’t wait to vis­it after the city’s first snow­fall to expe­ri­ence island in a com­plete­ly new way!”

For years, we have been call­ing for expand­ed trans­porta­tion to Gov­er­nors Island that would allow more New York­ers to expe­ri­ence this unique space, espe­cial­ly as the city invests in resilien­cy and cli­mate infra­struc­ture. This announce­ment of year-round access to the island and direct NYC Fer­ry ser­vice from the Low­er East Side and Brook­lyn is a real com­mit­ment to cre­at­ing more inclu­sive nat­ur­al areas and recre­ation­al oppor­tu­ni­ties for the whole city. Thank you May­or de Bla­sio, the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island, and NYCEDC for your respon­sive­ness to com­mu­ni­ties seek­ing addi­tion­al options for open space,” said Coun­cil Mem­ber Car­li­na Rivera.

I am thrilled to see that Gov­er­nors Island will now be avail­able for our neigh­bors and our city to enjoy year-round,” said Assem­bly Mem­ber Yuh-Line Niou. Gov­er­nors Island rep­re­sents some­thing spe­cial in my dis­trict, where there are rel­a­tive­ly few oppor­tu­ni­ties to enjoy expan­sive green space and open park­land. Expand­ing fer­ry access to Gov­er­nors Island means that res­i­dents of our com­mu­ni­ty will have more oppor­tu­ni­ties to enjoy the green spaces that make our city spe­cial. I’m excit­ed to vis­it in the win­ter and see every­one there!”

Man­hat­tan Com­mu­ni­ty Board 1 is excit­ed about Gov­er­nors Island open­ing its doors for year-round vis­i­tors,” said Tam­my Meltzer, Chair­per­son, Man­hat­tan Com­mu­ni­ty Board 1. This will awak­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty for more peo­ple to enjoy the bucol­ic nat­ur­al beau­ty and pub­lic pro­gram­ming that Gov­er­nors Island has through all sea­sons of the year. We look for­ward to work­ing with the Trust to con­tin­ue enhanc­ing the pub­lic’s access and expe­ri­ence of this price­less resource through sun, snow and beyond.”

Gov­er­nors Island has under­gone a tremen­dous trans­for­ma­tion over the last decade, includ­ing the cre­ation of a resilient 43-acre park, a grow­ing arts and cul­tur­al pro­gram and remark­able growth in audi­ence. Near­ly one mil­lion vis­i­tors have come to the island in 2019.

In June 2021, May­or Bill de Bla­sio and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island announced a com­pe­ti­tion to estab­lish a Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions on Gov­er­nors Island. The City is cur­rent­ly seek­ing an anchor uni­ver­si­ty and research insti­tu­tion through a Request for Expres­sions of Interest.

The NYC Fer­ry ser­vice announced today will sup­ple­ment dai­ly fer­ries run by the Trust that departs from Low­er Man­hat­tan, and peak sea­son week­end ser­vice from Brook­lyn Bridge Park Pier 6 and Red Hook. NYC Fer­ry will add addi­tion­al ser­vice to Gov­er­nors Island on week­days and non-sum­mer week­ends via the South Brook­lyn route. On peak sum­mer week­ends, NYC Fer­ry will serve Gov­er­nors Island via ded­i­cat­ed shut­tle to Yan­kee Pier from Wall St./Pier 11. A launch date for week­day NYC Fer­ry Ser­vice to Gov­er­nors Island will be announced soon. For more infor­ma­tion on cur­rent fer­ry ser­vice to Gov­er­nors Island, vis­it gov​is​land​.org.

Gov­er­nors Island has served as a promi­nent gate­way to New York Har­bor for cen­turies, and now it serves as an even greater role as a cul­tur­al and his­toric resource for New York­ers, acces­si­ble year-round for the first time,” said Shirley McK­in­ney, Super­in­ten­dent of Man­hat­tan Sites at the Nation­al Park Ser­vice. We’re thrilled that today’s announce­ment will bring expand­ed pub­lic access to Gov­er­nors Island, and we look for­ward to work­ing with our part­ners at the Trust on expand­ed access to the Gov­er­nors Island Nation­al Monument.”

