Use Governors Island’s Ballfields During the 2015 Public Season

There are two natural turf ballfields, sized for Little League baseball and adult softball.

There are two natural turf ballfields, sized for Little League baseball and adult softball.

The permit process to use Governors Island’s sports fields is now open! The two natural turf ballfields can be easily configured for Little League baseball and adult softball or for soccer and other field sports. The fields will be open for permitted use during daylight hours every day from May 23- September 27.

The ballfields will open on May 23 when the Island opens for the 2015 season. The ballfields are sized for Little League baseball or adult softball. The outfields of these fields can also be used for soccer or other field sports. Fields are open when the Island is open to the public. The Island is open every day from May 23 through September 27. On weekdays, the Island is open 10 AM to 6 PM; on weekends from 10 AM to 7 PM.

Organizations can apply online to use the fields. The permit process will be open until March 1 at which point we will review all of the applications we have received. There is a $26 non-refundable permit fee. As with other public ballfields in New York City, preference will be given to youth groups, schools and leagues from across the City. Once the permit process is closed, The Trust will let groups know if they have secured field space and the dates and times at which they can use the fields. Fields are free of charge for all youth and school groups. There is a fee of $50 an hour for adult leagues.

We look forward to welcoming groups from around the City to play ball while enjoying incredible views of the Harbor and Statue of Liberty.

OpenHouseGI Permit Process for Governors Island’s 2015 Public Season Now Open

In 2014, this workshop that was a part of OpenHouseGI was enjoyed by many Island visitors.

In 2014, this workshop that was a part of OpenHouseGI was enjoyed by many Island visitors.

The OpenHouseGI permit process for Governors Island’s 2015 public access season is now open. OpenHouseGI offers 150,000 square feet of indoor space in former officers’ houses and over 20 acres of outdoor space free of charge to any organization that creates programming that is free and open to the public during the Island’s public season. All organizations are welcome to apply to OpenHouseGI through the Trust’s website. In 2015, Governors Island will be open every day from May 23 through September 27.

OpenHouseGI offers more than two dozen former officers’ homes in Nolan Park and Colonels Row for groups to use.  Due to unprecedented demand for indoor spaces, the 2015 season will be divided into two sessions. Session I runs from May 23-July 20 and Session II runs from July 21-September 27. Groups wishing to use indoor spaces apply for only one of the two sessions. Groups using indoor spaces for the first half of the season may have the opportunity to extend their use of the space if it is available for the second session.

OpenHouseGI also offers nearly 25 acres of outdoor space for programs. These include the Colonels Row Festival Grounds, the Parade Ground and Nolan Park. In 2015, South Battery, a two acre green space located a short distance from Yankee Pier, will open for the first time. With its historic sandstone wall and Mark Handforth’s “Saffron Star” it could be used for a wide range of programs, including dance and theatrical performances. The Play Lawn Oval, a two acre lawn in the new park adjacent to the ballfields, will also be available. This versatile space could be used for outdoor art, performances or other activities.

In 2014, more than 60 organizations produced site specific dance performances, educational workshops, theatrical productions, recreational and sports programs, art exhibits, and much more for Island visitors. The Island typically welcomes 8,000 visitors each weekend day and in 2014, welcomed 476,000 visitors. More than 75% of visitors to the Island are from New York City.

All of the information needed to apply can be found at  We look forward to the 2015 season being the best one yet for Governors Island.

American Society of Landscape Architects Honors Governors Island

Trust for Governors Island President Leslie Koch is honored at the ASLA's 100th Anniversary President's Dinner

Trust for Governors Island President Leslie Koch is honored at the ASLA’s 100th Anniversary President’s Dinner

Trust for Governors Island president Leslie Koch was honored on Thursday at the American Society of Landscape Architecture’s NY Chapter dinner. The ASLA recognized Leslie’s “dedication to transforming a valuable New York City waterfront asset into a world class destination.” Leslie was honored alongside Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin and New York 1 News.

The ASLA noted that Governors Island’s 30 new acres of park and public spaces, designed by West 8, are an “oasis in the middle of New York Harbor” that “will stand the test of time.”

