Unfortunately, we aren’t all born with green thumbs. Even serial plant killers, though, can learn to go green in New York City. For those seeking to learn more about nature or want to start their own environmentally friendly enterprise, New York City offers a range of classes for New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds from how not to kill your houseplant to planning your own urban farm venture. Here are three great ways to get to know nature better and take the next step to make your home and life more earth-friendly.
Dabble in Nature
Brooklyn Botanical Garden Classes
For those who want to learn more about the natural world around them, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden offers a wonderful range of classes year round for both children and adults that can inspire your artistic side and help you enjoy the outdoors in a new way.
Budding painters can find nature-inspired watercolor classes while martial arts enthusiasts can enjoy three levels of Tai Chi Chuan. Introductions to birding, plant science and tree plant care are also offered. Known for their horticulture expertise, expert planters can meet fellow flower lovers at workshops that train in plant propagation while those without a green thumb can meet one another in the popular class, “How Not to Kill Your Houseplant.”
Try Your Hand at Composting
NYC Compost Project, a program of NYC Wasteless
Composting is a great way to recycle more and make your home more environmentally friendly. But starting a home composting program can be overwhelming. To help you get off on the right foot and make your composting project a success, the NY Compost Project, a program of NYC Wasteless, offers a series of composting workshops for both apartment dwellers and homeowners alike.
Classes range from a vermicomposting class to help you learn how to compost indoors with red worms to an outdoor class that teaches you how to build and maintain a compost bin as well as make sure your composting decays properly. For those with a yard, a mulching class also teaches you how to mulch your lawn by leaving grass clippings, an easy way to return water and nutrients into the soil and make your grass healthier.
For composters hoping to teach others in their community about composting, a master certificate, which includes classroom instruction as well as a community service component, are also offered.
Become an Urban Farmer
Farm School NYC, a program of JustFood
Farm School NYC, a program of JustFood, trains NYC residents to become urban farmers and learn more about the food they eat. Deeply rooted in social justice and grassroots organizing, the Farm School NYC program is taught by urban farmers and other social justice leaders and is held in communities throughout New York City.
For those looking to learn more about urban farming, a series of open enrollment courses offered seasonally can help budding agriculturalists learn how to plan a farm, prepare for winter or grow their own local food enterprise. Community food activists and those serious about starting their own urban gardening venture can also apply and enroll in a two-year certificate in urban farming offered by the Farm School.
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Tamar Auber is a freelance writer whose work can be found on Examiner.com.