Love the great outdoors? New report shows variety of nature-based jobs in New York City

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Photo by Dean Moses

A new report has been released by Just Nature NYC, a partnership between the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance and The Nature Conservancy in New York, outlining a variety of local nature-based jobs in New York City. This report defined jobs that contribute to our nature, infrastructure and promote biodiversity. 

The report, titled Opportunities for Growth: Nature-Based Jobs in New York City, found that there is a significant mismatch between the scale of the city’s natural infrastructure, such as rain gardens, green roofs, community gardens, and the urban forest, and the workforce committed to doing the job. Nowadays with climate change, New York City is trying to grow its green economy. 

Emily Nobel Maxwell, Director of the Cities Program in New York for The Nature Conservancy, said, “Sustaining and expanding this sector will provide good green jobs for New Yorkers, and we hope that City leadership will prioritize nature-based solutions and the nature-based jobs that are required to ensure NYC meets current and escalating climate and environmental challenges.”

The report did data collection and analysis of employment in nature-based jobs. It revealed that New York City’s multi-billion dollar natural infrastructure includes over 30,000 acres of parks, 5,650 acres of wetlands, substantial amounts of natural coastlines, and thousands of vegetated installations on city sidewalks and other public spaces. $5.7 billion is the worth of the urban forest of New York City alone. Benefits provided are worth $260 million each year, but natural infrastructure still needs more attention now to adapt with challenges of climate change. 

Associate Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance Annel Hernandez states that this report will help to create, “a framework for discussing nature-based jobs in NYC, so that we can collectively work to create a resilient city, built and maintained by a growing local workforce. This focus will help address the escalating climate change crisis and the inequities faced by environmental justice communities.” 

Additionally, data has shown that less than 100 foresters are being employed in New York City with lower wages compared to the national median. By dedicating and investing into natural-based jobs in New York City by increasing salaries and growing career opportunities would help to provide job growth in near term, the report says.  

Read the full report at medium.com.

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