Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s TIDES program is halfway through its second year, and has been off to a successful start. TIDES—Teens Interested in and Dedicated to Environmental Sciences—provides high school students from all over the City the opportunity to learn about the local environment through different projects within the Park. The students work with Park and Conservancy staff as they complete community service hours through gardening, seining, coastal cleanups, and clearing oyster cages.
This year, eight students are participating in the six-week program. Working together, the participants learn about environmental conservation and stewardship as they help out in the Park. The students come from different backgrounds and have different interests, but TIDES brings them together by encouraging teamwork, trying something new, and most importantly, having fun. The teenagers commit to pitch in and assist with educational, maintenance and gardening activities, all while exploring nature and completing their required community service hours for school.
The majority of our volunteers at Brooklyn Bridge Park are adults, volunteering as individuals or part of larger corporate groups. However, we at the Conservancy believe that encouraging volunteering from a young age is very important. Younger volunteers can learn about conservation, as well as grow an interest in community service and stewardship that could potentially last a lifetime. This year, 10% of our volunteers have been under the age of 18—an exciting, growing trend we hope to continue in the coming years.
Having a dedicated program for younger volunteers such as TIDES is essential to instilling a sense of community service and activism in younger participants. As TIDES continues, we hope to increase that ten percent to a larger number, through school community service programs as well as individual participants. To learn more about TIDES and other ways to volunteer, visit our visit our volunteer page here.