The Gowanus Canal Conservancy non-profit group sends out occasional email newsletters with news of upcoming events concerning the canal, including volunteer garden planting, tree giveaways, compost facility building and more. Sign up for the newsletter by dropping them a line .

Read their latest newsletter below for a list of upcoming volunteer events and lectures this fall.

Gowanus Canal Conservancy Volunteer Events:
Saturday, September 22: Clean & Green – New Garden Installation
Gowanus Canal Conservancy volunteers will install a new public, street-side garden near the Gowanus Canal. Removing trash and debris, installing native plants and site amenities, we will create a beautiful wildlife garden where weeds and blight existed before. Additional activities will include compost sifting and horticultural maintenance.

Sunday, September 23: Compost Windrow Build
Conservancy volunteers will incorporate between 7,000-8,000 lbs of food scraps into a new compost windrow. Additionally, we will work to turn the existing windrows that are sitting on the Salt Lot and sift through cured compost to produce our beautiful end product – rich compost ready for the garden.

Sunday, October 21: Clean & Green – Tree Giveaway & New Garden Installation

The Gowanus Canal Conservancy and Build it GreenNYC will give away 150 free trees to NYC residents to help green our communities. This project has been made possible by New York Restoration Project and NYC’s MillionTrees campaign. Volunteers will also participate in a new garden build on the edge of the Gowanus Canal, removing invasive weeds, installing native plant material and site amenities.

Sunday, October 21: Compost Windrow Build

Conservancy volunteers will incorporate between 7,000-8,000 lbs of food scraps into a new compost windrow. Additionally, we will work to turn the existing windrows that are sitting on the Salt Lot and sift through cured compost to produce our beautiful end product – rich compost ready for the garden.

All Gowanus Canal Conservancy volunteer events take place from 11am-3pm, meeting locations vary.
To participate in a volunteer event, please e-mail us at: 

We have updated our blog to include observations about the early successes of the Floating Gardens project as well as a visit to the Lower East Side compost facility. To see these posts and others about the exciting programs that we’re working on, please visit our blog:

Gowanus Canal Conservancy Urban Ecology Lectures:
Wednesday, October 17 “Going Native at the Gowanus Canal and beyond” Heather Liljengren, Supervising Seed Collector and Chief Field Taxonomist, Greenbelt Native Plant Center,
NYC Department of Parks & Recreation

Summary: New York City has always provided a home to unique residents, including native plant communities that still characterize the endangered “natural areas” in remote locations around the City. Many of these native plants still flourish, even in areas of intense disturbance, providing social and ecological benefits. Heather Liljengren is tasked with cataloging and preserving these plant communities by collecting seed, which will be both stored to ensure future survival, as well as used to help restore threatened native ecosystems. In this talk, Heather will introduce the audience to the different native plants suitable for urban shoreline restoration projects in New York City. A Q&A session will follow the lecture.

Wednesday, November 14th – “Restoration and Management of Woodlands in Prospect Park”
John Jordan, Natural Resources Supervisor at Prospect Park

Summary: Woodland restoration is an important component of many urban restoration and habitat creation projects. John Jordan will provide an overview of the restoration efforts in the Prospect Park Woodlands that were started in the 1990’s.  Topics that will be covered include: description of restoration techniques used over the years, general approaches to management strategies, predicted vs. actual results, and ecological restoration issues specific to urban areas. A Q&A session will follow the lecture.

All Gowanus Canal Conservancy Lectures will take place at BuildItGreen!NYC’s Gowanus Warehouse (69 9th Street, Brooklyn). Lecture events start at 6:30 with an hour-long social mixer. Lectures run from 7:30pm-8:30pm with a 30 minute Q&A ending at 9:00pm. We ask for a $5 donation to cover expenses. For more information, please e-mail us at: 

Gowanus Canal Conservancy Annual Members Meeting
Tuesday, October 30: Gowanus Canal Conservancy Annual Members Meeting
The Gowanus Canal Conservancy Board will convene our Annual Members Meeting, inviting all members to elect the newest class of Board Members to their posts. Additionally, we will present updates about all that we have accomplished over the past year and what we can all look forward to in 2013. Specific presentations will address the Clean & Green volunteer program, Green Infrastructure Projects, ¡Composting Gowanus!, Salt Marsh Restoration efforts around the Canal and others. We will also unveil the winning GCC T-shirt design and unveil a new and exciting public open space project proposal that we’ve been developing. Finally, we will honor some of our greatest allies and most committed volunteers who have helped us accomplish so much in 2012. Food and adult beverages will be served. Admission is free. All members and folks interested in becoming members are encouraged to join us for this social event and get to know one another.

The Gowanus Canal Conservancy is soliciting t-shirt designs from creative folks who love the Canal and our efforts to make it a cleaner and healthier place. Submitted designs will be voted on by our members at the Annual Meeting in October. The winning t-shirt design will be printed in one or two colors and will be used as a premium gift for Conservancy donors and new members in late 2012 and 2013. All questions and submissions should be submitted to the Conservancy via e-mail at: . Please submit a 300 DPI JPG for each idea between 5″ x 5″ to 8″ x 8″. Using spot colors or in black & white. Entries will be accepted till noon, Friday, October 19th.

Citizen Pruner Training: Fall 2012
For folks interested in becoming registered Citizen Pruners, TreesNY just opened their Fall course registration. We highly recommend this training program, which teaches folks the common street tree species, their proper installation and maintenance procedures and authorizes all graduates to prune and maintain any publicly owned street tree in NYC. To register for this course, please visit TreesNY’s website:

Saturday, September 15: Kayaking and Beach Cleanup in Redhook 12:00pm-3:00pm
Brooklyn Riverkeeper Action Group (BRAG), PortSide NewYork, and the Red Hook Boaters will host an International Coastal Cleanup Day event in Redhook on Saturday. Red Hook Boaters will also take volunteers out on the water in kayaks to explore the cove. The event will take place at: Louis Valentino, Jr. Park and Pier, Red Hook, Brooklyn. For more information, please visit the Riverkeeper website. The Redhook Boaters are part of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club, a sister organization to the Conservancy.