Visit our New Welcome Center at Yankee Pier


Did you know Governors Island now has two Welcome Centers? Memorial Day Weekend we opened a second Welcome Center near the Brooklyn Ferry Landing. Located at Yankee Pier, the new Yankee Welcome Center will be open on weekends from 10AM-5PM to greet our Brooklyn visitors. Stop by to get the latest updates on what’s happening on the Island, ask directions and stock up on snacks, drinks and souvenirs! You can also pick up Island essentials like sunblock, picnic blankets, hats, sweatshirts and sunglasses! Our original Welcome Center, located at the top of the staircase at Soissons Landing, is open Wednesday-Sunday, from 10am-5pm.

Both Welcome Centers are staffed by our friendly Visitor Services team, which includes high school interns from our Harbor Internship Program, as well as our Island Ambassador volunteers.

The Harbor Internship program offers students from Governors Island’s own New York Harbor School and the School for Green Careers formative paid work experience and career development in an idyllic setting. These bright, motivated young people work alongside our staff to provide general information, manage sales and offer their personal recommendations to visitors. Stop by to say hello! They’ll help orient you and tell you all about the fun activities happening on the Island, including special programming and events of the day.

Operated by the Friends of Governors Island, all purchases at the Welcome Centers support Governors Island. Learn about all the different ways you can support Governors Island.

The Friends of Governors Island would like to thank our supporters, Bloomberg LP, Con Edison, Hyde & Watson Foundation and The Pinkerton Foundation, for making the Welcome Centers and the Harbor Internship Program possible.

The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) to Stage Non-Fair Exhibition on Governors Island


The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) is pleased to announce the organization’s first off-site exhibition, Close Quarters, featuring eight NADA Member galleries on Governors Island. Open July 1–29, artwork will be displayed across two floors of a historic turn-of-the-century Colonial Revival house on Governors Island, and will be on view every weekend in July, Friday through Sunday, 11am–5pm.

There will be a special opening preview held on Thursday, June 28th from 1–5pm.

Close Quarters
July 1–29, 2018
Governors Island
Colonel Row, 403
Organized by New Art Dealers Alliance

Featured artists and galleries include:

Michael Mahalchick (CANADA)
Asif Mian (False Flag)
Rainer Ganahl (Kai Matsumiya)
Fabienne Lasserre (Safe Gallery)
Jerry the Marble Faun (SITUATIONS)
Hayley Martell and Devin Morris (Signal)
Johanna Unzueta (Proyectos Ultravioleta)
Jeff Williams (Jack Hanley Gallery)

Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 11am–5pm

Previously occupied by the Coast Guard, House 403 has a storied history on Governors Island, serving as the site of many of President Ronald Reagan’s meetings with world leaders, including Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. The house is located within the Governors Island Historic District, designated by the New York City Landmarks and Preservation Commission.


Close Quarters
July 1–29, 2018
Governors Island
Colonel Row, 403
Organized by New Art Dealers Alliance

Open to the public Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 11am–5pm, starting July 1st.

For more information, visit

Summertime Skating Rink Opens on May 26 on Governors Island


The Trust for Governors Island today announced the opening of a new summertime skating rink along Governors Island’s Western shore. Made from a synthetic material designed for metal ice skates, Mel’s Rink Governors Island will give New Yorkers the rare opportunity to skate during the summer months and is the first outdoor skating opportunity on Governors Island. Skate rentals will be available for ages, with free skating every weekday from 10AM-12PM. The rink officially opens to the public on Saturday, May 26.

“Governors Island is already a beloved recreational destination, but what could be more fun than summertime ice skating in view of the Statue of Liberty?” said Michael Samuelian, President of the Trust for Governors Island. “Whether you’re an amateur skater or seasoned-pro, we can’t wait to see New Yorkers turning ice skating upside down on our new rink that allows for skating in the summer sun.”

One of the only places in New York City to skate during the summer months, Governors Island’s 8,000 square-foot skating rink is built in partnership with Mel’s Rink Foundation, a Maryland-based non-profit that provides mentally and physically challenged children and adults with skating and hockey lessons, sports skills and spaces to play. Originally located on the rooftop of the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., Mel’s Rink moves to Governors Island this season, the organization’s first venture in New York City.

“Governors Island is a place to discover the unexpected, and we're thrilled to bring an unexpected recreational opportunity to New Yorkers for the first time - summertime ice skating!" said Karen Brooks Hopkins, Trust for Governors Island Board Member and Senior Advisor, the Onassis Foundation. "When I first discovered Mel's Rink on the roof of the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., I immediately pictured a larger version for New York City skaters on Governors Island, right in view of Lady Liberty. We invite visitors of all ages and abilities to enjoy a one of a kind skating experience this summer."

