City hosting walking tours at the new Arverne East Nature Preserve in the Rockaways on Sunday

DA8_7189_042424 Arverne East
Explore the newly opened Arverne East Nature Preserve at Beach 44th Street at Edgemere Avenue, part of this weekend’s NYC 520 celebration of the city’s waterfronts.
Photos courtesy of NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

This Sunday, May 19, the city is conducting walking tours of the newly opened Arverne East Nature Preserve in the Rockaways to showcase the 35-acre beachfront jewel developed on a formerly vacant illegal dumping ground on Beach 44th Street in Edgemere.

The tours, hosted by the Department of City Planning (DCP), NYC Parks, and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), will allow participants to explore the preserve’s diverse ecosystem. The large preserve is a component of the upcoming Arverne East housing development, which, when completed, will be one of the most environmentally conscious developments in the United States, achieving net zero and eliminating the need for fossil fuels on-site.

Photos courtesy of NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

“Arverne East Nature Preserve is one of the most ecologically significant places in New York City and shows how we can protect maritime ecology, provide educational opportunities, and live harmoniously with nature on our waterfront,” DCP Director Dan Garodnick said. “And the nearby Arverne East development will provide over 1,300 affordable, resilient, and sustainable homes in the Rockaways for New Yorkers across a range of incomes. This tour is a great chance to explore the nature preserve and learn more about what’s to come.”

He added that Sunday’s tours are part of a larger celebration of New York City’s 520 miles of waterfront. Over the weekend, there will be events in all five boroughs, offering residents and visitors unique opportunities to explore and enjoy views of a diverse range of waterfront spaces.

Photos courtesy of NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

“New York City’s diverse waterfronts are a defining feature of our city, and we are committed to making them more resilient, sustainable, and ecologically healthy,” Garodnick said. “These walking tours and events will allow New Yorkers to connect with nature and see the transformation these ongoing efforts are making firsthand. I encourage everyone to join us down by the water this weekend to celebrate our remarkable shorelines and the work that has gone into making them better places to live, learn, work, and play.”

This year marks the seventh annual NYC 520 celebration taking place on or around the fifth month and 20th day — 5/20 — with programming focused on different components of the waterfront and how they shape everyday lives.

Photos courtesy of NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

“Spring is the perfect time for New Yorkers to experience the 520 miles of shoreline that New York City has to offer, and we are excited to again partner with the Department of City Planning to celebrate the beauty of our waterfront and waterways with NYC 520,” NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue said. “New York City’s shorelines are a critical outdoor recreation resource for many New Yorkers, in addition to being a vital place for ecological restoration and natural conservancy. From retrofitting our coastline to be resilient in the face of climate change to clearing abandoned boats from the water with a new dedicated retrieval office, our work caring for our city’s natural spaces doesn’t stop at the water’s edge.”

This year’s events celebrate efforts to enhance the sustainability, resiliency, and ecological health of the city’s waterfront and waterways.

Photos courtesy of NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

“New York Harbor is cleaner today than it has been in more than 150 years, and what better way to enjoy our 520 miles of coastline than by joining other New Yorkers to learn about and explore a unique waterfront space,” DEP Commissioner Rohit Aggarwala said.

“From Shirley Chisholm State Park along Jamaica Bay to the New Creek Bluebelt on Staten Island, DEP experts will be on hand to share the history of these spaces and the critical role these natural habitats will play in making New York City more resilient to climate change.”

To reserve a spot for the Arverne East Preserve tour from 10 a.m. to noon, visit here.