Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Daylight Savings Walk - Jamaica Bay

Snow geese at Jamaica Bay. Photo: Vincent Mounier

The Good, the Bad, and the Berry 
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
8 March 2020
12pm - 2.30pm
Tickets: $52

Today the clocks are set an hour forward. Come and celebrate the end of dark afternoons with a brisk plant identification walk followed by a picnic featuring the flavors we have seen.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is where New York's contradictions of populated skyline and free range nature meet in a fascinating intersection of estuary, wetland, beach, field uplands and woods.

Late winter and early spring show us undressed shrubs where tempting drupes and berries persist. Some of them are delicious.

Some of them are not. What are they? Friend, or foe? 

Learn to tell the difference between native and Asian bittersweet.

Edible and poisonous fruits. Which is which?

The refuge has a wild and exposed western side. Waterfowl like snow geese like to overwinter here, and if we are lucky we will spot them.

A viewing platform allows access to the wetland's edge.

The quieter eastern side of the refuge is where woodland and swamp meet. 

On our walk we will meet a range of Northeastern native shoreline plants, like pine and juniper, and in our post-walk hot toddy we will taste them.

Fragrant male eastern red cedars will be bursting with pollen.

And spring's luscious shoots will be disguised in winter's skeleton forms. 

This is the time to identify common edible plants for future forages.

Our wild-inspired picnic will feature a hot and fragrant toddy as well snacks checking the invasivore and native flavor boxes. (Yes, in a wild food world, such boxes exist.)

Despite the date, March can be the snowiest month in the city, so be ready with boots, mittens, and ear warmers, in case.

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is reached by car (lots of parking), bus, or by the A train (to broad Channel - a 15 minute walk away). Thanks to the National Parks Service (and our tax dollars) there is a very civilized bathroom on site.


  1. What I wouldn't give to join you! Hope it's a gorgeous day.

  2. The Good, the Bad, and the Berry. Love it! That's a book title right there.


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