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10 Ways To Reconnect With Nature When Living In New York City

New York City is an amazing place with all the hustle and bustle, but it can get overwhelming. It is easy to lose connection with nature when living in a city that never sleeps. Reconnecting with nature not only helps us unwind and relax, but it also helps keep us centered and grounded. 

Here are 15 ways you can reconnect with nature even when living in New York City: 

1. Check Out A Local Flower Studio

For those wanting to bring a bit of nature indoors, why not visit a New York flower studio? From classic arrangements to creative displays, these studios are sure to have something that will brighten up any space. 

So take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and explore an oasis of blooming beauty!

2. Visit A Park 

With a whopping 842 parks spread throughout the boroughs of New York City, there are plenty of amazing opportunities for exploring the great outdoors within the city limits. In addition to receiving traditional landscaping maintenance to make your jaw drop, some parks offer greenhouses, conservatories, and zoos.

3. Check Out A Natural Reserve

The nature reserves in NYC provide a variety of experiences and activities that can deepen your connection to nature. Go for a leisurely stroll among the marshes of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Sanctuary or explore the paths in Pelham Bay Park. 

You can kayak around Manhattan Island or plunge into the waters of Inwood Hill Park while visiting Wave Hill to take part in instructional workshops.

4. Bird Watching 

One of the best ways to appreciate nature is to observe its wildlife inhabitants up close. New York City is home to over 300 species of birds—many of which migrate seasonally from far away places—allowing urbanites to appreciate the beauty of nature in their own backyard. Try bird watching at Central Park, Prospect Park, or Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

5. Go For A Hike

One of the most breathtaking areas to hike in New York City is along the Hudson River. You can take a leisurely stroll or a strenuous hike with breathtaking views of the river and the surroundings. There are many different types of trails, from short, dog-friendly loops around parks like Inwood Hill Park to lengthy treks with stunning views of the area like Breakneck Ridge or Old Croton Aqueduct Trail.

6. Join A Nature Tour 

Why not take advantage of local organizations’ guided nature tours? There are plenty of groups that provide educational tours of the city’s many nature reserves and parks. From bird-watching expeditions to urban terrarium workshops, you are sure to find one that fits your interests perfectly.

7. Visit A Botanical Garden 

New York City is home to several botanical gardens including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Queens Botanical Garden where locals can explore their native plants and learn about their ecology. Or visit The High Line—a park built on an elevated railway line—for a unique view of Manhattan’s trees and plants from above. 

8. Take Part In Citizen Science Projects 

Participating in citizen science initiatives is another way for citizens to reconnect with nature while also contributing to important research projects. Join groups like NYC Audubon or the New York City Nature Census to help map and track bird populations or participate in programs like TreesCount! to monitor the health of street trees. 

9. Go Wild Swimming 

Take a dip in NYC’s natural swimming holes such as Deep Pool in Central Park or Harvest Lake in Van Cortlandt Park for a refreshing way to reconnect with nature. If you are looking for something more challenging, try rock jumping at the many local waterfalls and rivers located throughout the city. 

10. Attend Outdoor Events

Whether it is stargazing under the night sky at Wave Hill’s annual astronomy events or exploring the parks during seasonal festivals like NYRP’s Garden Party, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors in NYC

11. Get A Little Creative

With such a wide array of nature-inspired activities and events, you are sure to find something that will spark your creativity! Make a painting from observation at the Brooklyn Art Library’s sketching sessions or participate in an outdoor art work”shop at Socrates Sculpture Park. Whatever it may be, there is always something new to discover in New York City’s urban oasis. 

12. Visit An Urban Farm 

New York City is home to several community-run farms located right in its neighborhoods. These urban oases provide locals with access to fresh produce while teaching them about where their food comes from. 

They also offer educational workshops that explain sustainable growing practices and demonstrate how to garden in the city. So take a trip to your local urban farm and get growing!

13. Go To A Sanctuary For Wildlife

Many wildlife sanctuaries, which serve as safe havens for native flora and animals, may be found throughout New York City. For a close-up look at the various wildlife that inhabits the city, stroll around the boardwalks. You’ll undoubtedly have a great encounter that will rekindle your love of the outdoors!

14. Go Camping

For those looking for an adventure-filled way to reconnect with nature, camping is always an option! Pack your bags and head out of town to one of New York State’s state parks or private campgrounds for a weekend filled with outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing and more. So grab your tent (or rent one) and get ready for a nature-filled weekend of fun!

15. Star Gazing

The night sky in New York City is full of stars and planets that can be seen with the naked eye, so why not take a break from the bright lights of the city and go stargazing? 

Set up shop at one of the many parks or observatories throughout the city for an evening under the stars. It’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!


There are countless ways to explore and appreciate New York City’s natural beauty. From attending outdoor events to visiting local flower studios or volunteering in the community, there is something for everyone looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. So get out there and discover the wonders that await you in this urban oasis!

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