BROOKLYN, January 30, 2017—In 2016, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s environmental education programs served over 11,000 students from across New York City—including every zip code in Brooklyn. Visitors learned about the ecology and history of the waterfront through a number of innovative, hands-on programs, including seining and oyster monitoring.
The programs’ curricula are aligned with Common Core State Standards, and are adaptable for elementary, middle, and high school students. Last year, 47% of participants came from Title I schools, 34% were enrolled in CTT/ITT programs, and 38% were ESL learners.
In addition to its school based programs, the Conservancy also offers education programs open to the general public. In 2016, the Conservancy welcomed nearly 12,000 visitors to free public education programs and open hours in its Environmental Education Center located at the 99 Plymouth building in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
“We pride ourselves on offering the community high quality educational programs that are accessible to all,” said Isa Del Bello, Director of Education for the Conservancy.
“Our waterfront location makes our programs truly unique,” said Nancy Webster, Executive Director of the Conservancy. “It allows teachers to use the park as a living classroom and it provides students with an immersive learning experience.”
“These programs are empowering the next generation to understand and eventually protect our environment,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “This type of immersive, context-based learning has proven its effectiveness time and time again. I’m particularly impressed by the program’s reach, with youth hailing from every corner of our borough.”
A 2008 grant sponsored by US Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez allowed the Conservancy to launch its environmental education program in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Since then, more than 62,000 young people from NYC public schools and summer camps have come to the park for classes in environmental sciences.
Public support of the Environmental Education Center and program has been made possible by the New York City Council — in particular, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Members Stephen Levin, Mathieu Eugene, Laurie Cumbo, and Darlene Mealy. Lead support for the Center was provided by Con Edison.