NYC H2O just wrapped up our spring season of free outdoor field trips for New York school children. Our STEM education programs provide a scientific and historical understanding of New York City’s local water cycle and infrastructure. We gave 76 water ecology tours this spring reaching 2,100 students, a majority of whom are from high-poverty and immigrant neighborhoods (Title I schools).
We visited historic reservoirs at Central Park, Jerome Park, Ridgewood, Silver Lake and Baisley Pond. Students got to walk on top of the old aqueduct at High Bridge and discover live oysters (and their hangers-on) straight from the harbor at Ellis Island.
With your increased support we were able to add new sites at Lemon Creek, Staten Island and Plumb Beach, Gateway National Recreation Area, Brooklyn.
At Plumb Beach, students were fascinated by the horseshoe crabs, an ancient but local creature. They watched as females crawled up the beach to lay eggs and mate, and they learned of the crabs’ role as scavengers in marine ecology. Students found and identified many other creatures, including crabs, clams, and caterpillars.
At Lemon Creek, students observed how the City manages stormwater in a sustainable way by channeling it into streams and wetlands. They learned how wetland plants can absorb and remove toxins from the water in a process referred to as “phytoremediation.” They also used our new NYC H2O Harbor Map to help orient themselves. We thank mapmakers Rowan Dickson and Ken Chaya for their generous help and expertise in creating this map.