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A Day of Volunteering & Learning on Governor’s Island

Learn about and support the work of three impactful and unique environmental organizations while enjoying the splendor of Governor's Island!

Tour Info

Learn about the issues of food waste, organic farming and regenerative farming. This includes an urban farm, oyster farm, composting complete with goats and chickens, and even a lavender field! Experience the beauty of Governor’s Island and learn about the important role it’s now playing in the NYC community.

Governor’s Island Social Impact Tour

GrowNYC’s Governors Island Teaching Garden

The GrowNYC Teaching Garden at Governors Island is a 1.5-acre garden that provides free, hands-on education to New Yorkers of all ages. It’s also a living classroom where thousands of children each year learn the fundamentals of growing food and taking care of plants.

Billion Oyster Project shell nursery

On the Billion Oyster Project shell nursery, you’ll see several hundred oysters growing in large plastic bins. These are not your typical bivalves (which generally have a lifespan of three years), but rather oyster spat that have been raised for about six months. The Billion Oyster Project is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to restore New York Harbor by offering citizens an easy way to get involved and help grow native oysters.

How many oysters will be grown in the shell nursery?

Approximately 8 million per year!

How long does it take for them to grow?

The average life span of an oyster is 2-3 years; however they can live up to 50 years! If you want your own baby bivalve friends, you needn’t worry: there are plenty at the shell nursery (and other locations throughout NYC).

Earth Matter NY and its composting facility

Earth Matter NY is a nonprofit organization that composts food scraps from the city’s restaurants, schools and hospitals. They create a natural fertilizer that is used by farmers, community gardens and backyard gardeners. Earth Matter is a zero waste facility that uses only one-third of its space to store finished compost; the rest of the space is used for growing crops like lettuce, kale and herbs. In this way, Earth Matter combines urban agriculture with composting—an excellent example of sustainable design!

What is Governor’s Island?

Governor’s Island is a 172-acre island located in New York Harbor, just south of Manhattan. The island has undergone extensive redevelopment since 2011.

The Governor’s Island Social Impact Tour is an opportunity for groups of 10 or more people to explore Governor’s Island and go behind the scenes with three impactful organizations that are helping to transform the island into a vibrant community.


Quick Details

Location: Governor’s Island

Duration: 3-8 hours

Tour Capacity: 10 people min / 60 people max

Tour Includes: Experience tour guide who will travel with you to and from Governor’s Island and provide a guided walk between all tour stops. Tour can also include food and beverage as well as a bike tour of Governor’s Island. Or even a visit to a spa or overnight glamping!

Pricing: Contact us for pricing!