Come Drink the Water on Governors Island!


Enjoying drinking water at the fountain in Liggett Terrace

Enjoying drinking water at the fountain in Liggett Terrace

Today marks an incredible milestone for Governors Island. You can now drink the water from brand new drinking fountains in the new park!

As of today, two new public drinking fountains have been installed at Liggett Terrace and near Yankee Pier. These all-season drinking fountains include bottle-filling spigots, as well as regular “bubblers” at standard and ADA accessible heights.

The restoration of potable water is a cornerstone project in the Island’s comprehensive capital program to ready the Island for its next chapter.

Throughout the process, we’ve kept you posted as we drilled under the bedrock of the Buttermilk Channel to Brooklyn and snaked 2,500 feet of new pipe from Red Hook to Governors Island.  The remaining pipe and associated equipment to successfully connect the Island to New York City’s water system was completed earlier this month.The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has performed water quality testing to successfully confirm the water is potable! So visitors can now drink New York City’s water right here on the Island.

The new fountains feature a water refilling station and two "bubblers"

The new fountains feature a water refilling station and two “bubblers”


So bring over your own water bottle and fill it up here or just stop by for a quick drink before you enjoy everything else the Island has to offer.

Governors Island Welcomed Nearly 400,000 Visitors in Our 40 Day Season!


More than 5,000 visitors previewed the new park under construction last weekend (photo of Tim Schenck)

We welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors in the 2013 season that just concluded on Sunday, and also made tremendous progress on constructing 30 acres of new park. Three hundred and ninety eight thousand visitors, an increase of 15% over last year, enjoyed the Island during the 40 day weekend and holiday Monday season from the end of May through the end of September. Governors Island closed to the public on September 29.
Fete Paradiso, a festival of vintage carousels and carnival rides from Europe was the highlight of the Governors Island 2013 season, joined by more than 60 new and returning programs including FIGMENT’s artist designed miniature golf course, the Jazz Age Lawn Party, Vintage Baseball and exhibits by the New York Historical Society, International Center for Photography and the Museum of the City of New York, and others.
In order to keep pace with an aggressive schedule to update Island infrastructure and create the extraordinary park, the southern half of the Island was closed to visitors during the 2013 season. Visitors to the Island were able to watch progress on construction from the Viewing Platform @ Liggett Arch. Free hard hat tours were offered for the general public and a broad range of organizations.
On the last weekend of the public season, we opened the park construction site to the public. More than 5,000 visitors walked through, enjoying the views of the Statue of Liberty just behind the sports fields under construction and seeing the more than one thousand trees that have already been planted.   Signs throughout the site, staff members and additional free tours provided information about the new park spaces, which will open next year.
Next month, we will conclude construction on 30 new acres of park. The Governors Island park and public spaces are designed by West 8, an acclaimed landscape architecture firm. The new park spaces includes Liggett Terrace, a sunny, six acre plaza with seasonal plantings, seating, water features and public art; Hammock Grove, a shady ten acre space that is home to 1,500 new trees, play areas and hammocks; and the Play Lawn, 14 acres for play and relaxation that includes two turf ball fields sized for adult softball and Little League baseball.  These spaces will open for public use in May 2014. The Hills, an additional 10 acres of park, are currently under construction and will open to the public in May 2015.
Governors Island will re-open to the public in May 2014.

Preview the New Governors Island Park!

See the hedge maze under construction, newly planted trees and paths as a part of Park Preview weekend!

See the hedge maze under construction, newly planted trees, and asphalt paths and so much more as a part of Park Preview weekend!

You are invited to preview the new Governors Island Park on September 28 and 29!

Visitors can walk on their own or take a guided tour to see the transformation of acres of landfill into an incredible park.  The construction site will be open for one weekend only. Leading civic organizations including Community Board 1 in Manhattan, Community Board 2 in Brooklyn, the Governors Island Alliance, Transportation Alternatives, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, New Yorkers for Parks, the Alliance for Downtown New York and the American Society for Landscape Architects’ New York Chapter join The Trust in celebrating Park Preview weekend. The park construction site will be open from 12 PM to 6 PM both days.

