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Residents’ Trip to Governors Island Focuses on Sustainability

On Friday, November 5, 2021, a group of International House Residents enjoyed a day trip to Governor’s Island, one of New York City’s treasured destinations accessible by ferry. The group met with Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island, who led them on a special walking tour to explore the Island’s unique focus on sustainability and the programs on Governors Island that are actively addressing the climate crisis. The group also had an opportunity to participate in a hands-on stewardship activity. Highlights of the visit included: 1. The Billion Oyster Project, a citizen science project that is repopulating New York Harbor with oyster reefs to improve water quality, protect against storm damage and restore local ecosystems. 2. GrowNYC, a one-acre urban farm and teaching garden. 3. Earth Matter, a compost learning center that processes over 30,000 pounds of organic waste per month. 4. The Open Orchard, a public artwork of 100 hybrid fruit trees that grow multiple types of fruit on the same tree, thereby preserving heirloom varieties that have been lost to industrialization and climate change. 5. The Bee Conservancy, a grassroots organization dedicated to saving the bee population and empowering underserved communities to improve food security and environmental health.