“The Mel's Rink Foundation is thrilled to be partnering with Governors Island on such a unique and exciting opportunity,” said Marc Kohn, Founder of Mel’s Rink Foundation. “To bring the immense joy of skating fun to the NYC community during the summer is exhilarating!”

Located along the Island’s Western Promenade near historic Castle Williams and in view of the Statue of Liberty, Mel’s Rink Governors Island will be open daily from 10AM-5PM on weekdays and from 10AM-6PM weekends beginning Saturday, May 26. The rink will remain open during Governors Island’s Late Fridays until 9PM beginning Friday, June 1. Free skating is available on weekdays for the first hour from 10AM-12PM.

For Skate Rentals + Rink Access, the rates are as follows:

$20 for adults

$15 for children

If you bring your own skates, rink access is:

$10 for adults

$5 for children

Mel's Rink utilizes state-of-the art synthetic technology to provide skaters with an "ice like" feel unmatched in the industry. The synthetic ice is high density plastic polymer that mimics the properties of real ice, designed for use with traditional ice skates with sharp metal blades. Mel's Rink performs skate sharpening throughout the day, so every skater has an exceptional experience. Skate sharpening demonstrations are open to the public whenever the rink is open.

Governors Island and Mel’s Rink will announce special programming, on-site food and beverage and special guest skaters at the rink throughout the summer.

Governors Island is open to the public seven days a week from May 1 through October 31 from

10 AM to 6 PM weekdays, from 10AM-10 PM on Fridays between May 25-September 14 and from 10 AM to 7 PM weekends.

About Mel’s Rink Foundation

The Mel's Rink Foundation was formed after the untimely passing of founder, Marc Kohn's step-daughter, Melanie. Mel was a huge hockey fan and the original Mel's Rink was built in her honor. The Mel's Rink Foundation is committed to building synthetic rinks open to the public, but with a focus on teaching kids with different needs and those from disadvantaged families, how to skate and play the great game of hockey.

A New Member of the GI Working Dog Pack


From front to back, Max, Quinn and Chip

Meet Chip!

Governors Island is thrilled to welcome the latest member to our team of Working Dogs. Chip is a 5 month old Border Collie, and like Quinn and Max, he comes to us from the wonderful folks at Mid Atlantic Border Collie Rescue. Max turned 8 this month (Happy Birthday, Max!) and we expect Chip to be hitting his stride as a goose dog in three years just as Max may be more inclined to enjoy the hammocks and flowers and Adirondack Chairs here on Governors Island.

Why does Governors Island need working dogs?

While Canada geese can be lovely to look at, they leave a mess (they eat up to four pounds of grass a day and leave over a pound of waste per goose!), and can be aggressive toward people when they are nesting. To ensure the enjoyment and safety of visitors, as well as the safety of the geese, our working dogs work to keep the geese off our lawns. Reducing the goose population helps our overall efforts to create wildlife habitats and increase ecological diversity on the Island in the form of terns, owls, kestrels, peregrine falcons, song birds etc., as well as a variety of flourishing plant life.

Border Collies are trained to herd and discourage the geese from hanging out, but they will never harm the animals. In fact, Border Collies are recommended by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Humane Society due to their highly evolved herding instincts.

Follow our working dogs' adventures on Governors Island on Instagram @GIWorkingDogs, and be sure to follow @GovernorsIsland for the latest updates on what’s happening this season.

Governors Island and the Film Society of Lincoln Center Announce Outdoor Film Series


The Trust for Governors Island, in partnership with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, today announced a new outdoor film series: ‘Escape in New York: Outdoor Films on Governors Island’. The first ever film series produced on Governors Island will feature four free screenings throughout the season, inspired by the city we all call home. For its inaugural year, the outdoor film series will take place on the Island’s newly restored Parade Ground, an eight-acre lawn with expansive open views of Lower Manhattan. The series will be produced by Rooftop Films.

“Thanks to expanded late summer Fridays and some of the best skyline views, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our city than bringing New Yorkers together under the stars for a New York City-themed film series,” said Michael Samuelian, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “Our inaugural partnership with the Film Society of Lincoln Center is sure to become a signature summer event on Governors Island that New Yorkers look forward to for years to come.”

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has partnered with the Trust to curate film selections this summer, its first outdoor series in decades. The theme for Escape in New York draws inspiration from the Island’s iconic views and the sense of escape visitors enjoy when boarding the ferry or watching a film on the big screen. The series will kick off with a screening of John Carpenter’s cult classic Escape from New York on June 8. Other films to be showcased throughout the season include The Last Dragon, Ghostbusters, and Desperately Seeking Susan, each paired with an independent short film by a local New York filmmaker. Rooftop Films will lead the technical production on the series, bringing more than two decades of experience producing outdoor movie screenings in New York City.

