Forest Park (Teens/Adults)

at "Wildman" Steve Brill - Kew Gardens

Course Details
$20 31 seats left
Start Date:

Sun, Sep 04, 11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time

Next start dates (2)

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

Flexible Reschedule Policy: This provider has flexible, free rescheduling for any-in person workshop. Please see the cancellation policy for more details

What you'll learn in this nature class:

Forest Park is one of the best places for foragers in mid-spring. Get lost in this vast park, and you'll have plenty to eat (that is, if you can distinguish the gourmet plants from the deadly ones.) It boasts a large, mature, secondary growth forest, trail edges, thickets, and cultivated areas—all overflowing with wild plants.

Burdock, an expensive detoxifying herb sold in health food stores, for example, abounds near the playgrounds we'll be passing after we begin the tour. The cooked root tastes like a smoky combination of potatoes and artichokes, and you can use the immature stems like artichokes too. 

Another root vegetable, sweet cicely, grows deeper in the park. Its roots taste like black licorice, outstanding in desserts, or in grain or bean dishes. Sassafras also grows in the woods, on hillsides, and along edge habitats. It tastes like root beer, which you make from the taproots. You can also use it for brewing a delicious, detoxifying tea, and as a cinnamon-like seasoning. In addition, the puréed young leaves will provide the thickener for making gumbos.

The black birch tree, of birch beer fame, is a common forest tree that tastes like wintergreen. The twigs, which you can chew, make a delicious non-steroidal anti-inflammatory herb tea that contains natural salycilates, natural forerunners of aspirin. In cell cultures, salicylates inhibit the growth of breast cancer and prostate cancer cells, so drinking the tea might reduce your risk of breast cancer or prostate cancer, but, for some reason, not both! You can also thicken, season, and sweeten the tea to make black birch Jello, or use the twigs as the main flavoring for Stick Pudding!

Everyone will also find plenty of leafy green vegetables, such as chickweed, which tastes like corn, Asiatic dayflower, which tastes like string beans, pungent garlic mustard roots with their garlicky leaves, mild-flavored violets, piquant greenbrier leaves and shoots, plus spicy field garlic and hedge mustard.

Other spring shoots will be available too. We'll look for asparagus-flavored Devil'swalkingstick shoots, plus Japanese knotweed, with a sour flavor akin to it's relative, rhubarb. It's loaded with vitamin C, as well as resveratrol, which reduces the risk of heart disease. With lots of rain and a bit of luck, gourmet chicken mushrooms and dryad's saddle will also be emerging from dead trees, logs, and stumps. We'll be so busy foraging, the four hours will be gone before you know it!

Meeting location is at the stone wall at Union Turnpike and Park Lane, near the Parks Dept.'s Overlook building, 8030 Park Lane, in Kew Gardens, not at the Woodhaven side of the park.


  • 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.

Still have questions? Ask the community.

Refund Policy

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

If the participant failed to show up in the tour or failed to notify about their absence the night before the class, they will be required to pay a $25 penalty per person before being allowed on another tour.


Google Map

"Wildman" Steve Brill

All classes at this location

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.

Start Dates (3)
Start Date Time Teacher # Sessions Price
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time TBD 1 $20
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time TBD 1 $20
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time TBD 1 $20

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Reviews of Classes at "Wildman" Steve Brill (150)

(150 Reviews)
Forest Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Anonymous 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)
Reviewed by Anonymous on 5/3/2021
The teacher was fabulous - very knowledgeable about so many things! Delighted to spend time with her.
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 Reanna R. on 8/7/2022
Forest Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Denise G. on 7/31/2022
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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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