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Prospect Park (Teens/Adults)

at "Wildman" Steve Brill - Prospect Heights

Course Details
$20 32 seats left
Start Date:

Sat, Nov 17, 10:00am - 2:00pm

Next start dates (1)

Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
20 Grand Army Plaza
Btwn Plaza St W & Flatbush Ave
New York, New York 11238
$20 Ticket is for 1 person only. Accompanying Adult must purchase ticket separately.
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Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 13 and older
Average Class Size: 35

What you'll learn in this nature class:

Because Prospect Park includes so many varied habitats, it's loaded with shoots and greens in late spring, and many of these are edible and medicinal. We'll begin with spicy hedge mustard and poor man's pepper greens, growing near the Grand Army Plaza entrance, proceed southeast to a vast stand of celery-, parsley-, and carrot-flavored goutweed, then stop for violet leaves and flowers at the edge of a path.

Off the edge of the path, we'll come across sassafras, of root beer fame. You can now use the young leaves as a thickener. They're well-known as an ingredient in gumbo, but they'll thicken any recipe. The roots are traditionally used for tea and for making root beer, but you can also use them as an exotic seasoning.

In an overgrown field, we'll find an abundance of pokeweed, superb boiled in two changes of water, as in Basic Pokeweed, but poisonous raw. It's especially good seasoned with tamari soy sauce, plus garlic lightly browned in olive oil. Later, we'll find vast stands of burdock, a despised "weed" with a delicious edible and medicinal root prized in east Asia. This time, we'll also find the immature flower stalks in season, along with the roots. Parboiled and peeled, they taste like artichoke hearts, as in Cardunes in Wine, an Italian delicacy.

After lunch, we'll find spicy field pennycress, another member of the mustard family, growing near corn-flavored chickweed. Not far off, we'll find young, spinach-flavored lamb's-quarters, plus plenty of bitter dock, good for making chips similar to kale chips, or stuffing with stuffed cabbage fillings, or fruit filling.

This is also a great time for berries. We'll be collecting large quantities of red, white, and pink mulberries, as well as juneberries and sweet cherries.

If there's been enough rain beforehand, Prospect Park is an excellent place for spring mushrooms. Chicken mushrooms, dryad's saddle, and wine-cap stropharias may be growing in abundance.

  • 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.
The walking tour will meet at the stone benches along the stone walls, at Prospect Park's Grand Army Plaza entrance.

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.

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
10:00am - 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

(70 Reviews)
Prospect Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Anonymous on 3/26/2018
An extremely knowledgeable guide!
Prospect Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Bianca D. on 3/26/2018
Steve and his daughter Violet are incredible knowledgeable, kind, and funny tour guides. The tour is amazing because it combines nature, history, and culinary arts. It was definitely cold when we went, and some of our group had to leave early because they didn’t dress warm enough, so make sure you bunch up if you’re going in March. I definitely want to go again at different points of the year to see the different vegetation that grows.
Prospect Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Anonymous on 9/17/2017
Wonderful class! We learned a lot and had a great time!
Prospect Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Alexander Z. on 9/3/2017
Super fun and informative, great for adults and kids.
Prospect Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Helen K. on 5/28/2017
I loved it! I think it a must for all nature lovers. Steve was great as he was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about this topic. Loved all the jokes as well as some of the recipe samples he gave us. I got much more out of this one jaunt to a park that it surprised me to find so much interesting plant life just here in NY metro area. I recommend all who are interested in plants, nature, foraging and just outdoor experience right here in Brooklyn area at least for a day. I already signed up for another foraging in Pawling NY to sample that area and its nature habitats.
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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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