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Welcome to Slow Nature Fast City, a beginner’s guide to noticing and exploring nature in the five boroughs of New York City.

Nature in the Concrete Jungle

If you ask most New Yorkers about finding nature in the city, they might make a joke about rats or pigeons. They may say that we have a few parks to run around, rivers to bike past, and crowded beaches to enjoy in the summer, but that’s about it. Nature is what you visit on vacation, not something you see in everyday life.

For many New Yorkers, nature isn’t there, doesn’t count, or isn’t for people like us.

But actually New York is the perfect place to connect with nature every day. Hundreds of species fly over our buildings and swim around our shores. We live and work in a vast urban forest of over 5 million trees. Meadows, waterfalls, gardens, beaches, and salt marshes are all within walking distance or a subway ride away.

Here’s an interview where I describe how I began to notice nature after moving to NYC. This film was generously created by Nitin Das from

How to Discover Nature in NYC

If you exhibit the signs of the nature deprived, here are some ways to tweak your daily habits to notice nature:

Begin with the Try This section. Here you’ll find self-assignments to help you notice the natural world, no matter where you are. Some popular ways to begin:


New York City has an abundance of landscapes, hidden green spaces, and off-the-beaten-path locales. In the Find Nature section, you’ll find inspiration to expand your own personal map of NYC. Ready to start exploring?

Photo May 09, 12 20 55 PM

Let me know how it goes! Feel free to reach out on Twitter,  Instagram, Facebook, or add a comment below.



Add yours →

  1. You are a one-woman natural history show, Traci! How fortunate your readers are to find someone so passionate about the natural world — who makes it so easy to become part of it, to learn about it in , to feel moved and inspired by it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Traci I’m loving your blog! And I already shared it all over 🙂 Thank you so much for introducing it to me. Jimena (from Modus)

    Liked by 1 person

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