Public Appearances, Spring 2024



Saturday, June 1st

1-3pm: Pollinator Safari, East 4th Street Community Garden, Kensington, Brooklyn

We’ll survey the garden looking for “pollinators”, i.e.: insects and others visiting the flowers blooming all around the garden.

Explore the garden’s plants and flowers, and learn how to see them in new ways with urban naturalist Chris Kreussling (aka the Flatbush Gardener). We’ll “hunt” for pollinators, and other flower visitors,around the garden. As we try to identify them, we’ll learn about the garden’s biodiversity and ecology.

Me hosting the NYCWW Pollinator Week Safari in my Front Yard, June 2014. Photo: Alan Riback

Previous engagements this season. It’s was a busy one, with something every weekend – except for Memorial Day weekend – from mid-April to the first weekend of June.


Sunday, April 14th

Bush Terminal Piers Park, Brooklyn

11:00 am – 1:30 pm: Removing invasives, planting native plants.

THursday, April 18th – Monday, April 22nd

Attending the Northeast Natural History Conference in Albany, NY.

Thiursday, APril 25th, 5:50 – 7:00 pm

CANCELLED NYC Pollinator Working Group, Monthly Working Committee Meeting. This is a closed meeting for members of the Working Committee, only.

The meeting was cancelled, but if you are interested in joining and working with us, please fill out the Membership Application and let us know!

Friday, April 26th – Monday, April 29th

City Nature Challenge Observation Period!

Check out the CNC:NYC 2024 Event List. As a Brooklyn Borough Captain, I’ll be attending the following events in Brooklyn. Many of these events have limited space for participants, or require advance registration, so check the links if you’re interested.

Friday, April 26th

10-11am: NYC Parks Kids Week: Spring Scavenger Hunt, Herbert Von King Park

4-6:30pm: City Nature Challenge: Teen Bioblitz! at Brooklyn Brige Park.

Saturday, April 27th

10am-1pm: City Nature Challenge: Ecology Park Cleanup and Tour

4-6pm: Billion Oyster Project Sunset Park Field Station Experience, Bush Terminal Piers Park

Sunday, April 28th

11 am -12:30 pm: City Nature Challenge McGolrick Park Bio-Blitz

Tuesday, April 30th – Sunday, May 5th

City Nature Challenge Identification Period. Results will be announced on Monday, May 6th.


Saturday, May 4th

10 am – 4 pm: GreenThumb GrowTogether, Herbert Von King Park, Brooklyn.

Registration by noon May 3rd recommended, but walk-ins are accepted.

I’ll be co-presenting on creating habitat for pollinators (and others) in community gardens.

Saturday, May 11th

2 – 4:30 pm: The Great Flatbush Plant Swap, Flatbush Food Co-Op, 1415 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn (Q Train, Cortelyou Road stop).

I’ll be bringing native plants from my garden. And I’ll be on-hand to answer questions about gardening, native plants, and habitat gardening.

Sunday, May 19th

11 am – 1 pm: McGolrick Park Nature Walk – Gardening Ecology

Please Reserve Your Spot!

“Garden vitality and health are key to building a sustainable, nurturing environment for all living creatures. Please join us for a garden ecology session with Chris Kreussling (The Flatbush Gardener). We’ll study plants, insects, and animals and how they all work together to create a harmonious habitat.”

2024 NYRP Tree Giveaway

The annual New York Restoration Project Tree Giveaway begins distribution on Saturday, April 13th, a little less than 6 weeks away. It runs for four weeks, ending on Sunday, May 12th.

Advance registration is mandatory. You select your preferred species when you register. Note that each location will only have 6-8 species. Some locations, especially smaller sites, may be “sold out” of some species. So, check the locations you can get to, confirm you can do it on their giveaway dates, and select from the species available at those sites.

Consider the mature size, after 30 or more years of growth, of each species. There are two lists below: one for smaller-medium sized shrubs and trees that max out at no more than around 50′ high and 30′ wide; the other for the larger trees that will grow too large for most urban yards. These sizes do not take into consideration existing vegetation, outdoor structures, etc. Your conditions will vary!

Salix discolor, pussy willow

I’ve highlighted the 12 species that are NEW for 2024. The 6 species that aren’t available this year are crossed out.

Shrubs and Smaller Trees

Larger Trees

Brooklyn Locations

There are 8, two more than last year, Brooklyn pickup sites.

Related Content

2023-03-09: 2023 NYRP Tree Giveaway
2010-04-08: Put Down Roots: Million Trees NYC Tree Giveaway
2008-10-14: Tree Giveaway this Saturday in Sunset Park


New York Restoration Project Tree Giveaway

Field Trip Report, Marine Park, September 2023

Torrey Botanical Society Field Trip, Marine Park

I just finished [2023-10-28] uploading the last of my photos and iNaturalist observations from the Torrey Botanical Society field trip to Marine Park on Saturday, September 16. I had a huge backlog of photos from my 2nd trip to the Adirondacks this year (warranting its own blog post), and I’m slowly catching up.

