Water Ecology & Engineering Field Trips
NYC H2O wrapped up our spring season of Water Ecology & Engineering Field Trips for New York school children on June 22. From March thru June, we provided 91 field trips reaching over 2,500 students.
Since starting our program in 2014, NYC H2O has taken over 14,500 students on field trips.
Our STEM education programs provide a scientific and historical understanding of New York City’s water system and infrastructure. We engage students of all abilities in grades 2 – 12 at eight inspiring water infrastructure sites and wetlands in the five boroughs:
- Ridgewood Reservoir (Queens / Brooklyn)
- Baisley Pond (Queens)
- Central Park Reservoir(Manhattan)
- Jerome Park Reservoir (Bronx)
- Silver Lake (Staten Island)
- High Bridge (Manhattan / Bronx)
- Lemon Creek (Staten Island)
- Plumb Beach (Brooklyn)
Many of the students who come on our tours have limited opportunities to explore parks and natural areas; many have never been out of their neighborhood. They experienced flowers blooming and birds nesting. They used binoculars, many for the first time, to observe waterfowl that make their homes at reservoirs and wetlands, like hooded mergansers, ruddy ducks and egrets. They enjoyed being outside, participating in Tree Races. They engineered a working aqueduct made out of tubing and connectors in our Aqueduct Challenge exercise. In so doing, they learned about the nature found in our local ecosystems, became stakeholders in the purity of the city’s water, and became future stewards of a city that reached out to include them.
Beach Cleanups & Horseshoe Crab Discovery Walks
We held 2 beach cleanups, one at Conference House Park, Staten Island on April 21 and one at Plumb Beach, Brooklyn on May 20. In total, we had over 180 volunteers remove 2 tons of trash from these beautiful shoreline parks.
We held 3 Horseshoe crab discovery walks at Plumb Beach reaching a total of 80 people on June 2, June 6 (for teachers) and June 9. Our program leaders were:
- Lisa Jean Moore PhD, author of Catch and Release: The Enduring Yet Vulnerable Horseshoe Crab.
- Alan Ascher, Naturalist
- Ed Perri, Marine Biologist
- Seth Wollney, Naturalist
- Heather Kramer, Naturalist
We also thank our community partners who provided dozens of volunteers for beach and wetlands cleanups:
- NY Cares
- Natural Resources Protective Association
- Gateway National Recreation Area
- New York University (NYU)
- Brooklyn College
- Grover Cleveland High School
- Baruch College Campus High School
- Bronx High School of Science
- Staten Island Academy
- College of Staten Island-City University of New York Social Work Program
- Arbor School
- Brooklyn Technical High School
- Brooklyn Arbor
- The Beekman School
- PS 56
- Tottenville High School
- Girl Scouts Troop 52 & 56 & 5499
- Boy Scout Troop 41 & 222
- NY Harbor School
- St. Joe’s by the Sea
- St Clare’s
- Staten Island Museum
- Staten Island Tech
- Engineering NY
- IS 34
- IS 51 Edwin Markham
- PS 23
- PS 3
- Susan E. Wagner High School
- Stuyvesant High School
Progress at the Ridgewood Reservoir
For the last 3 years, a major focus of NYC H2O has been leading a coalition of community groups to protect and preserve the Ridgewood Reservoir. This Spring, we advanced the cause or health of Ridgewood in the following ways:
- Wrote and submitted the Historic Register application (designated on February 2, 2018)
- Successfully advocated with DEC for wetland delineation (designated on February 22, 2018)
- Successfully advocated for traffic safety measures from the DOT (pedestrian activated signal installed on Vermont Place, March 26, 2018)
We thank the elected officials who advocated for the Ridgewood Reservoir, allowing the voices of many diverse community groups to be heard on both sides of the Brooklyn-Queens border. These include Congress Members Nydia M. Velázquez and Grace Meng, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Council Members Rafael Espinal, Antonio Reynoso, Assembly Members Mike Miller and Cathy Nolan, State Senators Joe Addabbo and Michael Gianaris.
NYC H2O’s work at the Ridgewood Reservoir was generously funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Patagonia, and our generous supporters.
Teacher TestimonialsGrade 2 Teacher: “You folks have so much energy to do all that walking, running, talking with kids on such a nice warm day out – WOW. You never fatigued. That was impressive. I *loved* the water bottle/aqueduct activity.”
Grades 3-4 Teacher: “I needed to write and tell you what a wonderful time my students, chaperones, and I had today on our tour of Baisley Pond. My students were engaged throughout and enjoyed their learning experience.”
Grade 5 Teacher: “the use of a large map to keep students’ attention and give them a visual for what Jonathan was teaching them was a great addition. The hands on experience really wrapped up the trip nicely to help the students make connections.”
Grade 8 Teacher: “Children + Water = FUN. The children are still talking about the trip. The hands-on experience coupled with mini lessons brought home the learning objective of your tour. I extended the lesson in the classroom today. I’m astonished how much the students absorbed.”LecturesWe presented two lectures this semester. Professor Ted Steinberg, author of Gotham Unbound, gave a talk titled Can New York Survive the Sea. He analyzed the ecological history of NYC to predict the City’s readiness for dealing with rising sea levels and climate change.
Professor Lisa Jean Moore, author of Catch and Release, spoke about the relationship between humans and horseshoe crabs.
NYC H2O Thanks the CommunityThank you to all who supported our free school programs through donating, or by participating in NYC H2O adult activities such as kayaking, biking, and walking tours, or by attending our teacher education programs.Support NYC H2O and Double Your ImpactThanks to the generous support of the Lily Auchincloss Foundation all donations made before August 30th will be matched up to $15,000!