Exciting opportunity to learn about urban bee keeping. Great outdoor activity with many additional immersive experiences available!
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!
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.
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!
- The GrowNYC Teaching Garden at Governors Island is a one acre urban farm that aims to engage, excite, and educate its visitors in all aspects of urban farming.
- Vegetables, fruits, and herbs grown in the Teaching Garden are donated to a food pantry that distributes fresh food in Brownsville and East New York.
- Over the past 2 years, GrowNYC has donated over 25,000 lbs of produce.
- The GrowNYC Teaching Garden at Governors Island features over 20 vegetable beds made from recycled plastic lumber, farm-style rows, an aquaponics system, an outdoor kitchen, a greenhouse, a high tunnel hoophouse, fruit trees, several rainwater harvesting systems, a rain garden, and much much more.
- Read more in this profile in the NY Times.
- The Billion Oyster Project is restoring oyster reefs to New York Harbor through public education initiatives.
- Since 2014, they have restored 75 million live oysters and engaged over 8,000 NYC students.
Compost organic waste locally.
Educate, encourage, and support ongoing community composting efforts.
Utilize best practices for the improvement of soil health.
Promote water conservation practices to reduce the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) burden on municipal sewer systems.
The Trust for Governors Island continues its dedication to environmental stewardship through its Zero Waste Island initiative. In partnership with Earth Matter NY, Inc. the Trust aims to reduce the amount of waste from the Island going to landfills by:
- Ensuring all recycling stations on the Island include a color-coded, clearly labeled compost bin.
- Mandating that serviceware from all vendors and events on the Island is compostable.
- Composting all organics collected on the Island at Earth Matter’s Compost Learning Center and returning the finished product to the Island’s landscapes.
- Prohibiting plastic straws, plastic bags, and Styrofoam.
- Creating a community of Island tenants, partners, vendors and events that are committed to composting and recycling.