Following an intensive study of NYC’s natural areas, a new interactive map features all 10,000 acres of forests, wetlands, and grasslands managed by the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. The new map, hosted by the Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC), makes it easy to scope out the city’s green spaces and learn more about them, including each park’s history, terrain, public accessibility, and wildlife. NAC will celebrate the map’s launch with a series of summer events designed to inspire folks to get out and get active in one of the greenest cities in the country.
New York City has long been known for its abundance of sprawling green spaces, which are a rarity in other large cities. In total, the city’s parks and wetlands represent an area 12 times the size of Central Park. Over a two-year period, NAC conducted a comprehensive assessment of NYC’s forests, wetlands, and grasslands—one of the largest studies of its kind nationwide. The agency evaluated the health of 51 park spaces in total, spread across the five boroughs, to collect the data used for this new interactive map, as well as to support environmental studies.
During the two-year study, NAC also interviewed people about how they use the city’s green spaces in an effort to better understand outdoor activity trends ranging from jogging to bird watching. The group will use this information to plan events, like walking tours and lectures, to further connect residents with the city’s abundant green spaces. Five events are planned for this summer, one in each borough, with the first planned for later this month.
“New Yorkers may be surprised to learn about the astounding natural diversity right in our backyard,” said Sarah Charlop-Powers, Executive Director of the Natural Areas Conservancy. “Our research will shape future conservation efforts as we work to make NYC’s wild places accessible to new audiences.”
Images via NAC