Welcome to Nature Calendar!
My goal is to highlight both the natural resources and species of metro-area ecosystems, starting with New York City, and the work of the dedicated people, both professional and volunteer, who care for them.
I’m starting with an informative and entertaining blog about the flora, fauna, and phenomena you can witness right here in the city. I also list outdoor recreational and volunteer opportunities centered on New York City’s nature. These outings might move you to become a participant in urban ecological restoration by volunteering with the stewardship groups mentioned in each story, and linked to this site.
Other entries will be from passionate urbanites will share their personal stories of connections to untamed local species.
We’ll also host debates within the environmental movement, what we call “disaGREENments.”
One especially enjoyable feature you’ll see published here and collected on the permanent site is “Nature Walks with Sheila Buff.” You couldn’t find a more intelligent and companionable guide to walks through choice parks in New York City, the Hudson Valley, northern New Jersey, western Connecticut, and Long Island. Please see her fine health and outdoors writing here: http://www.sheilabuff.com/
This site will evolve toward a movie listings-style searchable database will guide you to where to go and what to see in our urban wilderness. Also planned are rich media enhancements, mapping, podcasts, and GPS functions.
Adventure eco-tourism starts at home, with seals, rare American elms, turtles (our homepage diamondback terrapin was photographed during a Jamaica Bay outing by Klaus Schoenwiese — http://www.tribeofman.com), a beaver, falcons, horseshoe crabs, bioluminescent jellyfish and microorganisms, butterflies, community gardens, sharks, and so much more. All right in the city!
This is our invitation to come into the true heart of town, to discover the wild urban woods, marshes, waterways, and downs, “where the soul need not repress its music.”
About the author and editor:
Erik Baard has written for the New Yorker, New York Times, WNET, NPR, Village Voice, the Times of London, Dow Jones Newswires, Wall Street Journal, Popular Science, Seed, Time Out New York, Space.com, Wired.com, and other publications. He won the “Deadline Club” best reporting prize and was a finalist in other years. The Village Voice nominated him for the Pulitzer Prize in both features and explanatory journalism. He has also worked for Japanese news broadcasters, usually centering on the United Nations.
Some key environmental stories by Erik sounded an early alarm over the dust at the World Trade Center site, identified potential hazards to people and lobsters in the West Nile spraying effort, heralded the coming interest in biodiesel, revealed the return of a seal community to the harbor, and
Erik is also the founder of the LIC Community Boathouse (http://www.licboathouse.org), which provides free canoeing and kayaking on the East River and beyond and founded the Newtown Pippin Restoration and Celebration (http://www.newtownpippin.org) which plants hundreds of fruit trees throughout NYC. He serves the community as an active member of the Newtown Creek Alliance, Astoria-LIC Waterfront Parks Alliance, and a novice tree planter at Floyd Bennett Field with Friends of Gateway. He has donated writing for the East River book and website (http://www.eastrivernyc.org) produced by the Greater Astoria Historical Society and the Going Coastal guide to New York Harbor life (http://www.goingcoastal.org). He has also contributed to the Hudson River Watertrail Guide (http://www.hrwa.org) and is an enthusiastic but largely incapable amateur astronomer.