• Environmental Studies (BS)

    Rena Lee

    Park as Pharmacy

    Park as Pharmacy is an exploration of what species of wild flora thrive in urban ecosystems and how we can reconceptualize their value to us. Their ubiquity and resilience warrant more attention to their potential as local natural resources for providing medicine, nutrition, environmental education, and many ecological services, such as carbon sequestration and storm-water retention.

    I conducted a survey of Central Park to create an inventory and map of the most common wild herbs in the park, which covered a broad range of the many species found in New York City’s vacant lots, concrete crevices, etc. The species in the inventory were researched via plant guides and online databases for ecological habits, medicinal uses, and current studies on these uses. This data was then made into an accessible field guide for engaging conversations on urban ecology and alternative medicine.