Hi reader(s)! I’ve lived in New York state for almost six months now (time flies when you’re having fun!) but yesterday I finally made it down to New York City, which is a two hour train ride from me. The event was National Trails Day, which was created by the National Hiking Society but of course is right up our alley (or trail.) I was a bit confused to be heading into a city for an event about trails, but even the largest city in the United States makes room for nature, and not just Central park!
With a couple of fellow SCAs from my area, we boarded a train at 6:30 AM and, two and a half hours later, found ourselves here- we’re in the middle of the woods somewhere, right?
Wrong! We’re at the Hudson River Park! It’s four miles long and goes along the Hudson in Manhattan! There’s a helicopter pad nearby and I can’t say I’ve ever worked on a trail with helicopters constantly coming and going (not to mention the sound of traffic!) Gotta love new experiences.
Our first task of the day was to weed this trail in the Habitat Garden. It’s closed to the public and only used for educational programs so it’s not as trampled as some of the trails we’re used to. If we look a bit tired in the group selfie, it’s because some of us (*ahem,* me) had to be up at 5am to catch the train!
After weeding the whole trail, we covered it in a thick layer of new mulch. The first few program groups are going to find it a springy surface to walk on, but hopefully it will keep some of the weeds out! This was a pretty non-traditional trails project in my book but I didn’t mind the time to catch up with some of the SCA members from the city, Long Island, and other locations.
With the service project over, we had a bit of mud on our clothes and perhaps leaves in our hair, but we’d come all the way to the city so we decided to do a little more exploring! Our destination of choice was the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH.) We saw exhibits on animals of Africa, eradicating diseases like Smallpox and Polio, ancient peoples of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Gems, Minerals, Meteorites, and…
MY FAVORITE DINOSAUR, A CRIPTOCLID, KINDA LIKE A PLESIOSAUR (which is technically not a dinosaur, but an extinct aquatic reptile, more info and a picture of his big cousin overhead here.)
As a Chicaogan I’m pretty proud of Sue, the T. Rex fossil who lives at the Field Museum. But it was great to spend a day with her long-lost (and long-dead) relatives- the American Museum of Natural History has a great collection and very informative and accessible interpretive panels. You don’t have to be a scientist to find it fun and educational! I would definitely recommend the AMNH and I hope to get back there for another visit someday- I think we missed a whole floor of exhibits! But we were tired and the museum was closing so we headed back to Grand Central (walking across Central Park in the progress- gosh that place is busy, or maybe I’m just used to being one of a few people at a park since we live in a pretty quiet area.) It was a very long day but I’m glad my friends and I got to visit the big city!