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    for Nature Lovers in NYC

The 9 Greenest Neighborhoods
for Nature Lovers in NYC


Hard concrete, towering buildings, more cars, trucks, and buses in a single city block than most small town’s Wal-Mart parking lots. Yes, you’re in NYC. 

Thankfully, there are trees. In fact, there are millions of trees!

Trees line the streets, bedazzle the parks, and are even up on rooftops. There are thousands of parks, outdoor recreational facilities, gardens, ponds, lakes, and rivers that allow you to get out and experience nature. And you can find them in many neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs.

We all know that being outside among the trees, plants, insects, birds, and animals is simply wonderful. It makes us feel less stressed, more creative, healthier, happier, and alive!

So to make sure you have plenty of opportunities to feel alive, join us on an adventure through ten of the greenest neighborhoods NYC has to offer. 


central park nyc

Morningside Heights, Manhattan

In the middle of the “concrete jungle” is Central Park, a green jungle that the entire world has heard about. But just to its northwest is where we start our adventure.

Morningside Heights is sandwiched between Morningside and Riverside parks, and is home to Columbia University. This hilly plateau has wide streets that favor public transportation, biking, and walking.

It has beautiful waterfront views and is surprisingly quiet; I guess those Ivy League students don’t rage as hard as I used to.

Many of the buildings use clean energy, so you’ll breathe easy sitting with a book, watching birds, or taking “golden hour” selfies with the gorgeous sunset overlooking the Hudson River.

morningside park nyc

Bergen Beach, Brooklyn

If you want somewhere even quieter, take a stroll down to these tidal shores in Brooklyn.

This small suburban community offers tree-lined streets, playgrounds, and parks. The 77-acre McGuire Park covers most of the shoreline with sports areas, wooded paths, and even horseback riding.

You’re either going to need a horse or a car to get around because the only public transportation is a few buses, but this calm neighborhood gives you a feeling like you’re perpetually on vacation.

You also have access to the Gateway National Recreation Area of Jamaica Bay, which is one of the top ecological preserves in the state.

bergen beach park

Battery Park City, Manhattan

The next neighborhood is named after Battery Park, which isn’t actually in Battery Park City, just nearby, and is now called The Battery, instead of Battery Park… maybe that’s the reason for the name change.

Anyways, considering more than a third of Battery Park City is parks and public spaces, I think its name will stay.

Snuck into the bottom of the financial district in Manhattan, this residential community has lush paths and walkways lined with flowers, gardens, and trees, and beautiful views of the water.

You’ll find people walking, roller-blading, biking, stroller-pushing, and jogging among the butterflies, birds, squirrels, and stockbrokers.

battery park city

Riverdale, Bronx

If you head all the way up to the northernmost end of NYC, you’ll find this seemingly perfect small town neighborhood snuggled in between the Hudson River, Van Cortlandt Park, and Yonkers.

Just like the TV show on the CW, the real Riverdale seems like a dream.

Unlike the TV show, the real Riverdale doesn’t have dark murderous secrets.

Instead, it is one of the most sought after and expensive neighborhoods in NYC. The hilly, forested countryside is littered with Mansions and incredible condominiums, gorgeous parks, and leafy scenic roads.

Riverdale is a nature lover’s dream. The captivating Wave Hill flaunts a botanical garden that doubles as an outdoor art gallery. Birds and wildlife flourish, and you feel more like you’re in Rural Connecticut than NYC.

riverdale bronx park

Kew Gardens, Queens

You want a taste of the big apple? Head over to Queens and take a bite of this green neighborhood. 

This planned garden community has some of the cleanest air in all of Queens, mainly thanks to Forest Park, which has the largest oak forest, and is the largest park in Queens.

Visit the nature center, then take a hike or horseback ride through the trails and discover the beautiful natural settings. If you’re inclined, the park offers anything an athlete could dream of, with courts, fields, tracks, and even the most challenging golf course in NYC.

Boasting over 165 acres of trees, most streets seem like extensions of the forest, and Kew Gardens is proud of its locally owned business and restaurants. 

kew gardens queens

Randall Manor, Staten Island

Grab your compass and practice your sea shanties, because we’re heading down to the shores of Staten Island, savvy? 

Randall Manor is a gorgeous neighborhood named after the notable Sea Captain Robert Richard Randall. There are fathoms of fields, playgrounds, and parks, including Snug Harbor, which has a Smithsonian-affiliated cultural center and botanical garden. 

This neighborhood is one of the most desired and attractive parts of the island. It has streets lined with elm and maple trees, beautiful Victorian and ranch style homes with porches and large backyards. Many have pools and gorgeous views of lower Manhattan.

When Captain Jack Sparrow said, “not all treasure is silver and gold, mate,” he may well have been talking about Randall Manor.

Randall Manor, Staten Island

Grymes Hill, Staten Island

Why do you think both naturalists and comedians come to this part of Staten Island? …because it’s hill areas!  

Grymes Hill has the second highest point on the Island. It’s considered the fourth safest neighborhood in NYC, and is a sanctuary for endangered and threatened species of native trees and plants.

It’s made up of hilly, winding streets smothered with trees and greenways. There are two campuses, St. John’s University and Wagner College, and its bordering Silver Lake Park. 

Howard Avenue is considered one of the most exclusive and expensive streets on Staten Island. It runs along the steep hillside of the Serpentine Ridge Nature Preserve, part of the Special Hillside Preservation district.

This heavily wooded neighborhood is a perfect place for Jack and Jill, and any nature lover.

Grymes Hill, Staten Island

Forest Hills Gardens, Queens

Grab your web-shooter and swing over to Queens.

Forest Hills is home to Peter Parker in the comics, and Forest Hills Gardens is home to some of the most beautiful houses and green spaces in NYC.

This private community in Forest Hills is a tree-lovers haven. Cherry, oak, maple, and elm trees edge the curvy streets. Gorgeous landscaping and large yards spread out the homes so Spider-Man has to do a little more running than swinging. 

Everyone can enjoy Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Forest Park (mentioned earlier), and those of us who haven’t been bit by a radioactive spider can get into Penn Station in less than 20 minutes on the LIRR. 

This quiet, friendly neighborhood knows that with great power comes great responsibility. Forest Hills Gardens was designed by the son of the famous landscape architect who co-designed Central Park and Prospect Park.

Grymes Hill, Staten Island (1)

Prospect Park South, Brooklyn

Speaking of Prospect Park, we’ll complete our adventure as green as possible.

This small suburban community in Flatbush has wide streets layered with gorgeous unique homes. Large plots of trees give this leafy neighborhood some of the cleanest air in Brooklyn. The residents have actually created community associations that help the environment and reduce their carbon footprint. 

In case you were wondering, Prospect Park South is just south of Prospect Park.

Basically, you have a 526-acre park as your backyard where you can enjoy any outdoor activity imaginable. Hike through the Ravine, watch the ducks and geese in the lake, go sledding, biking, horseback riding, or just stare at your phone on one of the lawns.  

If you’re looking for a place to simply get outside, or even raise a family, you can truly be with nature in Prospect Park South.

Go Green

Sure, NYC has a lot of concrete and steel, but there’s so much green!

Breathe easy knowing you can find gardens and trees growing all around the city, and maybe we’ve even planted a seed for you to visit one of these nine neighborhoods to be even more immersed in Nature.

In the meantime, go for a walk, sit with a book, or follow a guided meditation. Just get out there and enjoy the beautiful greenery that the city has to offer.

nyc parks