Ecosystems in New York City Parks
Plants, animals, trees, rocks, water — they're all connected!
An ecosystem is a community of living things that interact with each other and the physical space around them. As you explore the five broughs of New York City, you'll find many ecosystem types in the urban environment that might surprise you — from our grassy meadows and towering forests to our salt marshes and lakes.
Activities and Education
Let's take a closer look at the remarkable diversity of ecosystem types in our parks:
Get ready to see the forest for more than the trees! Our forests are made up of layers of various species of trees and each layer is home to different animals and plants.
A wetland is an area that is permanently or frequently flooded by water, like our ponds, swamps, and salt marshes. Wetlands are fun spots to explore unique plants and animals that love water or don't mind getting their feet wet!
Ready to Go Exploring?
Check out a cool ecosystem near you! Join our Urban Park Rangers on an upcoming hike or head out on our hiking trails! Some of our parklands, such as Ecology Park and the Five Boro Green Roof, are completely man-made and serve as a study of our city as it would be if left wild. Take a look:
This special landscape in Brooklyn is a re-creation of the natural ecologies that are found in NYC. It's home to 14 examples of different native plant communities that represent habitats of our city if left untouched. Watch our virtual tour then stop by!
Five Boro Green Roof
We're growing fruits, veggies, herbs, and flowers on a roof on Randall's Island! Comprising 40 different examples of green roof design, this green roof serves as a model for sustainable design and a living example of climate action. Watch our virtual tour and schedule a visit!
Hiking with the Urban Park Rangers
Going on a hike with our expert park rangers is a great way to learn about NYC's diverse ecosystem types up close and in real-time!