New York City Park Service
- Help revive Riverside Park
- Tour one of the world's greatest cities
- See Broadway shows and eat an array of amazing ethnic food
- Lodging and most meals at a clean and comfortable hostel
- Guest conservationist speakers
- All equipment for the work project
|Dates||May 25–Jun 1, 2014|
New York City is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was settled by the Dutch as Nieuw Amsterdam in 1624, and 40 years later, after being taken over by the English, became New York. The city has a rich colonial past and, in fact, it was the capital of the United States in the first seven years after the conclusion of the Revolutionary War in 1783. George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States at Federal Hall in the Wall Street area. Pushed by an influx of millions of immigrants over the years, New York City today is our most populated city in the nation, home to residents and tourists alike. It is a dazzling international and multiethnic display. The streets bustle with excitement and energy.
Manhattan, the city's core, has a population of a million and a half people, which expands almost two-fold each day when commuters and tourists add their numbers. Manhattan is 14.5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide at its widest point. Its lack of space has caused it to expand vertically. As a city of skyscrapers, it has the greatest concentration of them in the smallest area than any other city on earth. The city also has many acres of beautiful and famous park lands, heavily used by its residents and commuters. It is in this greenbelt that our service trip will make an important public contribution to the life of the city.
We plan to work in Riverside Park, which adjoins the Hudson River. We will plant shrubs and flowers, prune shrubs and trees, weed, mulch, and clean up as needed. For many years, the Sierra Club has assisted in important park projects that have a profound effect on the New York City Community.
The Riverside Park Conservancy will supply the necessary tools and guide us in our work. We plan to work four days and have two and a half days for extensive sightseeing within the city. After work, the evenings will be free to enjoy the attractions of a great city. Talks sponsored by the Conservancy on conservation-related issues as they apply to New York City are also planned.
Our tours will take us through New York's neighborhoods and famous sites. We will:
- Explore Brooklyn Heights and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
- Tour the Wall Street area and see Colonial New York
- Ride the Staten Island Ferry to view the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
- Explore the World Financial Center and view its reconstruction
- Tour Battery Park City, Chinatown, SoHo, Greenwich Village, the East Village, and Flat Iron areas
- Visit the gorgeously restored Grand Central Terminal
- Tour Broadway and the Times Square area
- Enjoy a delicious meal in Chinatown
- Visit Harlem by seeing sights on 125th Street
- Have optional activities that include two Broadway shows and two performances at Lincoln Center
Please note: The cost of Broadway shows, the performances at Lincoln Center, and the restaurant meals are not included in the trip price.
Accommodations and Food
We will stay at the International Youth Hostel located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at Amsterdam Avenue and 103rd Street. The dormitory-style rooms are clean, attractive, air conditioned, and comfortable. The hostel will cater most of our meals so that we will not have to do any food preparation. There are lockers in each room for personal belongings and equipment. All that is needed is our own padlocks to secure each locker. The hostel has laundry facilities, recreation rooms, lounges, and an outside garden.
We will probably have two dinners at restaurants during our non-work days; these are not included in the trip price.
We suggest that you arrive by public transportation as parking is difficult and expensive in New York City. The public buses and subways are good, inexpensive, and will transport you quickly from the airport, bus, or train station to the hostel. We will provide detailed instructions to confirmed participants.
The first meal provided will be dinner on the first day, and the final meal will be breakfast on the final day. Special meals are available for vegetarians.
This trip has proved very popular for many years. If demand warrants, we may expand it to accept as many as 36 participants.
The work in Riverside Park can be demanding and our walking tours require that all participants be in good physical condition. Participants should exercise regularly and be in reasonably good shape for the effort required.
Equipment and Clothing
All necessary tools and equipment will be supplied by the Riverside Park Conservancy.
- Burrows, Edwin G. and Mike Wallace, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898.
Urban parks are more heavily used than wilderness areas and are in great need of repair and development. Cities across the country are cutting back on staff and development of urban parks and green spaces, resulting in a situation that is tailor-made for an environmental organization such as the Sierra Club. The work allows participants to positively impact the urban environment while at the same time participating in urban cultural activities.
Notes for Sierra Club Outings
- Carbon Offsets
- Electronic Billing and Forms
- Electronic Devices
- How to Apply for a Trip
- Leader Gratuities
- Liability Release and Assumption of Risk
- Medical Issues
- Non-discrimination Statement
- Participant Approval
- Reservation and Cancellation Policy
- Seller of Travel Disclosure
- Travel Insurance
- Trip Feedback
- Trip Price
- Wilderness Manners