Monitoring Forest Restoration Activities in New York City Parks

        Monitoring Forest Restoration Activities in New York City Parks

          Article Summary

          The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks) owns 30,000 acres of property in New York City, 12,000 acres of this is natural areas, including 7,300 acres of forest. These forests have been monitored and managed since the Natural Resources Group was founded in 1984. The forests experience a variety of threats: some threats are a legacy of past land use and development, while others are continuous. Monitoring forest management practices has been occurring for decades and has taken many forms, including site-specific monitoring of restoration outcomes and system-wide monitoring to understand overall health and ecological trajectory. This case study contextualizes the various forms of monitoring and describes a recent and ongoing shift in monitoring protocols.

          In a nutshell, this resource offers:

          • An account of how and why monitoring protocols and priorities changed over time in New York City's urban natural areas.
          • Descriptions of the different variables that are measured, including vegetation surveys, breeding bird surveys, salamander coverboards, and soil sampling.
          • Examples of how monitoring can shed light on the efficacy of past restoration and planting work.
          • Reflections on future monitoring directions and needs.

          How to use this resource:

          • As a proof point for the need to collect baseline ecological data.
          • As an example for approaches to systematic, city-wide monitoring and ecological assessment.
          • To illustrate why monitoring of urban forested natural areas is essential for communication, advocacy, and efficient future work. 

          Authors: Novem Auyeung, Kristen King

          Date published: 2020

          Point of contact: Kristen King, Director of Natural Areas Restoration & Management, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, 

          Citation: King, K. L. and Auyeung, D. S. N. 2020. Monitoring Forest Restoration Activities in NYC Parks. Cities and the Environment (CATE): Vol. 13: Iss. 1, Article 13.

          Resource is available online here.


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