Seventh annual Jamaica Bay Festival to bring Brooklynites closer to nature on July 13

jamaica bay birdwatcher
Enjoy the great outdoors and get close to nature at the 7th annual Jamaica Bay Festival on July 13.
Photo courtesy of Micah Bochart/National Parks Service

Brooklyn’s southern coast is lush with greenery, wildlife, and outdoor fun, and the seventh annual Jamaica Bay Festival on July 13 will give Brooklynites a chance to explore and celebrate it all.

The festival, hosted by the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy includes dozens of fun, free, and family-friendly event at various locations across the 10,000 acres of parkland surrounding Jamaica Bay on City of Water Day.

kids coloring
The festival features free activities, including arts and crafts, for all ages.Photo courtesy of JBRPC

Festival-goers are encouraged to engage in an array of both recreational and educational activities as they delight in enhanced access to the bay. The celebration offers nearly 40 different activities across four categories: Recreation, Nature, Stewardship, and Arts and Culture.

“The waters of Jamaica Bay are surrounded by unique and engaged communities of New Yorkers dedicated to improving access, and educating the public about the flora and fauna in these habitats,” said Harold Paez of Community Boathouse, in a statement. “We believe that the best way of improving advocacy, and preserving our wetlands, is to have our fellow citizens experience the spaces directly, through the many programs available to them.”

kayaking at jamaica bay
Brooklynites can bike along the bay, take to the waters in a kayak, and more. Photo courtesy of JBRPC

Fun, healthy outdoor recreational activities like biking, kayaking, yoga, and standup paddle boarding aim to foster education and stewardship, while nature-focused events — like a beach scavenger hunt and guided nature walks — allow for a closer look at the wildlife and habitats around the bay.
A community farmers market, musical performances, and art exhibitions will be showcased to celebrate the arts, culture, and history of the region.

During the Jamaica Bay Festival, Brooklynites can bike, kayak, or volunteer to help out with shoreline cleanup at Shirley Chisholm State Park — or head over to Canarsie Pier to paint on the bay, join the Amateur Astronomers Association to view sunspots and solar flares from the beach, or take a tour through the historic Hangar B at Floyd Bennett Field.

astronomers at jamaica bay festival
The Amateur Astronomers will set up a telescope on the beach near Canarsie Pier. Photo courtesy of JBRPC

“The Jamaica Bay Festival provides us with the opportunity to highlight the role of JBRPC and the work of many community partners to create access to nature and recreational opportunities all around Jamaica Bay,” said JBRPC executive director Terri Carta, in a statement. “We’re committed to increasing awareness about the importance of Jamaica Bay as NYC’s largest tidal estuary and JBRPC’s mission to steward parklands and wetlands within our catchment, which includes a third of the city’s coastline.”

All activities are free, and are located across Brooklyn and Queens including at Rockaway Beach, Marine Park, and Canarsie. For more details, and for specific information regarding start and end times, head to the Jamaica Bay Festival website.