“In the 1970s and 80s, before we had our own theaters, the Film Society of Lincoln Center presented outdoor screenings across New York,” said Lesli Klainberg, Executive Director of the Film Society. “We are returning to our roots, in a sense, by partnering with Governors Island on a free public film series, and we are thrilled to celebrate the city’s history by screening these NYC classics while also looking forward with contemporary shorts by local filmmakers.”

Kicking off on June 8, the Escape in New York series will take place during Governors Island’s Late Fridays and will occur on the second Friday of every month between June and September. Screenings will be free and open to the public with pre-show entertainment kicking off at 7:00 PM and the films beginning at dusk.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Film Society of Lincoln Center on a cultural program never before presented at this scale on the Island,” added Meredith Johnson, VP of Arts and Culture at the Trust of Governors Island. “Working with Rooftop Films on the production of this groundbreaking series will be an example of art and public space coming together to shape quintessential summer memories for tens of thousands of New Yorkers.”

Ferries during Late Fridays will run from the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan, located at 10 South Street. On film nights, they will depart Lower Manhattan at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 PM. Ferries will return to Lower Manhattan from Soissons Landing at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00PM.

Full Schedule

June 8: ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (John Carpenter, 1981, 99m), with THE ROAD TO MAGNASANTI (John Wilson, 2017, 15m)

July 13: DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN (Susan Seidelman, 1985, 104m), with MY LAST FILM (Zia Anger, 2015, 9m)

August 10: GHOSTBUSTERS (Ivan Reitman, 1984, 107m), with REVIEW (Dustin Guy Defa, 2015, 4m)

September 14: THE LAST DRAGON (Michael Shultz, 1985, 109m), with HERNIA (Jay Giampietro, 2015, 12m)

Governors Island is open daily through October 31. The Island is open to the public from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM weekdays, weekends from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Fridays between May 25 and September 14 until 10:00 PM. Ferries will be free during opening week, May 1-May 6. For more information, visit

About the Film Society of Lincoln Center

The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Via year-round programming and discussions; its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, the Film Society endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.

For more information, visit

Governors Island Announces Immersive Public Exhibition by Artist Jacob Hashimoto


The Trust for Governors Island today announced the next projects as part of its art commissions program. This June, the Trust will present an exhibition of two monumental works on Governors Island by New York based artist Jacob Hashimoto. Never before exhibited in the United States, The Eclipse and Never Comes Tomorrow collectively mark the artist’s first major installation of public art in New York City. The exhibition opens to the public June 2 and will be on display daily inside Governors Island’s St. Cornelius Chapel and outdoors in Liggett Hall Archway through October 31.

“Governors Island’s unique historic architecture coupled with its dramatic location in the Harbor is the perfect venue for New Yorkers to experience groundbreaking and free public art,” said Michael Samuelian, President of the Trust for Governors Island. “We invite all visitors to the Island to experience these inspiring and dynamic works and are so thrilled to be able to welcome New Yorkers into a transformed St. Cornelius Chapel for the first time in five years.”

Showcased in New York City for the first time, Hashimoto’s The Eclipse is a monumental work of thousands of delicate rice paper kites, enveloping viewers in a tangible, yet ever shifting fog. Originally installed at the Palazzo Flangini during the 57th Venice Biennale, the cloud-like work has been newly adapted for Governors Island’s St. Cornelius Chapel, winding, bending and at times consuming the architecture. St. Cornelius Chapel, owned by Trinity Church Wall Street, will open its doors for the first time since 2013 for visitors to delight in the piece.

Contrasting the installation in nearby St. Cornelius, Hashimoto’s Never Comes Tomorrow is a colorful, whimsical overhead outdoor installation adapted for Governors Island’s landmark Liggett Hall Archway.Constructed of hundreds of wooden cubes and massive steel funnels, this high energy sculptural installation plays with the architecture of the passageway, creating a virtual time tunnel or vortex between the Island’s Historic District and newly designed park with its colorful installation of forms. Never Comes Tomorrow merges Hashimoto’s interests in the systems of architecture, history and cosmology.

The exhibition is the first installation of works by Jacob Hashimoto on Governors Island and his first major public art exhibition in New York City.Using sculpture, painting and hanging installations, Hashimoto creates complex worlds from a range of modular components, including bamboo-and-paper kites, model boats, even astro turf-covered blocks. Hashimoto has been featured in solo museum exhibitions at MOCA Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Schauwerk Sindlefingen in Germany and the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art in Finland. He is a graduate of The School of Art Institute of Chicago and lives and works in Queens, New York.

“As a New York-based artist, the opportunity to develop a project on such an iconic and historic New York site with a quintessentially New York audience like Governors Island is an inspiring condition to work,” said Jacob Hashimoto.