The launch of year-round pub­lic access to Gov­er­nors Island is a game chang­er,” said Mer­ritt Birn­baum, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island. Since our found­ing in the mid-nineties, our pri­ma­ry goal has been to see Gov­er­nors Island acti­vat­ed as one of our city’s most extra­or­di­nary pub­lic places – a goal that was nev­er ful­ly real­iz­able with­out 365-day access. With the intro­duc­tion of year-round pub­lic fer­ry ser­vice from Man­hat­tan and Brook­lyn, the city and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island are open­ing up a whole new world for pub­lic pro­gram­ming, ameni­ties and events that will enable the Island to be ful­ly inter­wo­ven into the fab­ric of every­day New York­ers’ lives.”

The expan­sion of fer­ry ser­vices and year-round access to Governor’s Island is anoth­er step towards ful­fill­ing bold goals and curat­ing a promis­ing future for one of our most valu­able pub­lic assets,” said Tom Wright, Pres­i­dent of the Region­al Plan Asso­ci­a­tion. After a long his­to­ry that goes back to plan­ning the first few trips to Gov­er­nors Island, RPA is excit­ed about what these steps mean for the future of Gov­er­nors Island.”

As we enter the fall and win­ter months, New York­ers will be look­ing for new ways to meet out­side, and open­ing Gov­er­nors Island for year-round use will mean more oppor­tu­ni­ties for res­i­dents to enjoy that unique and beau­ti­ful pub­lic open space,” said Carter Strick­land, New York State Direc­tor for The Trust for Pub­lic Land. We’re thrilled to see the City of New York and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island invest­ing in expand­ed pub­lic access.”

Low­er Man­hat­tan’s back­yard’ being open year-round is fan­tas­tic news for New York­ers from every bor­ough as well as for vis­i­tors to our city from near and far,” said Jes­si­ca Lap­pin, Pres­i­dent of the Alliance for Down­town New York. To have access to this amaz­ing place in every sea­son with fun and excit­ing things to do is a game changer.”

Gov­er­nors Island is the jew­el of New York Har­bor, and its ongo­ing trans­for­ma­tion into a year-round pub­lic space is a major mile­stone for restor­ing New York­ers’ con­nec­tion with their water­front. Year-round access and greater inte­gra­tion into the NYC Fer­ry sys­tem send a sig­nal of the island’s future poten­tial as a revi­tal­ized, resilient, acces­si­ble, and inno­v­a­tive water­front com­mu­ni­ty,” said Karen Imas, Vice Pres­i­dent of Pro­grams, Water­front Alliance.

The Urban Assem­bly New York Har­bor School’s com­mu­ni­ty of stu­dents, fac­ul­ty and fam­i­lies, as well as the 1.1 mil­lion stu­dents of the New York City Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion, will ben­e­fit immense­ly from year-long access to the envi­ron­men­tal class­room known as Gov­er­nors Island,” said Jeff Che­tirko, Prin­ci­pal of the Urban Assem­bly New York Har­bor School. Addi­tion­al­ly, NYC Fer­ry-route access from Brook­lyn is the much need­ed first step for more equi­table avail­abil­i­ty for NYC res­i­dents to our city’s great­est resource of open spaces, artis­tic exhibits, and cli­mate solu­tion research and imple­men­ta­tion – all avail­able and hap­pen­ing on Gov­er­nors Island every day. We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing our con­ver­sa­tions with the NYC Fer­ry sys­tem in pro­vid­ing equi­table access from Brooklyn.”

In a year of unprece­dent­ed change, we couldn’t be more thrilled to hear that Gov­er­nors Island is now a year­long home for all New York­ers. For over a decade, Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil (LMCC)’s res­i­den­cy and free pub­lic pro­grams at The Arts Cen­ter at Gov­er­nors Island have pro­vid­ed oppor­tu­ni­ties for hun­dreds of thou­sands of artists and vis­i­tors to explore the cre­ative process. As active par­tic­i­pants of the Island’s diverse work­ing com­mu­ni­ty, we look for­ward to new part­ner­ships and pos­si­bil­i­ties that will engage the pub­lic, serve artists, and advance our col­lec­tive vision of cul­tur­al and envi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship, sus­tain­abil­i­ty, and cli­mate jus­tice,” said Lili Chopra and Diego S. Segali­ni, Co-Exec­u­tive Direc­tors of Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil (LMCC).

Year-round pub­lic access and fer­ry ser­vice from Brook­lyn brings Gov­er­nors Island clos­er to ful­fill­ing its poten­tial as a spec­tac­u­lar site for learn­ing, exchange and explo­ration for all NYC youth,” said Bri­an Cohen, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of Beam Cen­ter.