October is Woodlands Appreciation Month

October 6, 2023

Prospect Park is home to a thriving 250 acres of woodlands—with dozens of tree species, essential wildlife habitat and rustic trails for visitors to enjoy. Prospect Park Alliance has spent decades restoring these woodlands to great success—the ecosystem is thriving and proving resilient in the face of damaging storms. The woodlands work continues and you can do your part to Be a Park Champion and support this beloved area of Brooklyn Nature!

  • Celebrate NYC’s Urban Forest: October 14 marks the second annual City of Forest Day—a day of 70+ activities across the city’s 5 boroughs to raise awareness of the importance of the New York City urban forest, and the essential role New Yorkers play every day in caring for the “lungs” of our city. Here are the events taking place in Prospect Park:
      • City of Forest Day: Nature Exploration
        10:00 am – 1:00 pm
        Free, no advance registration necessary

        Join Prospect Park Alliance and Audubon New York for nature exploration activities at the Prospect Park Audubon Center on City of Forest Day, a citywide effort to raise awareness and celebrate New York City’s urban forest. Prospect Park is home to over 30,000 trees of more than 175 species. Each of these trees is an important part of our thriving wildlife habitat and home to many species of mammals, birds and bugs.

        • Morning Bird Walk, 9 – 10:30 am: Join Audubon New York for a bird walk starting and ending at the Prospect Park Audubon Center. This program leaves the Audubon Center promptly at 9:00 am. Binoculars will be provided but attendees are encouraged to bring binoculars if you have them.
        • Nature Around Us, 10 am – 1 pm: Enjoy different seasonal discovery stations and nature themed activities that will introduce you to the plants, insects and animals that call the park home. Learn how to use the iNaturalist App and identify species throughout our park ecosystem, view a trailer of a new documentary Clear Day Thunder: Rescuing the American Chestnut, and more. Plus, visit the Audubon New York table from 10:30 am – 12 pm to learn more about birds and how to help them thrive.
        • Animal Encounter, 11 am – 12 pm: Join Prospect Park Alliance Naturalists in learning more about the animals in the Audubon Center’s collection. This program starts promptly at 11 am.
        • Family Nature Walk, 12 – 1 pm: Prospect Park is a stopping point for hundreds of bird species each year! Join us as we search for these amazing creatures and other nature around the park. Binoculars and bird guides are provided. This program leaves the Audubon Center promptly at 12 pm.
      • Park Pitch In: City of Forest Day
        11:00 am – 2:00 pm
        Free, Registration Required
        Join Prospect Park Alliance for a Park Pitch In volunteer event on City of Forest Day, a citywide effort to raise awareness and celebrate New York City’s urban forest. Prospect Park Alliance volunteers will plant over 100 native trees to restore Prospect Park’s beloved landscape, which has seen the loss of a significant number of ash trees since 2017 due to Emerald Ash Borer, a deadly wood-boring beetle. Tree planting and other greening opportunities will be focused on the park entrance on Flatbush Avenue near Empire Boulevard, adjacent to the park’s Children’s Corner, and the surrounding park perimeter. This event is suitable for groups, teens and adults.Park Pitch In: City of Forest Day is made possible thanks to funding from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Urban and Community Forestry Program, NYS Environmental Protection Fund and the USDA Forest Service
      • Plus, check out events happening in all five boroughs across the city.
  • Volunteer this Fall: Explore your park while making a difference in Brooklyn’s Backyard. From Park Pitch-In events, Green and Go Kits, Junior Volunteer Corps and more, volunteers of all ages can help keep the park green and vibrant.
  • Woodlands Stewardship: Keep the woodlands green and vibrant!
    • Dispose of litter in designated receptacles or consider taking your litter with you when you leave the park and disposing of it at home.
    • Remember to stay on paved and wood chipped paths, and do not go beyond fencing in our woodlands: this protects fragile nesting areas and helps reduce soil compaction in delicate areas.
    • Keep dogs leashed at all times in the woodlands: off-leash hours are provided in our large meadow areas, learn more on our Things to Do with Dogs page.
    • Please refrain from building forts in the woodlands: sticks and leaf litter on the forest floor are essential for thecreatures that live in the park—leave these for the birds and bees!
  • Free Fall Wellness Opportunities: Time in nature, and specifically forests, is known to have lasting benefits on our physical and mental health. Prioritize your wellness this season with a foliage walk exploring the woodland centerpiece of Prospect Park, one of Brooklyn’s last remaining forests, rustic bridges, streams and waterfalls, and more. Plus, get active in nature with free dance classes, family nature walks and more.

Ready to Be a Park Champion? Take the Pledge today to do your part to sustain the beloved woodlands of Brooklyn’s Backyard!