Volunteering on Governors Island

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As New York City’s most innovative green space with 172 acres to care for and over 600,000 visitors to welcome each season, we rely on the power of volunteers! Our volunteers are essential in helping us meet the rigorous demands of caring for the Island’s new and historic landscapes and creating wonderful experiences for visitors. With options for various interests and ages, the volunteer program on Governors Island offers something for everyone. Our “Island Ambassadors” welcome and inform visitors, “Governors Gardeners” lend their green thumbs to help care for the Island’s beautiful lawns, flowerbeds, meadows and trees, and our newest volunteer opportunity-tour guides-learn the history of the Island and lead visitors on tours, pointing out important landmarks and telling the story of this vibrant civic space.

So far this season volunteers have contributed a total of 5,653 hours gardening, providing visitor services and guiding tours on the Island! That’s the equivalent of $130,019 worth of service! Not only do we rely on volunteers to help keep the Island beautiful, they also foster a strong sense of community.

Bruce, who has been volunteering on Governors Island since 2011, is an integral part of this community and an ambassador for the Island who has been instrumental in helping us launch our new volunteer tour guide program. A long-time history buff, Bruce enjoys exploring New York City by bike to learn the city’s history. When Governors Island opened to the public in 2005, he incorporated the Island into his bike route and later began volunteering here. Today, Bruce volunteers regularly at both the Friends and the National Park Service, sharing his wealth of knowledge with visitors on tours. This year, he worked closely with the Friends staff to launch our new volunteer tour guide program, creating the talking points and training new volunteers. “Volunteering on GI combines so many things that used to be just pleasant hobbies for me into a useful resource that I’m proud to share…It’s been especially gratifying to help the Friends start their volunteer tour guide program, which has attracted a diverse group of new volunteers who share my enthusiasm for GI’s history and future development.”

Thank you to Bruce, and to all our volunteers, for their hard work!

Want to get involved? Learn more about supporting Governors Island by becoming a volunteer or member.