Thankfully we have 10 other Nature Classes for you to choose from. Check our top choices below or see all classes for more options.
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January 2, 2020
Thanks to its varied habitats and combination of native and introduced species, Central Park is a great place for edible and medicinal wild plants, even in the winter, as you'll see if you attend this special City Kids Home School Coop tour, where all adults must be accompanied with kids.
Herbs, greens, fruits, and nuts will all be in season simultaneously: While most nut trees are already out of season, Central Park's ginkgo trees will be at their peak. Inside a malodorous orange fruit you'll find a white, almond-shaped kernel with a soft green nut inside. This Chinese delicacy tastes like a combination of green peas and Limburger cheese. Sold in health food stores and advertised on TV, Ginkgo biloba improves circulation and immune function.
American persimmon is smaller that the commercial Asian variety, it has way more flavor. But you have to wait until it's ugly and ripe before you bite into it, or it will taste terribly astringent. This is the last wild fruit of the season to ripen, but it's so good, it's well worth the wait, and there should even be some left under the trees in Jan.
Another "fruit" is the pod of the Kentucky coffee tree, growing a few minutes walk north of the Boathouse, just East of the persimmon trees. The seeds inside the inedible pods and on the ground make the world's best-tasting caffeine-free coffee substitute, even though this leguminous tree isn't related to coffee. It's also an unknown but outstanding seasoning to use in chocolate desserts.
Sassafras is another tree that grows in thickets throughout the park, and it's in season in the winter. You can boil the taproots of the invasive saplings (which park workers weed out) to make a tea, and chill the tea and add sparkling water and sweetener to make root beer. You can also use the outer layer of the taproot as a spicy seasoning. It tastes like a combination of root beer, anise, and cinnamon.
The common spicebush is an outstanding bush that's in season all year. You use the twigs to make a tea, which tastes a little like allspice
We could also find cold-resistant leafy green vegetables on this tour. They include chickweed, which tastes like corn on the cob, garlicky garlic mustard, and field garlic, which you use like chives.
Given enough rain beforehand and a generous helping of luck, gourmet oyster mushrooms and Japanese enoki mushrooms may be emerging from trees and stumps.
Still have questions? Ask the community.
This class isn't on the schedule at the moment, but save it to your Wish List to find out when it comes back!
Foraging expert Steve Brill has shared his foraging wisdom at schools, museums, parks departments, environmental organizations, and with scout troops since 1982. He’s written three books and an app, stars in a DVD and maintains a website.
His History with Foraging
As part of his exercise regime,...
This school has been carefully vetted by CourseHorse and is a verified NYC educator.
Generate innovative ideas and forms that perform and give back to the planet and its inhabitants responsibly in space. Based on the Biomimicry Institute's 3.8 guidelines, explore all three levels of the biomimicry design process. Learn sustainability principles and practices such as life cycle assessment; discover nature's time-tested design...
Monday Jul 27th, 9:30am - 1pm Eastern Time(8 sessions)
This instructional course will cover the nutritional and logistical aspects of menu planning in the backcountry. you’ll learn what your body needs while on adventure, including replenishing calories and fulfilling nutritional needs. You’ll learn how weight, storage, and cooking method will impact your menu planning and packing, the pros and cons...
Sunday Jun 7th, 6:30pm - 9:30pm Eastern Time
We’ll start with the basics, and lucky for us, Prospect Park Lake is home to an impressive variety and population of fish and there’s plenty of shoreline for us to practice our casting. We’ll introduce you to the rods, reel, and tackle used in spin casting, the style that is most versatile and easiest to learn. After learning the techniques for...
Friday Jun 12th, 6:30pm - 9:30pm Eastern Time
Join us in a fun, social setting right here in NYC to learn & practice the basics of Survival. Great as a stand alone or to prepare for our full-day or overnight classes in the woods. In this session, we’ll cover Psychology of Survival; covering topics such as Effective Decision Making Under Pressure, Needs Assessment, ...
Sunday Jul 12th, 6:30pm - 9:30pm Eastern Time
We have been on lock down, separated from loved ones and nature. Let's return to community in nature with an evening forest therapy walk! Enjoy the many invitations that will connect us with summer's long daylight hours. Meeting location at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park (East Drive parallel to about 75th Street) Note: Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate...
Tuesday Jul 21st, 6pm - 8:30pm Eastern Time
Looking for a unique way to spend your Summer Friday? Join us at the Bronx Zoo where you will get to meet an animal up close, enjoy a guided tour of our Jungle World exhibit, and act like a kid again in Nature Trek. Afterwards, you can grab a drink at Zoo Brew or add on a Treetops Adventure. This program includes walking outside. All paths are wheelchair...
Friday Jun 26th, 3:30pm - 5pm Eastern Time
Outdoor professionals know that the success of a trip depends first and foremost on what you do long before you hit the trail. Putting in the right preparation means not only a safer trip, but more quality time in the woods. In this class, you’ll learn how to choose the best destinations, plan your route, pack for comfort and weight, plan a menu...
Thursday Jul 9th, 6:30pm - 9:30pm Eastern Time
The fascinating lives of bats are revealed courtesy of J. Alan Clark, Ph.D., co-author of Bats in the Bronx, a recent study of five local bat species. After a brief lecture, we will venture onto NYBG's grounds using handheld equipment to locate and identify bats through their ultrasonic calls. This equipment creates a picture of each bat's call, and...
Wednesday Jul 15th, 6:30pm - 8:30pm Eastern Time
Create a soundscape that gives voice to the natural world. Composer Angélica Negrón,who created an immersive choral experience in the Thain Family Forest last fall, will show you how to combine sounds to capture a sense of place. Learn to record the electrical changes on plant leaves and turn those fluctuations into sound. Using smart phone...
Saturday Jul 18th, 11am - 2pm Eastern Time
This three hour class held in Prospect Park will introduce you to topographical maps and how to read them, all types of compasses, and how to use a map and compass in tandem to navigate. You’ll learn how to read, take and follow bearings, and more. We’ll have orienteering courses and scavenger hunts setup so you can try guided and independent...
Sunday Jul 19th, 6:30pm - 9:30pm Eastern Time
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