Celebrate National Parks Month With Birds, Boats, Beaches and Lady Liberty!
July 1, 2013

It’s National Parks and Recreation Month! Dense forests, majestic mountains, and one canyon that is definitely grand: all can be found in America’s National Parks. And while New York City is the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, you might be surprised to know that there are ten National Parks in New York and Northern New Jersey!

According to the National Parks Service, “The National Parks of New York Harbor includes nearly 27,000 acres and welcomes more than 12 million visitors each year.” Some of these parks’ names will sound familiar; Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, and Castle Garden (now Castle Clinton) are all National Parks.

Ellils Island Main Building. Photo courtesy of The National Archives and Records Administration

Liberty Island is definitely celebrating this month; it has been closed since Hurricane Sandy last October, and the Statue of Liberty will be reopening on (what else?) July 4th.

A National Symbol AND a National Park

Of course, if you’re more interested in the natural state of things, New York and New Jersey have plenty of options. You can camp at Floyd Bennet Field in Brooklyn; lay in the sand (or visit the oldest surviving lighthouse in the United States) at Sandy Hook, NJ; kayak aroundBird Staten Island; or bird watch at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens, the largest continuous open space in all five boroughs.

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge - because there are more animals in NYC than pigeons and rats!

No matter your interests or fortitude against mosquito bites, July is the perfect month to get out and enjoy all the Parks that New York City and Northern New Jersey have to offer!

 – Posted by Lib Tietjen