We wrap up our month-long look at nature and architecture with a look at one of the newest public parks in New York City. Designed by West 8 landscape architects, the Hills on Governors Island are scheduled to open on July 19—but we’ve got a secret to share with you. Over the course of Memorial Day weekend, free hardhat tours of the Hills will be offered. Hour-long tours will depart from Liggett Arch at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday. Leslie Koch, president of the Trust for Governors Island, will lead the 11am and 1pm tours both days. Hardhats and vests will be provided, and closed-toe shoes are required.
The ten-acre site features four hills, built of recycled construction materials and fill. Grassy Hill is a 25-foot-high slope overlooking the island’s new and historic landscapes, as well as the Manhattan skyline. Slide Hill, rising up 40 feet, is home of four twisting slides, including the longest one in New York City. Rachel Whitehead’s Cabin has been installed on Discovery Hill, another 40-foot mound. Overlook Hill provides both fully-accessible paths and a granite-block scramble to its 70-foot summit, where panoramic views of harbor and city can be enjoyed.