This year’s commission is curated by Meredith Johnson, the Trust’s VP of Arts and Culture. Since joining the Trust in 2017, Johnson has overseen public programs, cultural partnerships and art commissions for Governors Island. The two works by Jacob Hashimoto are presented as part of the Island’s newly reinvigorated commissioning series, a program that presents public artworks responding to the Island’s unique history, architecture and geographic location in New York Harbor.

“Jacob’s delicate and dynamic works dramatically engage with the Island’s architecture in ways never before seen – providing contrastingly immersive experiences when navigating between the two sites,” said Meredith Johnson, The Trust’s VP for Arts and Culture. Marking the transition of time between old and new in Liggett Hall’s immense tunnel and signaling things to come in the ethereal naïve of St. Cornelius, this year’s exhibition is deeply rooted in the Island’s ever-shifting landscape in New York Harbor.”

Since opening to the public in 2005, The Trust has worked with dozens of artists and arts and cultural organizations from across New York City to bring a robust calendar of commissions, exhibitions and events to the Island’s diverse audience. The Trust’s commissioning program gives the opportunity for artists and audiences to engage in site-specific projects responding to the Island’s unique conditions. Previous commissions on Governors Island include Rachel Whiteread’s Cabin, a permanent work sited on Discovery Hill within the Island’s park space and Day is Done, a large scale instrumental sound installation by Susan Philipsz. 2017’s Trust commissioned Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird, a winding sculptural installation by David Brooks that tells the story of the Island’s ‘pre-history’ through continuous rock core samples assembled in contrasting trajectories, will be on display in Fort Jay through the entire 2018 season.

Generous support for The Eclipse and Never Comes Tomorrow is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Charina Endowment Fund and Trinity Church Wall Street.

Governors Island is open to the public seven days a week from May 1 through October 31 from

10 AM to 6 PM weekdays, until 10 PM on Fridays May 25-September 14 and weekends from 10 AM to 7 PM.

Governors Island to Extend Hours with Late Friday Nights this Summer


The Island will remain open until 10PM every Friday evening from May 25-September 14

Governors Island opens for the season May 1, ferries will be free opening week through May 6

April 24, 2018. The Trust for Governors Island today announced extended hours for the 2018 season. Governors Island will stay open late until 10PM every Friday beginning Memorial Day weekend through September 14. Normally closing at 6PM on weekdays, this year the Trust will expand public access on 17 nights this spring and summer, creating more opportunities than ever for New Yorkers to enjoy the Island’s park spaces and historic settings with the backdrop of the city skyline and sunsets over the harbor.

“There is nothing like a beautiful summer night in New York City. Now thousands of us will be able to enjoy that magic from Governors Island. Every year, our administration has made more of this incredible public space open and accessible to the public. We can’t wait to bring the experience of watching the sun set over New York Harbor and exploring the Island by night to more New Yorkers,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.

Visitors during Late Friday nights will be able to roam the entirety of the Island’s park spaces, Historic District and promenade during the special summer evening hours. Bike rentals will be available to visitors. Select season-long arts, cultural and science programming in the Island’s historic former officer’s homes in Nolan Park and Colonels Row will remain open during late Fridays. An exciting program of special evening entertainment will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Each year, Governors Island continues to grow as a dynamic and beloved destination in New York City,” said Michael Samuelian, President of the Trust for Governors Island. “With longer hours than ever, we invite all New Yorkers to join us for unforgettable summer nights on the Island in the glow of the sunset and the sparkling Lower Manhattan skyline.”

A diverse array of food offerings will also be open late during Late Fridays. Island Oyster, Governors Island’s popular waterfront restaurant located near the Manhattan ferry landing will remain open until 10PM with easygoing summer fare, a tropically inspired cocktail program and panoramic views of New York Harbor and Lower Manhattan. Liggett Terrace beer gardens Little Eva’s and Governors’ Beer Co., as well as Blue Marble Ice Cream and Fauzia’s Heavenly Delights will also remain open. Grills on Governors Island may also be reserved during Late Fridays. To reserve a grill, visit

“Whether you’re looking for a lively happy hour spot or a tranquil place to relax with the family, Governors Island Late Fridays will offer an exciting night out for everyone,” said Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “We are delighted to welcome all New Yorkers to this evening oasis in the heart of our city.”

Ferries during Late Fridays will run from the Battery Maritime in Lower Manhattan, located at 10 South Street. Ferries will depart Lower Manhattan at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 PM. Ferries will return to Lower Manhattan at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00 PM.

Governors Island will open for the 2018 season on May 1 and will be open daily until October 31.

The Island is open to the public from 10 AM to 6 PM weekdays, weekends from 10 AM to 7 PM and Fridays between May 25 and September 14 until 10 PM. Ferries will be free during opening week, May 1-May 6.

