GrowNYC Teaching Garden at Governors Island

 

Due to Covid-19 the Teaching Garden is currently CLOSED for school tours and public weekend programming. We are looking forward to opening back up again as soon as it is safe to do so. While our regular programming is postponed you can follow us digitally at https://www.grownyc.org/virtualfarm

The GrowNYC Teaching Garden at Governors Island is a one acre 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 1-October 31, 2020). GrowNYC's weekend public programming includes tours, garden and nutrition related workshops, and more. 

The GrowNYC Teaching Garden at Governors Island features over 20 vegetable beds made from recycled plastic lumber, farm-style rows, an aquaponics system, 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 trips, workshops, public events, volunteer oppurtunities, or corporate volunteering, please fill out the Teaching Garden Survey to be added to an email list. 

GrowNYC's Governors Island Teaching Garden Overview

 

Schedule a Field Trip

Availability

Due to Covid-19 the Teaching Garden is not currently scheduling field trips. 

The Teaching Garden offers field trips for NYC students (grades K-12) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from April 14th through November 5th, 2020, departing on either the 10am or 11am ferry. If you have questions about bringing a school group to the Teaching Garden please contact ebrown@grownyc.org. The Teaching Garden occasionally works with older adults, if you are interested in bringing an adult group to the Teaching Garden please contact sspodek@grownyc.org

The teaching garden offers school field trip tours that start at 10am and 11am. 10am groups may not exceed 33 children and 11am groups may not exceed 44 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. For all other public and charter schools and nonprofit organizations we require a $50 field trip fee per class. There are a small number of slots available for private and parochial schools for a field trip fee of $150.

Itineraries

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 2020 public season (May 1st-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.

Transportation

Field trips to the GrowNYC Teaching Garden at Governors Island 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.

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 upon arrival to the island to escort your class to the garden. 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.

Lessons

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 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 the GrowNYC Teaching Garden at Governors Island.

Registration

We're excited to partner with Explorable Places this season for our field trip registration! 

Book Your Field Trip Here

To receive an email when registration opens, please fill out our Teaching Garden Survey and indicate your interest in K-12 Field Trips (Spring and Fall) or Summer Camp Field Trips (or both).

If you have any questions about registration or booking a trip with us please contact the education coordinator at ebrown@grownyc.org

 

Planning your Field Trip

Governors Island is open to the public between May and October. If your field trip falls between these months you are more than welcome to stay on the island longer than our itinerary plans for. Below are some guides and activities you can use with your students on the island. 

Fun things to do: This map and guide details a few spots you can visit on the island, what you can do there, and approximately how long it will take you to travel to each location from both the Teaching Garden and the ferry. 

History of Governors Island: This activity provides a brief history of Governors Island along with some interactive questions for students to answer. 

Fractals in Nature: This activity provides a brief description of what fractals are and how they appear in nature. It also includes an activity sheet for students to search for and draw examples of fractals they find in real life. 

Birding on Governors!: Teach your students about birds in NYC! This birding observation sheet is a great way to introduce students to birding. This bird reference guide details common birds that can be found on Governors Island (and NYC in general) during the Island's open season (May - November) and includes a description of each bird, common behaviors, and their habitats. This resource guide provides educators with birding teaching tips, related scope and sequence units, and ideas for lesson extentions for all grades. In addition to the all seasons reference guide (linked above), we have created similar reference guides for spring (March - June), summer (June - September), and fall (September - November) to cater to the date of your field trip. 

On this day 50 years ago, 20 million people across the country joined together to fight for a better future for our environment in what became the first Earth Day. The Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC), now GrowNYC, was born out of the spirit of that day in 1970. 

  • Food Access & Agriculture

    Our network of Greenmarket farmers markets, Youthmarkets, Fresh Food Box pick-ups, and Greenmarket Co. ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.

  • Conservation

    We provide food scrap drop-offs, clothing collections, Stop 'N' Swap® community reuse events, and zero waste trainings to make resource conservation easy for all.

  • Green Space

    We build and rejuvenate community & school gardens in all 5 boroughs, and support even more gardens through volunteer days, technical assistance, school garden grants, & more.

  • Education

    We foster future environmental stewards by providing 66,000 children each year with programs that provide meaningful interactions with the natural environment.