Aug. 11: Exclusive Tour of New York City’s Largest Green Roof

New York City has over 30 square miles of rooftops. And they’re not just for satellite dishes and fireworks-viewing.

Did you know that greenery on dark, barren rooftops can

  • help cool the city in summer
  • insulate buildings in winter
  • improve air quality
  • reduce rain water runoff to sewers, preventing sewage from polluting NYC waterways.

The 2.5 acre roof of the U.S. Postal Service’s 9th Avenue sorting facility is our city’s newest and largest green roof project and research site. Join Science Writers in New York on August 11 to explore this unique environment, in Chelsea, overlooking the Hudson River. We’ve arranged an up-close and personal guided tour, and an exclusive preview of the research about to begin on this extraordinary green roof.

Our guide, Stuart Gaffin, a scientist at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, is part of a team measuring the benefits of greening the city skyline. He’ll show us how scientists measure the benefits of putting specialized plants on impervious rooftops — including the potential for added rainwater absorption, carbon dioxide uptake and biodiversity. Gaffin will also discuss a city parks project involving 10 recreation center rooftops. They’ll be planted with native grasses designed to restore endangered local meadow habitat that once thrived on Long Island and in the Hudson River highlands. Other experimental rooftops are being studied at Fieldston School in the Bronx, Columbia University and Con Edison headquarters in Queens.

Check out this related video: Ingenuity Sprouting from the Rooftops

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
6 p.m.

U.S. Postal Service Sorting Facility
Ninth Avenue and West 30th Street
(near the North end of HighLine Park)

Don’t miss sunset over the Hudson at the end of the program

free to 2010 dues-paid SWINY members
$5.00 to non-members

RSVP at by August 8

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