Our 2018 Program Calendar is Now Live!


A robust calendar of free programs exploring art, culture and the environment from organizations across New York will celebrate the diversity of the city

New Yorkers are invited back to enjoy the Island’s acres of expansive, open park space, car-free cycling, play areas, hammocks and spring blooms all with unforgettable views of the Harbor

Governors Island opens on Tuesday, May 1 and will be open every day through October 31

Ferries will be free for all visitors opening week, May 1-6

April 5, 2018. New York, NY. The Trust for Governors Island (The Trust) today announced its six-month public season and spring program calendar. Beginning May 1, New Yorkers are invited to enjoy the Island’s open and expansive park spaces with unforgettable views of New York Harbor, car-free recreation and a robust calendar of free public programming just a short ferry ride away from Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. Building on a record-breaking 2017 season welcoming nearly 800,000 visitors, Governors Island will be open every day from May 1-October 31. Ferries will be free for all visitors during the first week of the season, from May 1-6.

“For the second year in a row, from May to October, New York families and friends can explore, on bike and on foot, the history and cultural diversity of our amazing island park – Governors Island. Enjoy!” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“From May to October, Governors Island is the easiest way for New Yorkers to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, gather, relax and discover something new,” said Michael Samuelian, Trust for Governors Island President. “Come May 1, a world away awaits, and we invite all New Yorkers to explore free arts programming from all corners of the city, a one-of-a-kind park in the harbor and springtime blooms in a car-free environment.”

Kicking off the season, the Island will host several special events in May. On May 12, NYC Bhangra will celebrate the start of spring with Holi Hai, a free festival featuring traditional Indian and Nepali dance, music and celebration in a sea of color. For classical music lovers, Rite of Summer will host free concerts throughout the season, starting with performances in Colonels Row on May 19. Returning for its 14th year, the Friends of Governors Island will present its annual free Family Fun Day on Sunday, May 27, featuring live music, theatrical performances, storytelling, arts and crafts and hands-on education for families.

During opening week, from Tuesday, May 1 to Sunday, May 6, ferries to Governors Island will be free for all visitors, including daily service from Lower Manhattan and weekend service from Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6. New Yorkers will be invited to experience the first taste of the Island’s spring blooms within its over 90 acres of public open space. The Island’s diverse food offerings, including popular waterfront bar and restaurant Island Oyster, will open for the season on May 1.

This year, nearly three dozen non-profit organizations working in the arts, the environment and education will activate the Island’s historic former officer’s homes in Nolan Park and Colonels Row with free public programming throughout the season. Nolan Park will anchor season-long exhibitions, offering a variety of programming that responds to the Island’s unique landscapes, ecologies, histories and relationship with the Harbor. Free exhibitions will be showcased throughout the season, including programs produced by returning organizations Children’s Museum of the Arts, the New-York Historical Society, the Billion Oyster Project, NYC Audubon, Dysfunctional Collective and HoloCenter.

Building on the Island’s reputation as a leader in sustainable urban design and track record in engaging audiences in climate-related topics, new organizations will increase environment-focused programming through multiple mediums, spanning visual arts, educational exhibits and hands-on workshops. Artist Mary Mattingly will expand her Swale project, a floating food forest built atop a barge that travels to piers in New York City, through new exhibitions in both the Island’s Urban Farm and Nolan Park that engage the public in farming and food access.Works on Water, a group show dedicated to New York City’s “sixth borough” of 520 miles of coastline, will bring artists and curators together to investigate water in the urban environment through artworks, theatrical performances and site-specific experiences.

Opportunities for children to engage in environmental programming will expand this year on Governors Island. Christodora will provide day-camp opportunities and public programming for children focusing on environmental exploration. The Island’s popular Urban Farm, home to GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden and the Compost Learning Center hosted by Earth Matter, will reopen on May 5.

The Trust’s unique platform for arts and culture celebrates the diversity of New York City, offering organizations from all five boroughs the opportunity to showcase exhibitions, performances and more to an expanded audience on Governors Island. In addition to season-long exhibitions, organizations from across the city will host free cultural festivals, performances and short-term rotating exhibits in Colonels Row. New organizations producing special events this season include ARTs East New York presenting The Gathering of Hands, a week-long cultural experience celebrating drumming, unity and community. The West Harlem Art Fund will present Early Encounters, a mixed-media exhibition that focuses on the early interactions of Governors Island’s first inhabitants, the Lenape tribe and European explorers.

The Trust’s 2017 commission by artist David Brooks, Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird: a Pre-History of Governors Island, will be extended into 2018 and will remain on view in Fort Jay through mid-summer. The sculptural installation winds through Fort Jay’s magazine and digs down to the core of Governors Island, telling the story of this ancient place through excavated core samples of cobbles, soil, silt, shells, clay and bedrock.

