NYRP's Environmental Education Programs

New York Restoration Project’s (NYRP) Environmental Education programs are designed to assist, support, augment and extend the diligent work of New York City public schoolteachers. Like arts and music education in public schools, science instruction is woefully under-funded and teachers are challenged to provide engaging, hands-on activities and projects that truly bring to life the science principles they are trying to impart. NYRP programs complement and reinforce environmental education in the classroom, and then encourage students and teachers out of the classroom and into the settings they are studying. Our activities are designed to provide a greater understanding of the environment, but also serve to strengthen important life and social skills, including teamwork, leadership and respect for others.

NYRP’s dynamic environmental education curricula and other complementary programming – focusing on third grade through middle school-aged youth from public schools and youth development programs – are available to educators and community organizations free of charge upon registration and sign-in. These tools emphasize NYRP’s overarching “hours in nature” approach to getting youth, their parents and guardians, and educators out of the classroom and into natural surroundings, focusing on providing ways to encourage students to discover local green spaces where Nature in My Neighborhood educational activities can be explored, first-hand. These curricula and programs address New York State performance standards and provide background information and resources; lesson plans that outline specific objectives, methods, materials and procedures; and student worksheets and journal assignments.

Also featured are myriad opportunities to conduct classes in and escort field trips to various NYRP properties, including Swindler Cove in Sherman Creek Park and NYRP’s 52 community gardens throughout New York City’s five boroughs. Here, students and educators have an opportunity to interact with professional gardeners, staff and volunteers from NYRP and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and see environmental stewardship in action.

Whether administered by you, or conducted by NYRP educators who supply all materials and instruction, these interdisciplinary programs reinforce classroom curricula and help students meet New York City and New York State environmental science standards through activity-based, interdisciplinary learning experiences in the natural sciences. NYRP programs also incorporate art, literacy and life skills activities. Our long-term goal is for participating students to develop a deep love and respect for their neighborhood parks and open-space resources, which will one day be entrusted to their care. In addition, NYRP continues to promote and provide professional development programming to build the capacity of New York City teachers and other community educators to develop and conduct active learning experience that foster knowledge and skills in the environmental sciences.