Another one of our multi-hat-wearing Park People, Nim has contributed to the park in a variety of functions for many years. She’s been an invaluable fixture to our Environmental Education program, and has taught thousands of NYC students about the East River’s amazing ecosystems. Read more about Nim below!
(Editor’s Note: Nim also happened to design this incredible Interactive Discovery Station for the Environmental Education Classroom, which you can donate to here .)
Please describe what you do for Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy
I am a scientist (mostly marine biology), educator and artist. I’ve worked in all those capacities at the park: created a monitoring program for the salt marsh restoration site, designed and taught curriculum, and painted a poster of the park’s many animal residents.
Please talk a little bit about your relationship with the park and how it got started.
I used to lead a conservation program that introduced New Yorkers to their aquatic environment through recreational fishing. A friend recommended me for the seining program to the Education Director, and I was delighted to go fishing without using hooks.
How did you become interested in teaching?
After a long stint as a scientific artist at the American Museum of Natural History, I decided to get my Masters in marine conservation. I used my creative and scientific skills to develop an aquatic outreach program in the city. Teaching turned out to be a great amalgam of my strengths—creativity, communication and problem solving.
What’s the most exciting discovery you’ve made in or around the park?
In my 13 years as a scientist, surfer, and swimmer in New York, I’ve found some of the best animals at the park during the seining program: a starfish, a sea turtle plastron, Northern pufferfish, pipefish. Also, an 8-foot long Atlantic sturgeon washed up at the boat launch several years ago, which was truly amazing.
What’s an interesting fact you have learned about Brooklyn or the park since you started collaborating with us?
That the building of the Brooklyn Bridge was largely overseen by a woman (Emily Roebling, wife of Washington Roebling). It’s not surprising that a woman could do that, but it’s not so celebrated.
What do you like about the park?
I knew the area before it was the park, so I am just grateful to the Conservancy for transforming a derelict space into something beautiful, calming and dramatic all at the same time. Also, it’s the only place I know of to enter the East River (legally).
What motivates you to partner with the park?
I live nearby, so this is one of my neighborhood parks. Also, the staff is amazing and always trying to improve the public and educational programming.
Why is it important to provide low cost and free educational programs?
The natural environment —what exists now and hopefully what could exist in the future in New York City— belongs to anyone who wants to enjoy it. Providing affordable and free programming is part of that same ethos.
Anything else you’d like to share about your experiences in the park?
Support the park whenever you can. It’s the best deal.