Despite all of its skyscrapers, highways and concrete sidewalks, New York City has more than 20,000 acres of natural areas and more than 10,000 acres within NYC Parks—a land area half the size of Manhattan.
You can see exactly where the nature is with this interactive map created by Natural Areas Conservancy and NYC Parks, which lets you click around the five boroughs and zoom in on your nearest natural green area—whether it be forest, wetlands or grasslands.
Did you know the city has 10,542 acres of forest, about 5,000 acres of freshwater wetland, 3,478 acres of salt marsh and 112 miles of streams? You can dig even deeper to find out what is the most common feature in each category. For example, there are 846 unique species of plants in New York City forests. The most common? Northern Red Oak, Sweetgum, Red Maple, Black Cherry and Eastern Poison Ivy.
Plus, you can see how your nearest park sizes up against others for how much of it includes natural areas.
You can also use the resource to check and see how each type of natural area in NYC is doing. Turns out, almost 3,000 acres of forest are currently threatened while just under 600 acres of salt marsh are healthy, according to the map. This matters because the Natural Areas Conservancy is actively working to restore and maintain these areas—you can track their work on the map, too.
Right now, the map shows that the group is currently doing debris removal, sediment replacement and waterward expansion in the city's salt marshes, and has planted 518,000 trees since 2007.
All of the data in the map was generated by the Natural Areas Conservancy and NYC Parks and is updated often as they learn more and do more to improve the health of natural areas. You can learn about how to get involved with the Natural Areas Conservancy here and NYC Parks through stewardship here.
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