Visitors to the construction site will see the hedge maze in Liggett Terrace taking shape, walk on newly laid asphalt paths, sit on curb and seat edges, see new trees that have been planted and head to the highest point in Hammock Grove to experience a breathtaking view of the Statue of Liberty and Harbor. In the distance, the Play Lawn and ball fields are taking shape and the Hills are beginning to rise. Made of recycled construction and fill materials, The Hills will eventually rise 25 to 80 feet above the Island, and the summit of the tallest Hill will provide visitors with a 360-degree panorama of Staten Island, Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Visitors can enter the park construction site at the Liggett Hall Arch. The site will be open from Noon to 6 PM on September 28 and 29. Guided tours will leave from the Arch as well at 1:30 and 3:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Registration in advance is not required. More information about guided tours are as follows:

Saturday 9/28, 1:30-2:15pm

Superstorm Sandy Success Stories: Designing a Resilient Park

Led by The Trust for Governors Island

Saturday 9/28, 3:30-4:15pm

Park Horticulture

Led by Annette Wilkus, Siteworks

Sunday 9/29,1:30-2:15pm

Park Horticulture

Led by Will Hart, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects

Sunday, 9/29, 3:30-4:15pm

Superstorm Sandy Success Stories: Designing a Resilient Park

Led by Jamie Maslyn, West 8

We also invite you to post pictures of your visit to the site  on Twitter (@gov_island) Facebook (Governors Island), Flickr (GovernorsIslandgroup) and Instagram (@governorsisland).

Governors Island closes to the public at 7 PM on Sunday, September 29.

Don’t miss this chance to see the park in progress for yourself!

Only Two Weekends Left to Enjoy All Things Governors Island!


This weekend is the last chance to enjoy FIGMENT’s season long exhibits, including mini golf!

This weekend is the last chance to enjoy FIGMENT’s season long exhibits, including mini golf!

Below are some of this weekend’s programs!

FIGMENT Summer-Long Installations, 12pm to 5:30pm, Parade Ground

All weekend enjoy the interactive Sculpture Garden, artist-designed Minigolf Course, City of Dreams Pavilion, and the Treehouse on the the Parade Ground.

4 Heads Art Fair, Weekends in September, All Day, Building 111, Colonels Row and Nolan Park 
Indulge your curiosity by exploring the abandoned military barracks of Governors Island Art Fair, 100 singular rooms of painting, photography, sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance art. Run by artists, for artists, New York’s largest independent exhibition enters its 6th year this fall. 4heads’ programs are tailored to serve the under-resourced, attracting hidden culture and fostering community through collaborative expression.


LMCC Open Studios, DD Dorvillier, Sunday, September 22   4 PM – 5 PM
LMCC invites viewers to an open studio to see a collection “in process” of Dorvillier’s past work, which has been categorized and catalogued according to different themes and frames. Her dancers will present a collection of these “steps” (titled A catalogue of steps) as part of her larger project A Diary of an Image.

Rising Waters: Photographs of Hurricane Sandy  presented by The International Center of Photography and the Museum of the City of New York, 12pm to 6pm, Building 19


In collaboration with the Museum of the City of New York, ICP presents an exhibition of photographs of the damage and recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Drawn from an open call for submissions from the public that has drawn over 5,000 submissions, the exhibition includes work from professional photographers as well as community members and bystanders who photographed the effects of the devastating storm and the subsequent recovery efforts.

Fête Paradiso, 10:30pm to 6:30pm, Nolan Park

For the first time in the US, a spectacular collection of vintage French carnival rides is open to the public here on Governors Island! The Parisian experience is free to visitors both young and old at this magnifique fairground festival complete with French music and cuisine!

Remember, the East River Ferry is a great way to get from Queens, Brooklyn and Midtown to Governors Island. Check the full schedule to plan your next trip!

Free Kayaking, Saturday, 11am to 5pm, Pier 101

Brought to you by the Downtown Boathouse, enjoy some fun time out on the water with this summery activity featuring beautiful views of New York Harbor!



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 24,433 other followers