A springtime 2017 opening date will extend the park’s season from 120 to 146 days, give the public a longer season to enjoy the island‘s bounty of arts programming and outdoor activities–and give us yet another reason to look forward to spring. Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news release, “An extra month on Governors Island means more arts, culture and outdoor time for New York families…a May Day opening stands as a symbol of changes as we create a more livable and affordable city.”
The Trust for Governors Island also announced that coming to the park this year will be Island Oyster, a picnic-style oyster garden adjacent Soissons Landing that will offer seafood and local seasonal fare, craft beer, wine and cocktails. Last year saw the opening of the Hills, a section of the island built from debris from military buildings that once stood on the site, offering panoramic views of the city and the Statue of Liberty. As Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island Merritt Birnbaum said, “There is nothing better than soaking up the gentle spring sunshine from one of the Island’s hammocks.”
There are plans in the works to make the park a year-round community. According to a press release, incoming Trust for Governors Island chair Carl Weisbrod (currently City Planning Chair) will be overseeing the island’s development into “a dynamic 24-7-365 community that includes education and innovation hubs.”
Half of Governors Island is controlled by the city; the National Park Service maintains the half of the island that has three preserved U.S. Army bases. A round trip on the ferry ride from the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan or Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park costs $2 for adults and $1 for seniors. Children under 13 and IDNYC holders ride free.