GrowNYC Teaching Garden at Governors Island

About the GrowNYC Teaching Garden

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.

GrowNYC offers field trips at the Teaching Garden to NYC students and summer camp participants, giving kids the opportunity to plant, water, harvest, and cook the garden's wide array of vegetables, herbs, and fruits. Info on registering for field trips is below.

In addition to scheduled school visits, the garden is open to the public on weekends during the larger Governors Island open season. The garden is open from 12 to 4pm on weekends. GrowNYC's weekend public programming includes tours, garden and nutrition related workshops, and more. 

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.  Come and see us!

If you are interested in receiving information about field trips, workshops, public events, volunteer oppurtunities, or corporate volunteering, please email ebrown@grownyc.org.

 

GrowNYC's Governors Island Teaching Garden Overview

 

Get Outside!

Fall 2021 Outdoor Garden Education Programming

Programming:

We know that distance learning can be hard and we want to give students a chance to get outside! We are inviting small groups of students who learn together (camp groups, school groups, other youth groups) to the Teaching Garden for socially distant environmental education programming. Students in grades k-12 of all abilities are welcome to attend! Groups must be approximately larger than 8 students and smaller than 20 students. If your group is larger than 20 students still contact us as we may be able to work with your group in shifts.  Fill out our google form to book!

Programming will include a 30 minute interactive tour of the garden, about 30 minutes of staff supervised hands-on activity time. The farm tour will be age-appropriate and highlight sustainable infrastructure, organic practices, and will include a chance to pick a few herbs, flowers, or vegetables to take home to taste and smell later with ample time for questions. The hands-on portion consists of a few activities to choose from including compost exploration, rainwater harvesting and watering, nature art, or seeding, weeding, or planting depending on the needs of the garden at that time. 

Feel free to stay longer on the Island and take advantage of our Island activities (at the bottom of this page - Planning your Trip to Governors Island). For questions or concerns email ebrown@grownyc.org or call 646-740-1365.

Logistics:

Participants (and staff) are required to wear a mask for the entire duration of the program. Make sure to bring a water bottle (there are drinking water filling stations in the garden and on the island), comfortable closed toed walking shoes, sunscreen (or other sun protection: hat, clothing), and a small paper lunch bag, or tuperware container to take home a few herbs, fruits or vegetables to smell or taste later. Please print out and bring (or e-sign and email) a signed waiver for each attendee. You are welcome to bring a snack or lunch to eat on the Island but eating will be prohibited in the Teaching Garden. There will only be a porta-potty bathroom available in the teaching garden, the closest bathroom is a public trailer bathroom which is about a 5-minute walk from the garden.

Important:

  • You must bring a signed waiver for each individual attending.
  • To visit the island you must reserve a spot on the ferry by following this link (https://govisland.com/visit-the-island/ferry). Catch the ferry to Governors Island at the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan (10 South St. New York, NY 10004). Or email ebrown@grownyc.org to ask about ferry reservations. 
  • Make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes early, the ferry departs promptly at its departure time.
  • There are ample bathrooms on the island but there will only be a porta-potty bathroom available in the Teaching Garden so please encourage youngsters to use one before they arrive.
  • Your party must arrive at the Teaching Garden promptly at the starting time, groups who arrive late will not be admitted into the garden.

 

Registration:

Fill our our google form and we will get back to you shortly with our availability. Email ebrown@grownyc.org with quesitons or concerns. 

 

Sample Itinerary:

9:45 AM: Arrive at the ferry terminal (Battery Maritime Building) located at 10 South St New York, NY 10004. 

10:00 AM: Ferry departs for Governors Island.

10:10 AM: Ferry arrives on Governors Island, follow the map (sent after registration) directions to the Teaching Garden (20 minute walk). If needed use bathrooms in the building to the right upon exiting the ferry. 

10:30 AM: Arrive at the Teaching Garden for programming.

11:30 PM: Depart the garden with time to catch the 12:20 ferry off the island or stay on the island and take advantage of our island activities (at the bottom of this page)!

 

Virtual Field Trip

Cant visit the farm in person, check out our virtual field trips here!

You can also follow us digitally at https://www.grownyc.org/virtualfarm

 

Planning your Trip to Governors Island

Governors Island is open to the public between May and October. If your field trip falls between these months you are more than welcome to stay on the island longer than our itinerary plans for. Below are some guides and activities you can use with your students on the island. 

Fun things to do: This map and guide details a few spots you can visit on the island, what you can do there, and approximately how long it will take you to travel to each location from both the Teaching Garden and the ferry. 

History of Governors Island: This activity provides a brief history of Governors Island along with some interactive questions for students to answer. 

Fractals in Nature: This activity provides a brief description of what fractals are and how they appear in nature. It also includes an activity sheet for students to search for and draw examples of fractals they find in real life. 

Birding on Governors!: Teach your students about birds in NYC! This birding observation sheet is a great way to introduce students to birding. This bird reference guide details common birds that can be found on Governors Island (and NYC in general) during the Island's open season (May - November) and includes a description of each bird, common behaviors, and their habitats. This resource guide provides educators with birding teaching tips, related scope and sequence units, and ideas for lesson extentions for all grades. In addition to the all seasons reference guide (linked above), we have created similar reference guides for spring (March - June), summer (June - September), and fall (September - November) to cater to the date of your field trip. 

 

If there are changes to GrowNYC programming or operations due to inclement weather this blog post will be information central for up-to-the-minute schedule changes.

  • Food Access & Agriculture

    Our network of Greenmarket farmers markets, Farmstands, and Fresh Food Box sites, coupled with GrowNYC Wholesale, ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.

  • Conservation

    We provide food scrap drop-offs, clothing collections, Stop 'N' Swap® community reuse events, and zero waste trainings to make resource conservation easy for all.

  • Green Space

    We build and rejuvenate community & school gardens in all 5 boroughs, and support even more gardens through volunteer days, technical assistance, school garden grants, & more.

  • Education

    We foster future environmental stewards by providing 66,000 children each year with programs that provide meaningful interactions with the natural environment.