This year, make a resolution that's good for yourself and your planet: Resolve to spend more time outside. The Nature Conservancy's New York State Director, Bill Ulfelder, spoke with NY1 to share why this is the best resolution you can make, and how to get the most of New York's nature in the new year.
Why Spend More Time Outdoors?
It's good for you. Getting outdoors benefits your own health and bolsters your commitment and love for nature.
It's good for your kids. “If you want your kid to go to Harvard, tell him to go outside,” says Richard Louv, who coined the term, Nature Deficit Disorder. Simply looking out at trees, shrubs and the open sky has benefits. Research shows that separation from nature can have an impact on kids and links obesity, depression and short attention spans to insufficient time outside.
It's good for your community. The Trust for Public Land’s most recent economic study showed that Long Island parks and open space provide almost $3 billion in economic benefit to local government and taxpayers.
Where To Go
Think there's no such thing as the Great Outdoors in the Big Apple? Think again. New York City has more than 1,700 parks, including well-known spots like Central Park and hidden gems like Alley Pond Park in Queens, and the High Line walkway that grants spectacular views of the Hudson River.
And if you're looking to spend a day out of the concrete jungle, there's plenty of accessible options. These are only a few of our favorite preserves that are just a hop, skip and a jump away from the city.
- Sam's Point Preserve
Known for its ice caves (deep crevices that hold ice until late summer), this preserve is home to more than 40 rare plants and animals -- and it's only 2 hours from NYC!
- Mashomack Preserve
Just 90 miles outside the city on Long Island, this ocean-side haven has been called, “The Jewel of the Peconic Bay.”
- Montezuma Wildlife Refuge
Located between Rochester and Syracuse, this preserve is considered one of the most important waterfowl concentration areas on the East Coast.
- Santanoni Preserve
Home to one of the world’s largest deciduous forests, this Adirondacks preserve is a great place to plan a ski trip!