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Forest Park (Teens/Adults)

at "Wildman" Steve Brill - Kew Gardens

Course Details
$20 32 seats left
Start Date:

Sun, Nov 03, 11:45am - 3:45pm

Next start dates (1)

Kew Gardens, Queens
Union Turnpike & Park Ln Near the Parks Dept.'s Overlook Bldg
At Jackie Robinson Pkwy
New York, New York 11415
$20 Ticket is for 1 person only. Accompanying Adult must purchase ticket separately.
Purchase Options
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 13 and older
Average Class Size: 35

What you'll learn in this nature class:

Forest Park's woodlands, cultivated areas, and thickets make it a great place for early summer foraging, and a perfect place to celebrate Independence Day.

Luscious black raspberries are in season now, and we'll hunt for them in thickets throughout the day.

We'll be looking for prized daylily flowers, in bloom in partially shaded areas throughout the woods. This Asian delicacy, sold in Chinatown as "golden needles," has a sweet, pungent flavor, wonderful in salads and soups, or stuffed.

Other wild herbs and vegetables we'll be hunting for along the edges of trails include parsley-celery-carrot flavored honewort, hearty burdock root, piquant greenbrier, sour wood sorrel, spicy field garlic, healing jewelweed, string bean-flavored Asiatic dayflower, mild lady's thumb, medicinal mullein, wintergreen-flavored black birch, and root beer-flavored sassafras.

If it has rained beforehand, we may also find gigantic chicken mushrooms, black-staining polypores, brittle russulas, prized chanterelles, and misshapen Berkeley's polypores, as well as prized bolete mushrooms. 

Nov 3

This is one of the best places in the world for fall foraging, with a wide selection of wild herbs, greens, roots, nuts, and mushrooms, even in late fall. Habitats include miles of mature forest as well as the trail edges and the disturbed, overgrown, and cultivated habitats that provide homes for many diverse species.

Before we even enter the park, we'll stop at a row of ginkgo trees across the street from the meeting spot. A relic from the days of the dinosaurs, this tree provides delicious kernels, protected by a malodorous fruit, which are great in Chinese food, and as an alternative to cheese in vegan dishes. 

Once inside the park, we'll find spicy hedge mustard and poor man's pepper, along with field garlic and common plantain, growing on lawns. Behind a playground near our starting point, we'll find a large stand of burdock, delicious, but hard to dig up. Here it's growing in loose, soft soil, so it's much more accessible than usual. Use it in soups, stews, rice, or Japanese dishes, or turn it into "Wildman's" Vegan Beef Jerky. Another choice root vegetable is sweet cicely, which tastes like black licorice. This one's easy to unearth, and there's so much in Forest Park, you can't harm the habitat by collecting reasonable quantities.

Herbs and greens we'll be looking for include sassafras, the original source of root beer; black birch, which contains oil of wintergreen, garlic mustard, with garlicky leaves and horseradish-flavored roots; and onion/garlic-flavored field garlic.

The forest is one of the best for mushrooms. We'll be looking for late-season fungi such as giant puffballs, pear-shaped puffballs, oyster mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, brick tops, and tree ears.

The 4-hour walking tour begins at 11:45 AM, on Independence Day, Saturday, at the stone wall at Forest Park Drive and Park Lane, near the Parks Dept.'s Overlook building.


  • Participants should be dressed for the weather, and be aware of very bad subway service.
  • Trains are often cancelled due to track work. No sandals (there are mosquitoes, thorns and poison ivy).
  • Everyone should have plastic bags for veggies and herbs, paper bags for mushrooms, which spoil in plastic, containers for berries from late spring through fall, water and lunch, and extra layers when it's cold.
  • Digging implements and pocket knives are optional. Dogs are permitted.
  • Children are encouraged to attend.
  • There's no smoking whatsoever at any time.
School Notes:
If you can't attend the class you signed up for, please call or email "Wildman" Steve Brill a day before the start of the class. No-call/no-show creates an inconvenience to all participants since we can’t tell if absentees are having transportation issues, and this delays the start of the tour/class.

Kindly note that price posted is our suggested donation only.

Still have questions? Ask the community.

Refund Policy
Participants can cancel the night before an event and get a refund.


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"Wildman" Steve Brill

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Start Dates (2)
Start Date Time Teacher # Sessions Price
11:00am - 2:00pm "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $20
11:45am - 3:45pm "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $20

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Reviews of Classes at "Wildman" Steve Brill (78)

(78 Reviews)
Forest Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Anonymous on 11/5/2018
Really informative. Steve is a character! Pray he has fudge, it’s one of the best things I ever tasted.
Forest Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Sarah P. on 5/14/2017
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School: "Wildman" Steve Brill

Foraging expert Steve Brill has shared his foraging wisdom at schools, museums, parks departments, environmental organizations, and with scout troops since 1982. He’s written three books and an app, stars in a DVD and maintains a website.

His History with Foraging 
As part of his exercise regime,...

Read more about "Wildman" Steve Brill

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