An exciting new public artwork, specially commissioned for the 2018 season, will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Governors Island is a gem in New York Harbor -- providing marvelous open spaces, fantastic views of the city skyline, and great artistic, cultural and educational activities. Just minutes from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, it’s clear why a record 800,000 people visited Governors Island last year, and I hope 2018 is once again a record year,” said New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh. “I’d like to thank the dedicated staff of the Trust, the Friends of Governors Island and everyone who has made the Island what it is today. I look forward to visiting this spring and summer.”

“The first of May is fast approaching, marking the exciting opening day of this year's public season at Governors Island,” said New York State Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou. “I have had the privilege of spending time on Governors Island, and I hope that with each new season, more and more New Yorkers will make the short trek to the Island. With incredible views and robust programming, Governors Island is one of the best places to visit and enjoy time with family and friends. I look forward to working with the Trust for Governors Island in continuing to make Governors Island a welcoming place for everyone.”

“With nearly 200 acres of lush greenspace and incredible views of New York Harbor, Governors Island has long been recognized as a dazzling world unto itself,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “This spring, as the Island kicks off a new robust six-month program calendar, more New Yorkers of every generation will have an opportunity to experience the wonder of Governors Island up close, learn about its rich history and participate in environmental programming to learn how they can be an active partner in the efforts to preserve and improve our environment. Thank you to Mayor De Blasio, Michael Samuelian of the Trust for Governors and everyone who is a part of this programming for your commitment to secure the future of the Island and ensure that everyone has an opportunity to unlock its beauty."

“Governors Island is the crown jewel of New York Harbor – an incredible, 172-acre collection of green spaces, history, art and culture,” saidManhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “It’s my pleasure to encourage all New Yorkers to enjoy Governors Island during the spring, summer, and fall.”

“We all look forward to May 1 when Governors Island reopens,” said Anthony Notaro, Jr., Manhattan Community Board 1 Chairman. “It has become a jewel of lower Manhattan, indeed for all New York and the world. Wandering through and enjoying the Hills while taking in views of the city makes this such a special place, yet you feel like you’re in another world. We look forward to the new season and hope for even more exciting programing and developments. See you there…”

Visitors will also once again be able to enjoy guided programs exploring the rich history of the Governors Island National Monument. Fort Jay and Castle Williams will be open throughout the summer. The National Park Service will offer frequent ranger-led tours and may exciting programs. Visit for more information about upcoming tours and hours.

“The National Park Service is excited about partnering with the Trust for Governors Island and looks forward to its 16th season welcoming visitors to enjoy the Island’s stories,” said Shirley McKinney, Superintendent, Governors Island National Monument. “New York City welcomes more than 50 million visitors every year from all over the world to experience the many cultural and historical sites like Governors Island National Monument, Federal Hall National Monument, Hamilton Grange National Monument and other national park sites that make-up the National Parks of New York Harbor. We look forward to visitors exploring Fort Jay and Castle Williams and learning about the Island’s important role in the history of New York City and beyond.”

Opportunities for recreation and play expand in 2018. Adventures at GI will return with its zipline and climbing adventures, along with a brand new mini-golf course near Liggett Terrace opening in June. The Island’s play areas near Hammock Grove, play:ground NYC’s Yard, New York’s only adventure playground and New York City’s longest slide will offer fun for children and the young at heart. Kayakers will be able to access the Island’s kayak dock at Pier 101, including free kayaking with the Downtown Boathouse on weekends starting in June. Collective Retreats, a new overnight retreat will open later this summer, offering New Yorkers the opportunity to sleep under the stars in their own city for the first time on Governors Island.

New Yorkers will be able to enjoy miles of car-free cycling, strolling and jogging in the Island’s Historic District and in the Island’s park and public spaces, as well as the complete surrounding promenade. Visitors can bring their own bikes to the Island or rent one while visiting. Blazing Saddles’ Free Bike Mornings allows visitors to borrow a bike for free for one hour between 10 and noon every weekday. Citi Bike kiosks can also be found once again at Soissons’s Landing, Yankee Pier and Picnic Point.

“We can’t wait to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to this oasis in the Harbor,” said Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “Governors Island’s 2018 season has something for everyone. Whether you love nature, art, science, sports—or simply relaxing in a hammock with an ice cream cone, our growing visitor services team is ready to help you plan the perfect visit.”

Below is the current calendar of events for May and June, as well as general information about the Island’s public access season. More details on exhibitions, special events and new Trust-led art commissions will be announced in the coming weeks. For the most up-to-date information, visit All events are free unless otherwise noted.



