If there’s one thing I’ve learned with my own personal efforts to rewild, is everyone’s journey is different and personal to them. In my eyes, there is no one specific way to rewild. You must find out what works for you, and discover what takes you back to your quintessential state of being. One thing that we feel is very important when rewilding is the setting or environment you rewild in. So, I have comprised a list of top ten places to Rewild here in New York City. I know with all the buildings and huge amounts of people it might not seem like the ideal place to get more in tune with nature but you’d be surprised at some of these hidden gems here in the city. Me being a young man raised in Brooklyn and Queens I’ve spent a lot of time finding places to escape the overwhelming aspects of the city.
Taking the number one spot on my list is the beautiful, world renowned Central Park in Manhattan, New York City. The park sits on a vast 843 acres, and offers a variety of activities. But most importantly it is one of the few places in Manhattan that has a multitude of trees and ponds. It’s a beautiful place to go whether you want to go bike riding to improve your health and wellness or kayaking because of your love for water; this park offers a variety of activities. You even have the option of bringing a sheet and just sitting on the grass and meditating. Central Park is definitely a great place to re-center and get more in tune with nature. In a city that is overpopulated and filled with buildings, and pollutants it’s great to be able to get away from that but still be in the center of it all.
- Second on my list is the beautiful quaint Fort Greene Park in Down Town Brooklyn. Not as big as Central Park but sitting on a verdant 30 Acres, Fort Greene Park is the perfect place to rewild. The park may not have as many activities to offer as Central Park, but if you’re looking for a park rich in culture and diversity FG Park is it. The diversity alone is a beautiful thing to see, the dichotomy of the gentrified Myrtle Ave on one side of the park, and the Fort Greene projects on the other side of the park makes for a melting pot of people who frequent the grounds. This is definitely a place to lie out on the grass and meditate to the soothing sounds of the city.
- The next place on my list is Cunningham Park in Queens. Cunningham is one of the largest parks in Queens sitting on large 358 acres. Cunningham differs from our first two parks in that it isn’t in a busy area of New York City. So, there’s no heavy traffic, and the park is never crowded. This park also has little trails you can hike through. So, if you’re looking for peace and tranquility, or you’re into trails and nature walks, this is definitely the place for you to come and rewild.
- Fourth on my list is one of my favorite places to go in the city, The Bronx Zoo. With so many animals endangered and on the verge of extinction it is a beautiful thing to see some of these beautiful animals protected. And being a foundation that fights for humans and habitats as well as horses. This is the perfect setting to experience animals and learn about different habitats. There is so much to learn from our animal relatives, watching the way they live and coexist with each other is something we can incorporate in our society. The Zoo is free on Wednesday’s which is an awesome opportunity to experience all that it offers.
- My fifth spot on the list goes to the famed Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. For you historians it was the site of two twentieth century World’s Fairs. For movie buffs, the last scene in the movie Men in Black was shot in the park. But for rewilding purposes this park has a museum that shows what the park was essentially used for, and what better way to look back in history than a museum. The Park also offers picnic areas where you can just relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of New York City.
- The Queens Botanical Garden takes the sixth spot on my list. This huge garden has a vast variety of plants and flowers. From Liatris Gayflower, Rose Mallow, to Tiger Lilies, it is truly a beautiful sight. They also offer a variety of activities like a tour of the herb garden; they have seasonal tours of the seasonal garden. They even have a henna workshop where you can learn how to prepare henna paste and explore this unique art form. The Botanical Garden is the perfect place to rewild. It really showcases the beauty of nature and our planet.
- Seventh on my list is the historical 125th Street in Harlem NY. A place rich in culture and history. From the legendary Apollo Theater, to the famed Cotton Club. Harlem is filled with history and Culture. Whether it is the African drummers on 8th Ave or the musical showcases conducted at the Apollo. This legendary street will teach you much about the African American culture and how today’s Harlem is just as rich in culture as it was back in the days of the Harlem Renaissance.
The museum of Natural History takes the eighth spot on my list for obvious reasons. What better way to learn about our original way of life then to see how our ancestors lived before us. It is important to look back on the blueprint left to us by our ancestors and the museum of natural history is filled with traditions from so many different indigenous tribes.
- Alley Pond Park takes the ninth spot on my list, their nature trails, vast ponds, salt marshes, forests and meadows make for a wonderful tour of nature.
- Rounding out my list is the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, located in Oyster Bay NY. Rich in history being the birth place and home of our 26th president. The park offers a beautiful, serene setting located right by the Long Island Sound. This park offers one of the less crowded beaches in NY which makes for a wonderful place to experience some peace and tranquility.
About CANA Foundation
CANA Foundation’s mission is to responsibly restore an ecological balance in our environment through specific rewilding initiatives. These projects support harmony between the humans, plants, and animals that inhabit U.S. rangelands and focus on the restoration of our land’s native habitats through natural resources and indigenous species, like America’s wild horses. CANA initiatives work towards long-term, sustainable solutions that prevent further land degradation, protect and preserve wild horse populations, and encourage a beneficial, thriving ecosystem for today and tomorrow.
Contact CANA Foundation: PO Box 674, Locust Valley, NY 11560 or [email protected]Donate to CANA Foundation
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