Mud fiddler crab (Minuca pugnax)

Our Trip Leader was Priyanthe Wijesinghe (cradling the handsome crab above), Torrey Council member, and keen iNaturalist observer of Marine Park: roughly 75% of his iNat observations are from that area of Brooklyn. As often occurs with Torrey field trips, there were several heavy-hitter botanists attending. Some more of us — myself included — could be considered more general naturalists. Altogether, on iNaturalist we documented 130 different species (taxa) that day, only 47 of which were plants.

For my part, in my observations of the day, I documented 37 plant species (80% of the total), and 78 overall (60%). Even more exciting for me, 13 of the species were new to me! (On iNaturalist, at least.) A good part of that is the benefit of having so many keen and knowledgable observers on-hand to point out and identify interesting organisms.

Autumn olive (Eleagnus umbellata)

The other is the unusual habitats accessible in the park, mostly sandy shoreline meadows and salt marsh. And, as our visit was timed to coincide with low tide, we had access to things washing up on the shore, as well. Each of these habitats presents its own challenges and opportunities for organisms to survive and thrive. So there are many specialists that won’t be found outside of such areas, making them critical for sustaining the biodiversity of New York City.

Salt Marsh Meadow

Here are some of the species that I first photographed that day, most of them habitat specialists. This list is likely to change as identifications are corrected and refined.

Moon jellies (Aurelia) Pickleweed (Salicornia) - very salty

Meta: Blog Comments

The collective texts of the generated spam comments to my blog sometimes resemble poetry. Each line in this “poem” is the complete text of a single spam comment.

from a printed book, reproduction

monuments related to deep

antiquities. These are the

Egyptian papyri works of art.

At the same time, many antique

handwritten books were made,

One of the most skilled calligraphers

Of his works, he is especially famous

the best poets of his era and

which is carried out by the printing

The most common form handwritten by the author.

handwritten synonym

written on the parchment was scratched out

Meta-Meta: This is the first post published since I activated and configured the ActivityPub plugin on the blog. I already published this as three Mastodon posts, broken up for text limitations. Hopefully this shows up on its own!

Saturday, August 12, Wave Hill, Bronx: Bees, Butterflies and Blooms

Toxomerus marginatus on NOID Asteraceae, Wave Hill, June 2021

Saturday, August 12, join me at Wave Hill in the Bronx. I’ll be leading two Native Pollinator Walks, part of their Bees, Butterflies, and Blooms weekend of events. My walks will step off at 11am and 1pm from the Perkins Visitor Center, where the gift shop is located.

I’ll be staffing their Pollination Station information table between walks.

For a list of all that weekend’s events, Saturday and Sunday, August 12th & 13th, see:

Wild Garden, Wave Hill

Brooklyn CNC 2023 Events and Locations

City Nature Challenge (CNC) 2023 is happening at the end of this month, from Friday, April 28, through Monday, May 1. Since 2019, I’ve been a Brooklyn “Borough Captain” for New York City’s participation.

This year, there are events happening all over Brooklyn on both Saturday and Sunday of CNC. All events listed here are free and open to the public. Some may offer, or recommend, registration.

Groundhog (Marmota monax)

You can find a complete list of all New York City CNC 2023 events on the official iNaturalist Project.

Continue reading

U.S. Firefly Atlas

The Xerces Society, in collaboration with the IUCN SSC Firefly Specialist Group and New Mexico BioPark Society, has launched the Firefly Atlas project:

Lucidota atra, black firefly, found on milkweed along my driveway, 2022-07-05

The Firefly Atlas is a collaborative effort to better understand and conserve the diversity of fireflies in North America. Launched in 2022, the project aims to advance our collective understanding of firefly species’ distributions, phenology, and habitat associations, as well as to identify threats to their populations.

Although the Atlas tracks all species described from the US and Canada, we are currently prioritizing efforts for a subset of 13 threatened and data deficient species found in three focal regions of the US: the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Southwest. These priority regions were chosen based upon having a high number of threatened species and/or a high number of data deficient species. – What is the Firefly Atlas?

Continue reading

2023 NYRP Tree Giveaway

The annual New York Restoration Project Tree Giveaway starts in a month. This year, they’re offering the largest variety of native tree, and some shrub, species I’ve seen yet.

Consider the mature size of each species. The larger trees will grow too large for most urban yards. I highlighted shrubs and smaller tree species that max out at no more than around 50′ high and wide, without considering existing vegetation, outdoor structures, etc. Your conditions will vary!

Oxydendrum arboreum, Sourwood, Tree Giveaway, Compost for Brooklyn

Shrubs and Smaller Trees

Larger Trees

Advance registration is mandatory. You select your preferred species when you register. Note that each location will only have 6-8 species. Some locations, especially smaller sites, are already “sold out” of some species.

Here are this year’s Brooklyn sites and pick-up dates.

Related Content

2008-10-14: Tree Giveaway this Saturday in Sunset Park
2010-04-08: Put Down Roots: Million Trees NYC Tree Giveaway


New York Restoration Project Tree Giveaway