NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Governors Island will open to the public on May 1 this year, extending its season for nearly one month.

Officials said the earlier opening date will give New Yorkers numerous more opportunities to enjoy the beauty and activity of the island.

“An extra month on Governors Island means more arts, culture and outdoor time for New York families. We are proud of the focused progress that got us to a spring opening this year, and will note that a May Day opening stands as a symbol of changes as we create a more livable and affordable city,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news release.

The earlier opening date will extend the 2017 public access season from 120 days to 146 days. The Trust for Governors Island will offer a variety of arts, cultural, educational and recreational programs – and The Hills – a section of the park on the island that opened last year.

The Hills offers breathtaking panoramic views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Jersey City and the Statue of Liberty. It was built from debris from military buildings that used to stand on the site.

“The month of May on Governors Island is a feast for the senses. We are thrilled that the public will experience for the first time the Island’s flowering trees in full bloom, and enjoy favorite spring past-times like car-free biking, strolling, and picnicking,” Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island, said in a news release. “There is nothing better than soaking up the gentle spring sunshine from one of the Island’s hammocks.”

The Trust for Governors Island also announced a new feature in the park. Island Oyster will be set up as a picnic-style oyster garden set up in a parklike landscape alongside Soissons Landing, the trust said. Island Oyster will offer seafood and local summer fare, along with craft beer, wine and cocktails, the trust said.

The city controls half of Governors Island, The National Park Service maintains the other half, which has three preserved U.S. Army bases.

A round trip on the ferry to Governors Island 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.


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