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Conservation Resources in the New York Metropolitan Area: Advocacy Organizations and Conservators

Central Park NYC; courtesy of Flickr cc/ Nicola
Central Park NYC; courtesy of Flickr cc/ Nicola

Environmental Advocacy Organizations:

Auto-Free New York  - A movement aimed at exploring and achieving the upper limit of "devehicularization" and promoting sustainable transport in our nation's largest city.

Bronx River Alliance - The Alliance works closely with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to protect, improve and restore the Bronx River corridor so that it can be a healthy ecological, recreational, educational and economic resource for the communities through which the river flows.

GreenHomeNYC - A community-oriented, volunteer-run organization, GreenHomeNYC's mission is to facilitate the adoption of sustainable building methods and materials by owners of small residential and commercial buildings in New York City.

Grow NYC - GrowNYC was originally created in 1970 as the Council on the Environment of New York City. This hands-on non-profit improves quality of life through environmental programs that empower New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for the future, operating Greenmarkets, recycling programs, school and community gardens, and educational programs.

Earth Celebrations - This New York City not-for-profit organization is dedicated to fostering ecological awareness through the arts including theatrical pageants, exhibitions, performances, puppet & costume workshops, internships, artist residencies, and partnerships with schools, community centers, academic and cultural institutions, neighborhood associations, parks, gardens and local residents.

Lower East Side Ecology Center -  The Ecology Center was one of the first organizations to offer community-based recycling and composting programs in NYC. Today, they offer services and education for a range of environmental subjects: organics collection/composting, electronic waste recycling and stewardship of public green spaces. They provide resources and solutions for addressing New York City's environmental problems.

The Nature Conservancy - New York - This conservation organization works around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The New York Chapter carries out the same mission within the Empire State.

New York City Audubon - NYC Audubon champions nature and protects birds that live in the 30,00 acres of wetland, forest and grassland of New York City. 

New York Public Interest Research Group - NYPIRG is a student directed advocacy group that coordinates grass-roots campaigns, lobbies public officials and produces research on a variety of topics of public concern. Among those topics, they advocate for safe drinking water, clean air, renewable energy, pollution prevention, and eliminating toxins in our environment. They are also deeply engaged in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat global warming.

Photo of Norrie State Park on the Hudson River in Dutchess County; courtesy of Flickr cc/ Esther Lee
Norrie State Park on the Hudson River; photo courtesy of Flickr cc/ Esther Lee

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - The Department provides a wide array of services, programs and information  authorized and governed by NY State environmental conservation law, with some programs also governed by federal law.

Scenic Hudson - The largest environmental group focused on the Hudson Valley, Scenic Hudson works to protect and restore the Hudson River and its landscape through land acquisition, support for agriculture, citizen-based advocacy and sophisticated planning tools to create environmentally healthy communities, champion smart economic growth, open up riverfronts to the public and preserve the valley's inspiring beauty and natural resources.

Sierra Club New York City Group - The Sierra Club is among America's most influential environmental organizations and promotes conservation of the natural environment through community action, education and government lobbying. The New York Group is one of several New York area groups falling under the Atlantic Chapter and advocates for local issues.

The Trust for Public Land - The TPL Parks for People initiative works to ensure that everyone enjoys access to a park, playground or open space. 

Transportation Alternatives - This NYC area non-profit aims to reclaim the city's streets from the automobile and promotes bicycling, walking and better public transportation for safer, calmer streets.

Spatial Equity NYC - A project of Transportation Alternatives and MIT, The Spatial Equity NYC tool uses public data to document how public space is used in different neighborhoods by mobility, environment and health categories, and visualizes where spatial inequities are most prevalent.

Photo of Brooklyn Bridge Park at Sunrise; photo courtesy of Flickr cc/Lukas Schlagenhauf
Brookly Bridge Park; photo courtesy of Flickr cc/Lukas Schlagenhauf

Gardens, Parks, Trails and their Conservators:

Alley Pond Environmental Center-150 acres of  woodlands, trails, streams and ponds plus an aquarium, animal care and education center in Queens, NY. Alley Pond is dedicated to establishing awareness, understanding and appreciation of the environment and to preserving nature in an urban setting.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy - The Conservancy maintains and provides visitors services, free events and activities to the 85 acre Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The Central Park Conservancy  - The Central Park Conservancy's mission is to restore, manage, and preserve Central Park, in partnership with the public, for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

Friends of the High Line- Owned by the City of New York, the High Line is a public park maintained, operated and programmed by Friends of the High Line, in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Through exceptional stewardship, innovative programming and world-class design, Friends of the High Line seek to engage the community on and around the High Line and to raise private funding to help complete the High Line’s construction. 

The Garden Conservancy - Gardeners are invited by regional representatives to become Garden Hosts and agree to open their garden during a (or several days) scheduled Open Day in their area to inspire their fellow gardeners. The Open Days are self-guided tours. Visitors decide which garden they want to visit and in what order.

New York Botanical Garden - Founded in 1891, the garden is one of the world's great collections of plants, the region's leading educational center for gardening and horticulture and an international center for plant research.

New York City Parks Department- The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation is the steward of almost 29,000 acres of land  (14 percent of New York City), including more than 4,000 individual properties ranging from Yankee Stadium and Central Park to community gardens.

Prospect Park Alliance - The Alliance contributes significantly to funding Prospect Park in Brooklyn and keeping it safe and beautiful. They preserve the natural environment, restore the Fredrick Law Olmstead/ Calvert Vaux design and provide public programs.

Shorewalkers -A non-profit group dedicated to enhancing, enjoying and protecting the parks, promenades and paths along the waters of the New York metro area.

Photo of the High Line in New York City at Night; courtesy of Flickr cc/ Lauri Vain
The High Line at Night; photo courtesy of Flickr cc/Lauri Vain

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