• RSS feed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
 
Category Archives:

Stuyvesant Cove Park

green goats

Due To Covid-19, Twenty Goats Will Soon Be Eating Lower Manhattan

green goatsStuyvesant Cove Park, New York NYNew York City’s parks are proving to be yet another unwitting victim of the pandemic crisis. Short staffing, budget cuts, and reduced volunteer opportunities have left many of our green spaces to their own devices, and the weeds have been having a (literal) hay day. Compounding the issue is the fact that as New York residents have needfully turned to parks as safe outlets for socialization and recreation, they have also, sadly, left excessive trash and trampled plantings in their wake.

“It’s just a lot for our two person team to handle”, says Candace Thompson, the manager of Stuyvesant Cove Park in lower Manhattan. “Mother Nature really got the jump on us with the weeds this spring and I feel like we’ll never catch up on top of everything else.”

Which is why that particular park has decided to hire some help of the non-human variety. Starting September 8th, 20 goats from Green Goats of Rhinebeck will be taking a Manhattan mini-vacation within a fenced off area of “Stuy Cove” Park, a 2 acre native food forest on the East River. During their tenure, the goats will be charged with a simple task: eat everything in sight. Solar One, the environmental education non-profit that manages the space, hopes this will assist park staff in minimizing excessive plant biomass while also fertilizing the soil for next season, all in just a few short days. While goats may seem an unorthodox fix to a weed problem, foraging animals have long been used in sustainable agricultural practices to manage overabundant species, and Green Goats in particular have been lending their services to public spaces and institutions across the greater New York area for over 15 years.

“When Larry and I first started our goatscaping company, my family back home in Guayana all teased me.” says Annilita Cihanek, co-owner of Green Goats of Rhinebeck. “Now we work full time on contracts for city, state and national parks, we travel constantly, and get lots of press. Let me tell you, my family isn’t laughing any more!”

Over the past three decades goatscaping has become increasingly popular as an herbicide-free way to manage invasive species. Goats have been used for weed control both on Chinese tea plantations and in California forests for brush control and wildfire prevention. Now they’ll be taking a stab (or nibble, as it were) at Stuy Cove’s bindweed problem.

Interested in being a part of the action? You can sign up to volunteer, support Stuy Cove’s GOAT FUND ME, or follow along with these walking weedeaters from home via the park’s Instagram. With remote and in-person learning starting the same week here in NYC, students and teachers alike can visit the park’s ‘Goat Cam’ to check their progress, or take a Zoom break and come watch sustainable land stewardship in action.

Solar One (CEC Stuyvesant Cove, Inc.): Solar One is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to design and deliver innovative education, training, and technical assistance that fosters sustainability and resiliency in diverse urban environments. We empower learning that changes the way people think about energy, sustainability, and resilience by engaging and educating a diverse set of stakeholders and beneficiaries. Our programs help individuals and communities explore new ways of living and working that are more adaptive to a changing world.

###

For more info contact Candace Thompson, Stuy Cove Park Manager at candace@solar1.org or Michael Barry, Solar One Communications Manager at (646) 741-5225 or via email at barry@solar.org.

 

Phytoremediation, Park Intern Hannah Schanzer’s Summer Project

Hannah Schanzer is a Park Intern at Solar One this summer, working in Stuyvesant Cove Park. She is a rising junior at Washington University in St. Louis, studying Environmental Policy and Urban Studies. She has come to the Park this summer to learn more about urban park stewardship and urban ecology.

For my summer research project, I really wanted to focus on studying how the urban setting impacts the biodiversity of the park. Stuyvesant Cove Park is situated between a gas station, a power plant, and the highway. Additionally, it is located on the former site of a cement mixing factory.

Preliminary testing revealed that the soil in some beds of the park have slightly elevated levels of lead, although not enough to cause concern with park operations (highest lead concentration in a bed was 80 ppm (parts per million), anything less than 100 ppm is considered safe for children to play in). I was curious to find out whether there was a way to “clean” the soil with the highest lead concentration without treating it with chemicals or replacing it with imported soil.

Read more +

Celebrate and Learn About Native Plants at NYC Wildflower Day

It’s spring in Stuyvesant Cove Park! It seemed like the weather would never warm up this year, but the first spring ephemerals are blooming and now is the perfect time to catch them before they’re gone for the season.

Some of the species currently in bloom include Virginia bluebells, violets,  trout liles, zizia and bleeding hearts (pictured). While the zizia could bloom for months, the others will be gone within weeks, to be replaced by the next wave of flowers.

And if you’re REALLY interested in native wildflowers, join Solar One for Wildflower Day on Saturday May 12th from 10am-1pm. Suitable for all ages, Wildflower Day activities will include soil explorations, native plant potting, making seed bombs and our annual Ladybug Release*! Please RSVP to murphy[at]solar1[dot]org.

*UPDATE: Due to a lack of availability, we will not be releasing Ladybugs this Saturday.

Winter Blooms in NYC

While most people look to spring as the season when flowers start blooming in NYC, some plants don’t care that the weather is cold. And as it happens, both Madison Square and Stuyvesant Cove Parks are home to a few…and the ones in Stuy Cove are, of course, native species.

Zizea aurea, or golden Alexander, a native perennial that can be found across the entire East Coast, from Canada to Florida. It generally prefers moist conditions in woodlands or prairies, and grows in Stuy Cove. Last winter, it flowered continuously!

Read more +

StuyTown & NY Cares Volunteers Wrap Up the Season in Style

Saturday November 18 th was the last Community Volunteer Day of 2017 at Stuyvesant Cove Park, and there couldn’t have been any better way to celebrate. A first in many years, the event was a partnership between Stuyvesant Town and Solar One- the rekindling of the collaboration between neighbors that will grow into next season. New York Cares, who has been a strong partner of the park for quite some time also joined for a healthy turnout of almost fifty people of all ages.

Stuyvesant Town has a new initiative called the Good Neighbors Program, which is a volunteer group of staff and residents who help with projects in the community city and statewide, and it was through this wonderful group that there were so many new faces of all ages helping out and becoming better acquainted with their neighborhood waterfront park!

Read more +

The Soapbox: A plant is not just a plant

Stuyvesant Cove Park Angels

Stuyvesant Cove Park Angels

This week, Liza Mindemann, Park Manager of Stuyvesant Cove Park, wrote this op-ed for the local Town and Village newspaper, all about the importance of native plants like the ones we grow in the Park. Reblogged from the T&V blog:

As many of you already know, Stuyvesant Cove Park is a native species plant park. When we have school groups one of the first questions I ask is, “can anyone tell me what a native plant is?” It’s a harder question to answer than one might think, but the simple answer is that native plants are those species that naturally occur in a region and have evolved and adapted over many thousands of years to the specific conditions of that geographic area.

Many of us don’t think of gardens as having any purpose outside of providing beauty, or perhaps growing food to eat. But today, our gardens are actually one of the last chances we have to preserve the diverse species of plants, insects and wildlife that once prolifically populated our region.

Read more +

Page 1 of 9123...Last »