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Photo courtesy of NYC Parks
Forest Park in Queens

While social distancing measures to stop the further spread of COVID-19 are keeping most New Yorkers at home, NYC Parks launched the Parks@Home campaign to virtually connect people with nature during Earth Week (April 20 to 24).

“Parks@Home extends beyond Earth Day. It’s the perfect solution for those looking to connect with nature and promote environmental awareness in a safe and responsible way, with live Ranger tours, meditation moments, and more,” NYC Parks wrote.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22 and Earth Week, NYC Parks has several virtual events and live broadcasts that can be accessed on their Facebook and Twitter.

Live broadcasts are scheduled at noon (weather permitting) throughout the week and will be saved on their Facebook page after the live sessions.

On April 22, Urban Park Rangers gave a live tour of Forest Park as they cared for baby trees and talked about measures they’re taking to ensure the health of the forest’s future.

Join us live for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! We're in Forest Park caring for baby trees to ensure the health of this forest in the future.

Posted by New York City Department of Parks & Recreation on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

On Thursday, April 23 they’re hosting an “Art Activity for Kids: Recycled Flower Art Tutorial” on their YouTube channel.

To celebrate Arbor Day on Friday, April 24, they will host a live broadcast at noon from the Alley Pond Giant, the oldest tree in NYC. There will also be a tree-themed Meditation Moment, one of their new at-home series, on YouTube.

During the Earth Week celebration, they’re also taking a look back at some of the public parks that have been created since the first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970. NYC Parks has opened more than 200 parks by “transforming industrial waterfronts into scenic destinations, preserving green spaces against development, and turning vacant lots into vibrant parkland.”

In Queens, Hunter’s Point South Park and Sunset Cove Park are two parks the city recently created.

Hunters Point South Park, located at Center Boulevard between 50 Avenue and 2 Street in Long Island City, opened in 2013, and quickly became a destination after it was transformed from a contaminated dumping ground into a sustainable open space park. In 2019, the second phase of the park was completed by adding a scenic structure and luminescence work by artist Nobuho Nagasawa that reflects the phases of the moon.

Sunset Cove Park, located at West 19 Road between Jamaica Bay and Cross Bay Boulevard in Jamaica, closed for more than a decade but was restored and re-opened in 2019 with a salt marsh and maritime upland. The picturesque park is one of the newest additions to the city’s park systems and provides a walking trail for the neighborhood.

For more information on their scheduled programs, visit their Earth Day page or their Parks@Home page.

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