After a long winter, spring is finally in the air! In NYC, it's very easy for this fleeting season to pass before we even notice it, so this year be sure to make the most of it by heading to some of the best spots in the city to see blooms and buds springing to life. From the lush scenery of the Clinton Community Garden to weekend yoga adventures under the blossoming Callery Pear trees in Fort Greene, click through to see some of our favorite places to experience rebirth and new life in each of the city’s boroughs.
Fort Greene Park
Nestled in Brooklyn’s most distinguishing neighborhood, Fort Greene Park serves as a community hub for cultural diversity and public programming. One of the first parks built in Brooklyn, it originally housed forts during the Revolutionary War until its redesign in the 1860s by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux who also designed Central Park and Prospect Park. Boasting over 30 acres of grassy fields and over 39 varieties of trees, visitors marching along the park’s tree trail bear witness to the bursting hues of red, white and pink flowers that cover the Crabapple tree or the abundance of white flowers covering the Callery Pear tree.
Van Cortlandt Park
This Bronx treasure expands over a thousand acres and is New York City’s fourth largest park. Carrying a rich history that begins as the original home of the Weckquaesgeek Indian, the land’s steep ridges held formations as tall as Mount Everest. Housing the borough’s largest fresh water lake, the locals commune with the natural landscape during a round of golf, a run along the The Putnam Trail or a stroll across the Mosholu Parkway bike path. Van Cortlandt’s volunteers maintain the park’s compost site and garden which was recently opened to the public. You can find plenty of space to enjoy the rich scenery and curl up to a good book underneath the bounty of trees.
Alley Pond Park
Strike out on an adventure in Queens’ second largest park. Once a forgotten wasteland for dumping and debris from construction sites, activists in the 1970s worked to protect the wetlands and built what is now today the Alley Pond Environmental Center. Visits to this park during spring time reveal a collection of nature trails, traverse ponds, salt marshalls and meadows for singing with the shore birds or sharing space with the frolicking wildlife.
Clinton Community Garden
Escape the hustle and bustle of New York’s popular Hell’s Kitchen and find solace during a stroll through this community garden for a one on one with nature. This gem in the city was once a haven for illegal activity until neighborhood locals turned things around in 1978 and cleaned up the property. The Clinton Community Garden is now a hub for fresh vegetables and fruits and a plethora of budding flowers and Native American plant beds. Commune with the locals here during a gardening seminar or join in the harvest festivals and organic composting activities for hands-on fun as we journey into spring.
Step away from it all in Staten Island’s 2,800 acres of solitude and rugged beauty. The Greenbelt Park offers a series of wetlands, oak and beech forests and 35-mile hiking trail is an adventure zone for self-discovery and moments of peace. Transitions into the new season are marked by the Native American name Pink Moon, the most appropriate time of year for you to witness the woodland wildflowers give birth to bloodroot, spring beauty, trout lily and wild ginger species.
6bc Botanical Garden
Small but exquisite and bold, the 6bc Botanical Garden in Manhattan’s East Village is a community hub for discovery and preservation. Melded together by volunteers to protect the city from developing it into another concrete jungle in the 1980’s, you can come to learn about the many immigrant plants living harmoniously together, tucked between stones and shrubs. The winding paths give access to small ponds and pools welcoming you to sit under the Asian inspired Pagoda or one of the garden’s many benches for a meditative moment.