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GrowNYC's Governors Island Teaching Garden is a 21,000 square foot 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 (May 6-October 31, 2017). GrowNYC's weekend public programming includes tours, garden and nutrition related workshops, and more.
Governors Island Teaching Garden features over 20 vegetable beds made from recycled plastic lumber, a 1/2 acre small-scale farm, an outdoor kitchen, a large solar oven, a high tunnel greenhouse, 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 trip, workshops, public events, or volunteer and internship opportunities, please fill out the Governors Island Teaching Garden Survey.
Schedule a Field Trip
The Teaching Garden offers field trips for NYC students (grades K-12) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from April 18th through November 9th, 2017, departing on either the 10am or 11am ferry.
The teaching garden offers school field trip tours that start at 10am and 11am. 10am groups may not exceed 34 children and 11am groups may not exceed 40 children. There is a 25-student minimum for all classes. Exceptions apply to special education groups.
We prioritize Title I schools and programs from DPHO neighborhoods (South Bronx, Central and East Harlem, North and Central Brooklyn) and there is no fee for these schools. There is a $50 suggested donation to cover the costs of our programming. For all other public and charter schools and nonprofit organizations we request a $50 donation per class. No public school or nonprofit organizaiton will be turned away for inability to make a donation. There is a small number of slots available for private and parochial schools for a field trip fee of $150.
10am Field Trip
10:00-10:10am - Ferry ride from Manhattan
10:10-10:30am - Walk to the Teaching Garden
10:30-11:35am - Programming
11:35am-12:00pm - Lunch
12:00-12:20pm - Walk to Ferry
12:30-12:40pm - Ferry ride from Governors Island to Manhattan
11am Field Trip
11:00-11:10am - Ferry ride from Manhattan
11:10-11:30am - Walk to the Teaching Garden
11:30-11:55pm - Lunch
11:55am-1:00pm - Programming
1:00-1:20pm - Walk to Ferry
1:30-1:40pm - Ferry ride from Governors Island to Manhattan
Note: During the 2017 public season (May 6th-October 31st), classes may choose to stay longer on the island to enjoy the playground, forts, hammocks, and more. Please let the Education Coordinator know if your class will be taking an early ferry and walking to the garden independently.
Field trips to Governors Island Teaching Garden require a 10-15 minute ferry ride that departs promptly at 10:00am and 11:00am from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Manhattan, which is about a 5-minute walk from the South Ferry 1 train and Whitehall R/W trains and about a 10-minute walk from the Bowling Green 4/5 trains.
We are selective about scheduling classes based on perceived ability to make the ferry on time. Being able to take public transit is highly preferred. If you require the use of a DOE bus, your school cannot be more than a 25 minute drive away and must attend the field trip departing on the 10am ferry.
Classes should arrive at the ferry terminal no later than 15 minutes prior to the ferry departure time (9:45am or 10:45am). A GrowNYC staff member will meet you at the ferry terminal to escort your class. You will return independently to the ferry back to Manhattan.
Please note: It is a 15-20-minute walk from the ferry to the garden. Ensure your students and chaperones will be able to make the journey 15-20 minutes each way in addition to the hour outside at the garden. See Google Maps Directions to the Teaching Garden and Governors Island Map.
The approximately 1 hour of garden programming consists of a three- or four-station rotation. Your class will be split into 2-4 groups, depending on class size, and will rotate through hands-on stations that typically include a farm tour, planting or farm work activity, cooking or harvesting and tasting activity, and possible fourth mini-lesson. See the description of Teaching Garden lessons.
Teachers indicate their topic preference during field trip registration, but lessons and activities are ultimately determined by the Education Coordinator based on staff availability and the seasonal needs of the garden.
Policies & Student Waivers
Please review the Governors Island Teaching Garden Policies and our FAQ page before registering for a field trip. Teachers and group leaders must have a signed Liability and Release Waiver for every student attending the field trip to Governors Island Teaching Garden.
To receive an email when registration opens, please fill out our Governors Island Teaching Garden Survey and indicate your interest in K-12 Field Trips (Spring and Fall) or Summer Camp Field Trips (or both).