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Forest Park (Teens/Adults)

Unearth the hidden treasures of Forest Park with a renowned forager, discovering a diverse array of wild herbs, greens, roots, nuts, and mushrooms, providing a one-of-a-kind culinary adventure. Venture deep into the park's forests and cultivated habitats, uncovering a bounty of edible delights that will excite the taste buds.

  • Level All levels
  • Age 13 and older
  • Price $20
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Start Dates (4)

  • $20
8040 Park Lane, Queens, NY
32 seats left
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The stone wall
8040 Park Lane, Queens, NY
32 seats left
Book
Notes
$20 Ticket is for 1 person only. Accompanying Adult must purchase ticket separately.
Union Turnpike & Park Ln, New York, NY
32 seats left
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Notes
Queens at 8030 Park Lane, Kew Gardens, NY, at the street corner of Park Lane and Forest Park Drive
Union Turnpike & Park Ln, New York, NY
32 seats left
Book
Notes
Queens at 8030 Park Lane, Kew Gardens, NY, at the street corner of Park Lane and Forest Park Drive
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Class Description

Description

What you'll learn in this nature tours class:

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, all providing homes for many diverse, renewable 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.  

Right next to the ginkgoes are Japanese yew bushes, with delicious, sweet, jelly like fruit. You have to spit out the single seed each berry contains, as you would with a cherry seed. Eat enough of the poisonous seeds, and they'll stop your brain from telling your heat to beat, causing death (unless you're Donald Trump, who has no brain, and has no heart!)

Once inside the park, we'll find spicy hedge mustard greens 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 deeper in the park 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.

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, bricktops, and tree ears.

Meeting location is at the stone wall at Forest Park Drive and Park Lane (not Park Lane South), near the Park Dept.'s Overlook Building, 8040 Park Lane, in Kew Gardens. Don't go to the Woodhaven or Richmond Hill sides of the park!

Notes:

  • 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.

Children are encouraged to attend my tours and learn more about the planet they inhabit. If people own well-behaved dogs, they’re welcome on the tours too. (Mosquitoes and ticks are not welcome!)


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.

Refund Policy

  • Participants can cancel 2 business days before an event and get a refund less a 5% nonrefundable registration fee.
  • If the participant failed to show up in the tour or failed to notify about their absence 2 business days before the class, they will be required to pay a $25 penalty per person before being allowed on another tour.
  • In any event where a customer wants to cancel their enrollment and is eligible for a full refund, a 5% processing fee will be deducted from the refund amount.

Reviews of Classes at "Wildman" Steve Brill (175)

(4.4-star rating across 175 reviews)
  • Forest Park (Teens/Adults)

    Anonymous review on 9/7/2021
    It’s a waste of time. Don’t bother to take this course. It took more than 30 minutes to check in. Then, Mr. Brill spent more than 45 minutes showing us basically was was growing on the mound to the entrance of Forest Park. Slowly we made our way inside the park, when a few meters inside the park, he stood by a tree, across from the bathrooms, to show us some growth or other, and to my horror the people began to pull out these plants to inspect and then carelessly discard them! Then Mr. Brill sat down at a bench in front of the bathroom and announced it was lunchtime! We should all take 30 minutes! Wow! I could not believe it. I just walked away and went home. What did I expect from this course? I expected to take a nice stroll along the many paths, with Mr. Brill explaining to us what we were looking at. I did not expect careless trampling on areas that are not clearly meant to walk on, a total lack of respect of the work it took to make this park beautiful, lush, and green, by pulling out plants, mushrooms, and leaving a tree devoid of its berries! He actually encouraged people to do it, knowing that it was just for close inspection and nothing more. One sees with ones eyes. No need to pull out what is planted. It was just horrible. I will never take another course such as this one again.
  • Forest Park (Teens/Adults)

    Anonymous review on 5/3/2021
    The teacher was fabulous - very knowledgeable about so many things! Delighted to spend time with her.
  • Forest Park (Teens/Adults)

    Anonymous review 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 Reanna R. on 8/7/2022
  • Forest Park (Teens/Adults)

    Reviewed by Denise G. on 7/31/2022
  • Forest Park (Teens/Adults)

    Anonymous review on 10/14/2020
  • Forest Park (Teens/Adults)

    Reviewed by Sarah P. on 5/14/2017
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"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, he...

Read more about "Wildman" Steve Brill

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"Wildman" Steve Brill

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At the stone wall at the corner of Forest Park Drive and Park Lane, not Park Lane South, in Kew Gardens, near the Parks Dept.'s Overlook Building, not at the Woodhaven side of the park.

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