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Write every day: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge—NYC’s least-explored natural wonder

Last week the National Park Service turned 104 years old. To celebrate, I went to one of NYC’s least-visited natural wonders— Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

I was so happy to let the salty air fill my lungs and give my eyes a rest from screens by focusing on the vistas of salt marshes with the skyline of Manhattan in the distance. The open water, green space, and animals did my mind, body, and soul a world of good. After just a few hours, I felt as energized as I feel after a week of vacation.
I love thinking about how wild and full of biodiversity all of New York City once was, and how so many efforts are being made to keep parts of it wild. My hope is that these terrible pandemics of health, racism, and an unstable economy will be the massive push we need to make our cities greener for all who live in them.
The area around the Refuge reminded me of beachy towns like you’d find in Cape Cod but it’s accessible by public transit for $5.50 round trip and free to enterq! Just take a Far Rockaway-bound A train to Broad Channel. From there it’s a 15-minute walk or short bus ride.

The Wildlife Refuge was created in the 1950s by NYC Parks Commissioner Robert Moses. It became part of the National Park Service in 1972 when Gateway National Recreation Area was established.

It includes over 12,600 acres of water, salt marshes, freshwater and brackish water ponds, upland fields and woods, and open bay and islands. It is one of the largest bird habitats in the northeastern United States and is a great place to observe the seasonal bird migration as well as resident species. 332 different bird species have been recorded there!

I highly recommend a trip to see this beautiful, peaceful, and truly wild place. May we create many more of them in our city.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post,,, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


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