Despite the infrastructure and population density of New York City, the five boroughs still contain significant open spaces. A recent land cover study by the Natural Areas Conservancy found that 11% of the city is covered in natural areas, including 10,000 acres of natural area forests. Further ecological assessments show that these forests contain a range of healthy and threatened plant communities, providing benefits to wildlife and NYC residents. Critically, it has been discovered that NYC’s forests are at a tipping point and require investment now to ensure they will be able to function in the future.
In this talk, Sarah Charlop-Powers and Helen Forgione, from the Natural Areas Conservancy, will introduce the Forest Management Framework for New York City, a 25-year strategy to manage and restore 7,300 acres of forested NYC parkland. They will also introduce the Natural Areas Conservancy, a non-profit conservation organization based in NYC that developed the framework in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks). They will discuss how the framework and outreach program are used to develop management recommendations for the forest in Bronx Park to produce better alignment of conservation efforts among the four land managers in the park: The New York Botanical Garden, NYC Parks, the Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx Zoo), and the Bronx River Alliance. We will detail the process we used to reach consensus and create the 25-year strategy and actionable 5-year management plans and to improve the health of this 172-acre coastal forest.
Executive Director and Co-founder | Natural Areas Conservancy
Senior Ecologist | Natural Areas Conservancy
Support for the Humanities Institute provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation