For the first time ever, the popular Governors Island attraction will remain open until the end of October. Rather than closing as usual at the end of September, the park will be open until October 31. This gives visitors a full 6 months this year to enjoy the remote park, which also opened a month earlier this year.
Expanding Offerings Into the Fall
Since the park will be open until later into the fall, Governors Island will be offering some new fall-themed activities this year. Among events planned for this fall is a “Night of 1,000 Jack O’ Lanterns,” which will feature pumpkins carved by a variety of local artists. The jack o’ lanterns will line the pathway of the island, while trick or treating and other arts and cultural programs will be offered. The island will also offer the opportunity to take in the beauty of the fall foliage against the backdrop of the city’s skyline.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed interest in the redevelopment and enhancement of Governors Island for many years. As such, many are hopeful that this may be one of the first steps toward keeping the park open year-round.
Exploring Governors Island
Offering 172 acres of space in a region that is located approximately 800 yards from the southern tip of Manhattan Island, Governors Island is separated from Brooklyn by Buttermilk Channel. Considered to be part of the borough of Manhattan, Governors Island is operated partially by the National Park Service. This small portion north of the island is known as the Governors Island National Monument. The remaining 150 acres of the park, which includes 52 historic buildings, is operated by the Trust for Governors Island.
The area also features a 43-acre public park and offers a variety of free cultural events, arts and recreational activities throughout its operating season. Activities on the island include free walking tours provided by the National Park Service as well as opportunity for bike riding and picnicking, The island also hosts drone races, concerts, art installations, fairs and festivals. The Governors Island Art Fair, which boasts a wide variety of exhibits, takes place every year during weekend in September
The History of Governors Island
Originally measuring just 69 acres in size, 103 acres of fill was added to Governors Island in 1912 in order to achieve its current size of 172 acres. Referred to as Paggank, or “nut island,” by the Native Americans of the Manhattan region, Governors Island boasts plenty of oak, hickory and chestnut trees. The island was later referred to as Noten Eylant by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block, a name that was borrowed into English as Nutten Island. The island received its current name in 1784, at which time the colonial assembly reserved the island for the use of New York’s royal governors.
During the American Revolutionary War, the Continental Army raised defensive works on the island. They used these works to fire upon British trips before they were taken. The island later served as a post for the US Army from 1783 through 1966. It then served as a major installation for the US Coast Guard for the next 30 years