NYC Holi Hai – Spring Color Festival, Saturday, May 12, 10 AM – 5 PM
Rite of Summer, May 19, June 9, July 7 and August 18, Colonels Row
Family Fun Day Festival, Sunday, May 27, 11 AM-4 PM Nolan Park
New York Harbor School Oyster Classic 5K
The 13th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party, June 16-17 and August 25-26, Colonels Row
ARTs East New York (AENY) and TheHAND™ Presents The Gathering of Hands, June 23-29, Pershing Hall
FIGMENT, June 23-24, Colonels Row
Porch Stomp, June 24, Nolan Park
Additional special events will be announced in the coming months.


On View
Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird: A Pre-History of Governors Island, Daily, 10AM-4PM, Fort Jay

Nolan Park Season-Long Programs
Billion Oyster Project, Saturdays and Sundays, May 26-October 31
Children’s Museum of the Arts Free Island Outpost, Saturdays and Sundays, May 26-October 31
Christodora: Nature, Learning, Leadership, Saturdays, May-October
Dysfunctional Collective, Saturdays and Sundays May 5-October 31
Harvestworks presents The TEAM lab: Artworks and Experiences, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holiday Mondays, May 25-October 21
NYC Audubon, Saturdays and Sundays, May-October
New-York Historical Society (Opening July 2018, exhibit to be announced)
Rare AIR, Saturdays and Sundays, May-October
Swale, Saturdays and Sundays, June-October
Works on Water, Saturdays and Sundays, May 5-October 31

Colonels Row Early Season Programs
4heads Artists in Residence, Saturdays and Sundays, May 5-October 31
Art Force 5, May-August
Art of Intuitive Photography, Saturdays and Sundays, May 26-July 29
HoloCenter, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Memorial Day, May 4-June 10
Mosaic ColorFete, Saturdays and Sundays, May 5-July 28
Nut Island Creative Colony, Tuesdays - Sundays, June 9 - July 16
West Harlem Art Fund Presents Early Encounters, Saturdays and Sundays, May-July

Urban Farm Programs
GrowNYC Teaching Garden, Saturdays and Sundays, May 5-October 31, Urban Farm
Earth Matter NY's Compost Learning Center, Sundays, May 6-October 31 and Soil Start Farm, Saturdays, May 5-October 31

In Partnership with NYC Media Lab, Havas Funds and Supports New York City Graduate Students’ Emerging Technology Prototypes On Governors Island


Graduate students from design and engineering disciplines will demonstrate interactive prototypes in a special event on Governors Island on Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

Havas New York with NYC Media Lab is producing the Havas Fellowship: Prototyping the Augmented Island in collaboration with The Trust for Governors Island. The preliminary 12-week program has already granted five teams of local graduate students $5,000 and the opportunity to apply their skills in emerging technologies (such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality) to tell the story of Governors Island, allowing future visitors to better explore the Island’s landmarks, culture and history with new mobile and narrative-driven experiences. On April 10, the students will present their prototypes at a special Demo Day event on the Island. The winning team, chosen by Havas and NYC Media Lab, will receive an additional $10,000 to further their project.

“Governors Island has a rich and diverse history that is still undiscovered by many New Yorkers,” said Michael Samuelian, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “Innovative media technologies have the power to bring these stories to life in a way that balances the sense of exploration and enjoyment of public spaces.”

Announced last fall, the Havas Fellowship saw prototype applications from graduate students across NYC Media Lab’s network of city-based universities, with students from New York University, Parsons School of Design and The City University of New York ultimately chosen to participate in the program following a competitive application process. In addition to receiving $5,000 in funding, Fellows were given access to the 172-acre island for concept development during the parks’ off-season, access to a range of documents from The Trust for Governors Island’s archives (including maps, data, photographs, visitor data and landscape plans), and ongoing mentorship from Havas executives in creative direction and experience design.

“At Havas, we are in the business of creating experiences for our clients,” said Marc Maleh, the company’s Global Director. “Now more than ever, these experiences live across mobile and connect to the physical world.”

“With experience design, innovation and data science at our core,” added Laura Maness, CEO of Havas New York, “Havas is always looking to create meaningful experiences and learn from the next wave of thinkers, innovators and leaders of tomorrow.”

“Augmented reality technology and its influence on civic engagement is a major area of interest for NYC Media Lab,” said Justin Hendrix, Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. “Story-driven applications of AR can help keep the rich history of our city alive for all New Yorkers, while creating new economic opportunities within the city’s industries.”

April’s Demo Day event on Governors Island will debut the five prototypes to an audience of media, technology, advertising and civic development professionals. To learn more about the Demo Day and to request a Press/Media pass, please contact Alexis Avedisian, NYC Media Lab’s Communications Manager, at

Prototype details:

NYU Integrated Digital Media
Team Member(s): Emir Fils-Aime, Gabriella Cammarata, Najma Dawood-McCarthy
Description: Team Dandelion imagines a hidden, shape-shifting future museum exhibit that when discovered users can contribute their own wishes for their vision of NYC as well as listen to the wishes of previous visitors.

