Picture New York City in 1609, when Henry Hudson first sailed into New York Harbor. Marshes and creeks ran through what is now Chinatown. Thick woodland sprawled outwards from what would later become Times Square. No buildings, or streets, or cars in sight. No honking horns, jackhammers, or ringing cell phones to be heard. Just green spaces, filled with the sounds of nature.
New York City has obviously changed a lot since then. However, with 30,000 acres of parkland and 520 miles of coastline, the city is still full of nature. The hawks, deer, raccoons, and many other animals that live in the city are resourceful and adaptable. They have learned to take advantage of all the city has to offer, including our neighborhoods. And while sharing our city with wildlife can be exciting, it can also be a challenge, as humans and wildlife do not always coexist easily.
There are many things you can do to help prevent conflicts and make coexistence possible. Whether you are promising not to approach urban wildlife, or you are just doing your part to learn more about them to be a better neighbor, there are plenty of ways to get involved. So make your own pledge to coexist, and help create a safe future for all the species that call New York City home.