It's always exciting when a city builds a new park. More trees! More grass! But recreation isn't the only thing parks are built for. On Governor's Island in New York City, a truly unique public space is being built to address not only beautification, but protection from future disasters.
Advocate on behalf of your Island!
NYC COUNCIL'S COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION HEARING TO BAN TOURIST HELICOPTERS
On November 12th the City Council's Committee on Environmental Protection held a hearing on the proposed legislation to eliminate helicopter tourism at the Downtown Heliport. Council Members Carlos Menchaca, Margaret Chin, and Helen Rosenthal spearheaded Int. 859-2015, a bill that prohibits the operation of Stage 1 and Stage 2 sightseeing helicopters, the loudest and most polluting helicopter types in use. It can greatly reduce the number of tourist helicopters over Governors Island.
There were five hours of testimony!
70 speakers signed up to testify. They represented neighborhoods across the city: lower Manhattan, downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carol Gardens, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Staten Island, Upper West Side, Washington Heights, West Harlem, Chelsea, Tribeca, Battery Park City, northern Queens, and others.
Many elected officials submitted testimony: Jerry Nadler, Daniel Squadron, Letitia James, Joanne Simon, Gale Brewer, and many more attended the rally on City Hall steps before the hearing. DC37 - the city's municipal public employees union - testified as well about the health impacts to their employees.
Governors Island was well represented by GIA, NPS, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Harbor Foundation and Earth Matter. Council Committee members seemed to be on our side. However, we need to keep the pressure on over the next couple of months to keep pushing the Council bills forward.
Follow us on Twitter and re-tweet us! Sign the Petition at Stop the Chop. Tell your friends, contact your City Council representative, send a letter or email to City Hall, and promote your stance on social media using #StoptheChop.
READ OP-ED BY NYC PUBLIC ADVOCATE LETITIA JAMES ON HUFFINGTON POST - NO-FLY ZONE
To read the full text of the bill, click here!
Thanks so much to all of our visitors for a fantastic 2015 public season on Governors Island! We can’t wait to see you again next Spring.
This season, the Island welcomed 450,000 visitors. Surprisingly, more than half of them were seeing Governors Island for the very first time. And, they were from all over New York City and all over the world. The majority of our visitors - 75% in fact - come from all five boroughs of New York City. Day camps and school groups also grew this year with visits from every borough and happy children frolicking all over the Island: in the wide open green spaces, at the adventure play area, at FIGMENT’s mini golf and Tree House, in shady Nolan park, and especially at the Mister Softee truck!
There were 68 programming organizations that produced shows, workshops, exhibits, and events on Governors Island this year – too many to mention here but we’d like to give a shout out to some of our favorites – the glamorous Jazz Age Lawn Party - two in fact! - the yummy Vendy Awards, and the avant-garde River to River Festival. So whether you learned about composting with Earth Matter or about bivalves and their role in the revitalization of New York Harbor at the Billion Oyster Project, or painted birdhouses at our Family Festival, put on a costume and let silliness reign at FIGMENT, or flew a kite at Brooklyn ARTery Kite Fest; if you biked, walked with the history buffs at National Park Service, or took in the newest New York view from the top of the Overlook Hill during preview weekend -- thank you for coming to the Island this season. Your smiles and participation are what keep us going. Next year there will be even more to enjoy!
The Governors Island Alliance was busy too: with its new volunteer gardening program for individuals and corporations, and with its Harbor School high school interns who greeted you at the ferry landings and helped you find your way around.
Although the Island is closed now to the general public, our work continues and we need your involvement and support. Here are three ways to help us during the off-Season:
* Volunteer with the Governors Island horticultural team! If you’d like to get your hands dirty and help with some urban gardening, please sign up here.
* Join Stop the Chop and the Governors Island Alliance in preserving the beauty and serenity of the Island by stopping the helicopter noise! The noise pollution from tourist helicopters was one of the number one complaints from our visitors this year. Please sign Stop the Chop’s Petition here and let your elected officials know that you care about Governors Island.
* And, as always, none of our work would be possible without your generous financial support. So, please donate now and help us make next season even better.
SEE YOU AGAIN IN 2016!!!
On the last day of the Island’s public season, Council Member Brad Lander announced funding for additional ferry service between Brooklyn and Governors Island on peak summer weekend days. The funding will provide half hour boat service from Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 to Governors Island for the Island’s opening weekend in 2016, as well as additional days throughout the season.
Thank you Council Member Lander!
Governors Island Alliance, the National Park Service, the Trust for Governors Island, and the Student Conservation Association volunteers and staff at FIND YOUR PARK service event on Governors Island, September 11, 2015