Pelham Bay Park, Bronx

We work across NYC to restore forests, wetlands, and grasslands.

To enhance New Yorkers’ quality of life, we:
Ensure Healthy Forests through tree plantings and long-term management.
Improve Coastal Resilience by rebuilding dunes and marshes, and creating tools to prioritize wetland restoration.
Conduct Groundbreaking Research to create regional conservation tools and knowledge.
Get New Yorkers Outside through volunteer events, tours, lectures, and trail improvements.

Ensure Healthy Forests

Healthy forests mean a lot more than clean air and greener parks. Each year, our trees capture 1.97 billion gallons of storm water runoff and store 1.2 million tons of carbon per year. NYC’s trees also remove 1,300 tons of pollutants from the atmosphere with a savings in health costs of $93.2 million dollars annually.

New York City has 20,000+ acres of natural areas, more than 10,000 acres within NYC Parks—a land area half the size of Manhattan!

NYC’s urban forests also provide a meaningful connection to nature for millions of people. We support the long-term health of NYC’s forest through our boots-on-the-ground management efforts and volunteer engagement.


Growing Native Plants

We support the production of locally-sourced native plants at the city’s Greenbelt Native Plant Center on Staten Island. Working with partners across the mid-Atlantic, we conserve genetic material from plants in a seed bank.

Ensure Healthy Forests

We are developing a 20-year plan to determine the staffing and funding needs for 7,000 acres of NYC forests. The goal is to bring all NYC Parks’s forests under active management. In the future, we will engage other conservancies to advise their forest restorations. This project is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the New York Community Trust.

Improve Coastal Resilience

Our experts are leading the charge to prepare for future climate changes and to protect wildlife habitats through salt marsh restoration.

New York City has lost 90% of its historic wetlands.

We safeguard the important functions of well-managed and vibrant wetlands: including buffering neighborhoods from storms like Sandy. We create tools to prioritize future restoration projects.

Improve Coastal Resilience

With NYC Parks, we designed new ways to restore the health of the vital salt marshes in Alley Creek, located in Alley Pond Park, Queens. To stop deterioration of the salt marsh, in 2017 we filled expanding interior pools with sand and then planted native marsh grasses with volunteers from the community. These 23 acres of salt marshes are an important habitat for migratory shorebirds, horseshoe crabs, and many more native animals and plants.

Conduct Groundbreaking Research

We believe that good management comes from good information. Our research allows us to better protect NYC’s natural ecosystems.

We led one of the largest urban ecology study in the country and are using that information to guide how natural areas are managed and restored. We work with leaders in our field on our Advisory Board to set goals for the future of nature in NYC — you can find our published findings here.

Conduct Groundbreaking Research

We are planting our salt marshes with native salt marsh vegetation: smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and salt-marsh bulrush (Schoenplectus robustus), which are specifically adapted to live in salt water and flooded conditions. As these plants thrive, this area will build upon the existing salt marsh, providing habitat for wildlife as well as public health and recreational values to the community.

Get New Yorkers Outside

We’re getting the word out about our city’s amazing diversity and opportunities to hike in forests and wetlands across all five boroughs. In addition to restoring our city’s trails, we organize lectures, tours, and volunteer projects to improve our city’s abundant nature and to help you experience NYC’s wild side.

Get New Yorkers Outside

We connect New Yorkers with nature by leading tours all year long and in in all five boroughs.