GLIMPSE: Inventing America
NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
Team Member(s): Roi Lev, Anastasis Germanidis
Description: GLIMPSE: Inventing America is an AR experience that takes the user back to the 1620s and the arrival of immigrants in what is now New York City.

See Level
Parsons MFA Design + Technology
Team Member(s): Lauren Malkani, Paolo Villanueva, Aarati Akkapeddi
Description: See Level is an augmented reality application that explores how Governors Island has been engineered to fight climate change. Visitors will experience rising sea levels first-hand, see the geoengineering inside "The Hills" and explore a new future for NYC.

CUNY Lehman / EON Reality
Team Member(s): Cécile Ragot
Description: IslandAR provides mysterious puzzle pieces that unlock shared AR experiences, hidden characters and fun stories from past and present on Governors Island.

GuideBot to GovIsland’s Past
NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP)
Team Member(s): Charlie Moffett, Gaurav Bhardwaj, Isha Chaturvedi

Description: GuideBot to GovIsland’s Past is a Chatbot that guides visitors and shares local history as they explore the island. The bot responds to users queries and learns from every interaction to improve the experience.

About Havas New York

Havas New York is one of three full-service Villages and the flagship agency of Havas U.S., a powerful network of creative agencies with the most modern capabilities and talented people in the business. At Havas New York, we are breaking tradition in our category to inspire and help progressive CMOs speak the modern language of advertising through culture, design and technology—creating a better, more meaningful consumer experience. Creatives are creators who deliver work designed to inspire conversation in the real world, not the advertising space. Learn more at our website,, or follow us on Twitter @havasnyc, Facebook and Instagram @havasnyc.

About NYC Media Lab
NYC Media Lab connects digital media and technology companies with New York City’s universities to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and talent development. A public-private partnership launched by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, NYC Media Lab funds prototyping projects that foster collaboration across a range of disciplines core to the future of media; it also runs The Combine, an early-stage accelerator for emerging media and technology startups. NYC Media Lab is currently developing the city’s first publicly funded VR/AR Center in conjunction with NYU Tandon School of Engineering, following an investment from the New York City Economic Development Corporation and The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. More information is available at

Trust for Governors Island Issues Request for Expressions of Interest for New Parade Ground Athletic Field


New natural turf field for soccer, football and other sports and recreation uses available for the first time, from April 1-November 31

The Trust for Governors Island today issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (‘RFEI’) for sports and recreation uses at the Parade Ground Athletic Field on Governors Island. A former nine-hole golf course utilized by the US Coast Guard until the mid-nineties, the Parade Ground was recently restored by the Trust into a 500’ by 250’ flat, natural turf field, large enough to host a range of sporting events and practices, including soccer, football and more. The fields will be available to youth leagues, schools and adult leagues during daylight hours during the Trust’s public season, which runs May 1 to October 31, as well as during the months of April and November.

“Governors Island is New York City’s backyard, and we’re delighted to expand places for New Yorkers to play sports and be active,” said Michael Samuelian, President of The Trust for Governors Island. “The new Parade Ground Athletic Field offers an incredible setting for sports practices and matches, and we invite youth, adult and school leagues to help us bring this new resource to life.”

The Parade Ground Athletic Field, a roughly 7.5 acre site located in the heart of Governors Island’s Historic District, was recently regraded in 2017 to create a consistent level turf grass field large enough to host soccer, football, rugby, lacrosse and other sports matches and practices. The Trust envisions a range of athletic and recreational uses of the site by multiple organizations who will share access over the course of the Island’s public season. Non-profit youth and public school leagues are especially encouraged to submit proposals.

The field is available from May 1 to October 31, 2018 subject to certain blackout periods necessary for turf maintenance and other events. The Trust also invites organizations to propose use of the field during the shoulder season months of April and November in 2018.

The fields will be delivered to selected respondents to this RFEI in its “as is” condition. In order for the Trust to understand the operational impacts of the proposal, respondents are encouraged to outline and describe in detail their needs for utilizing the site, including but not limited to additional equipment required such as goal posts and nets, line paint and temporary seating.

To submit a proposal for use of the field, organizations must respond to the RFEI found on the Trust’s website. Each submission must include a field usage plan, description of the organization’s mission and impact, site needs and qualifications. An information session and site visit will be held on February 15, 2018 with a limited number of additional sessions available upon request. RFEI responses are due on March 6, 2018.

More information about the Island and the Parade Ground Athletic Field RFEI can be found at Images of the Parade Ground Athletic Field can be found here.

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