Broad Channel, Queens & Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge  
Join Justin and the official Jamaica Bay Guardian Don Riepe on a specially guided visit to this impressively preserved segment of the historic New York waterfront. One of the unusual and exhilarating sensations of the day will be when your subway car crosses Grassy Bay. You will seemingly be floating – with water on either side of your subway car. Your destination will be the small island village of Broad Channel.

Broad Channel is often compared to a Maine fishing village. The houses are usually small, patchwork affairs and are often a wee lopsided. Lines of houses and tiny shacks are perched on wooden piers. Seagulls circle in the sky above and throughout the village, the motifs of lighthouses, buoys, and fishing nets reign supreme. We’ll stroll through the village en route to the Visitors’ Center, where we will enjoy our picnic lunches. Then, at 1:00, we’ll be off for the tour!

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, a unit of Gateway National Recreation Area, is one of the most important urban wildlife refuges in the United States. Encompassing 9,155 acres, it is comprised of diverse habitats, including salt marsh, upland field and woods, several fresh and brackish water ponds and an open expanse of bay and islands - all located within the limits of New York City. The Wildlife Refuge is nationally and internationally renowned as a prime birding spot where thousands of water, land and shorebirds stop during migration. More than 325 species have been recorded here during the last 25 years.

Don Riepe, noted wildlife photographer, Director of the Northeast Chapter of the American Littoral Society, and the official Jamaica Bay Guardian has agreed to provide an in-depth survey of the first segment of the trail, examining the terrain, the wildlife, and the diversities to be seen. This will not be a strenuous walk, The graveled paths are essentially flat - and benches, blinds, and gardens make the preserve quite human-friendly. At the end of the tour, we will allow extra time for those who want to continue their explorations. Others may want to peruse the shop at the Visitors’ Center. The Visitor Center also provides maps, guides, trail brochures, restrooms, and a display room.

The Preserve trail goes through fairly open terrain with lots of low-lying vegetation, including a real surprise: cactus. A type of prickly pear thrives in the islands of Jamaica Bay. The trail also goes through marshy areas of thick, tall grasses and trees. A small shelter or blind overlooks one pond and is a great spot for surreptitious photography. With the remarkable variety of birdlife, many disinterested visitors have returned from this walk as budding ornithologists.

Just for the record, “Littoral” is a reference to a shore or a coastal region. The American Littoral Society seeks to encourage a better scientific and public understanding of the marine environment and has been protecting coastal habitats and bringing people together with the sea since 1961.
Lunch: Bring a picnic lunch to eat at the Visitors’ Center. Please remember that there is nowhere to purchase food or beverages. No food is permitted in the Preserve itself, so we will eat before entering.

Wear: Weather-appropriate clothing: hats, closed-toe shoes with socks, long legged trousers, and umbrellas, if necessary. Sun block may be advisable. Shorts are not recommended.
Bring: Cameras and Binoculars, if desired. Also, bring your Metro Card. We may take a bus back to the train.
Leader: Justin Ferate and Littoral Society Director & Interpreter, Don Riepe
Please download, print and mail in your registration form along with payment.
» Download Registration Form
» Download the full Wolfe Walkers brochure including the Registration Form
Date: Saturday June 2, 2012
Time: 11:15 AM  to approximately 4:00 PM
Cost: $25 In advance | $28 On Site - Check to Hermine Watterson
Meet: Outside the IND A Train Station at Broad Channel.
Train: ROCKAWAY-BOUND A Train to Broad Channel, Queens. (Be careful! There are several different A Trains.) For your exiting convenience, please ride toward the front of the train.

Tours operate rain or shine. Please dress appropriately. For more information or to confirm meeting locations please call (212) 223-2777. Please note that tours sometimes run late. While tours are rarely cancelled you can call the number above to confirm, or join our mailing list to keep informed of cancellations due to extreme weather conditions.
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City |
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City    |    (212) 223-2777    |    
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