Finding Nature in New York City

New York City
September 2020 | Words and images by Klean Ambassador Atticus Radley

Klean Ambassador and photographer Atticus Radley shares his thoughts on escaping to nature, even while living in New York City. Finding space where you can connect with your environment, even in one of the biggest cities in the world, is actually not as hard as it seems. If you're willing to look for it.

There is something so specific about what nature does to your quality of living. It's a visceral feeling that brings back the childhood memories of dirt stains on my jeans and growing up in the wooded suburbs of New England. Seven years ago I moved to New York and I always needed breaks from this amazing city.

Although I crave the smell of the streets when I am gone for too long it never soothed me like the smell of a pine tree or fresh-cut grass. It wasn't until I started to take advantage of the nature New York City has to offer that this place truly became home.


Now it's August of 2020 and my love for New York has never been put to the test harder than it has been over these past 6 months. The quarantine hit everyone hard but for those of us without a back yard, it hit especially hard, and finally, Central Park is accessible again.

One thing that I think is unique about New York is that all of our public parks are shared. That every time you go to central park for a walk, or a picnic you know that whatever you do will affect the experience for the person visiting after you. This is why it's so important to clean up after yourself and your friends or even strangers who may have left some trash in the spot your picnicking in. (It's not cool to litter.)


I am prideful in New Yorkers' ability to be there for one another when people are in need. There are countless examples of people helping others whether it's a blind person who needs help crossing the street or a mother carrying her child and stroller out of the subway someone is always there to lend a hand. That's why it pains me to see litter in any New York park.

As humans, I think it's important to have space where you can connect with your environment. Nature was something I thought I was losing when I moved to New York but that's not true at all. Whether it's Rockaway Beach and surfing or Central park picnics, there is Nature here if you're willing to look for it. Thanks to Klean Kanteen I feel a bit easier that wherever I go in this city I won't have to leave any trash behind me.



From cups to Kanteens, insulated bottles and more, when you leave your urban life to discover nature, bring your steel style along for picnics at the park, drinks with friends, or happy hydration.