New York Restoration Project’s (NYRP) expert staff provides education at every touch point—at every tree giveaway, volunteer opportunity and community garden activity. We host free workshops that teach New Yorkers about tree care, urban ecology, composting, sustainable horticulture, and native plant identification through spring, summer and fall. Find all of these learning opportunities on our calendar.
At NYRP, we firmly believe that educating young people about the environment and green space through hands-on learning instills essential values. We are teaching young people to care for their surroundings and encourage them to serve as stewards for green spaces.
Environmental Education for K-6 Students
Our environmental education team aims to introduce hundreds of children a year to New York City’s nature and ecology by turning the city’s parks and community gardens into outdoor classrooms. With “Nature In My Neighborhood” and “Garden Growers,” two unique environmental education programs geared toward children grades K-6, the team uses intricate ecosystems to tell the story of the City’s natural history. Learn more or apply for NYRP Environmental Education for your class.
New York Restoration Project (NYRP) offers free, hands-on environmental education, targeted to kindergarten through eighth grade students enrolled in a New York City Department of Education school. We also offer field trips to summer camps and youth organizations. All programs aligned with NYS Core Curriculum Standards and are taught at Swindler Cove in Sherman Creek Park and Highbridge Park, NYRP’s environmental education campus located along the Harlem River in Northern Manhattan. NYRP covers all expenses associated with this program, with the exception of travel to our campus.
Nature in My Neighborhood represents our most innovative and comprehensive educational programming to date of curricula, activities and events for educators, students and youth groups – empowering urban youth and communities to identify, create and care for nature in their neighborhood. It is the umbrella for six unique environmental education programs centered on the urban forest and aquatic ecology. NYRP educators relay the importance of greening our communities, waterways and the Hudson River Estuary through science-based observations of the Harlem River and woodland plants and animals. Activities like Highbridge Hike, Our River the Giver and Talking Trees, 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.
Hike through a natural historic park to observe different layers of the urban forest, and associated plants and animals as they change at different elevations. Grades 3-8; 2 hours.
|Swindler Cove, Habitat Rove|
Emphasizes sense perception through exploration of the five distinct habitats represented at Swindler Cove. Grades K-5; 1.5 hours
|Our River, the Giver|
Enter the Harlem River with waders and seine for fish as the local Lenape Indians did using a 15 foot net to observe/identify fish and micro-organisms (Tide dependent). Grades 3-8; 2 hours. More advanced students will sample water and test for a range of quality indicators, including Ph., salinity, and dissolved oxygen.
Connects basic human need for food, water, and shelter to trees’ requirement of water, sunlight, nutrients. Learn the parts of a tree while exploring the urban forest. Grades K-8; 2 hours.
A hands-on program where students can learn the basics about planting and maintaining vegetables and herbs in the Riley-Levins Children's Garden. Hones skills such as watering, weeding, composting, and harvesting. Grades K-6; 1.5 hours.
Allows students to put knowledge into service and join NYRP at Sherman Creek Parks in creating a greener and more sustainable New York City. Activities depend on age group and season and may include: tree maintenance, planting, composting, reforestation, and park restoration. Grades K-8; 2hrs.
Garden Growers is a series of 5-6 garden lessons offered at no cost to K-8th grader students enrolled in New York City schools. We also offer field trips to summer camps and youth organizations. Students learn how to tend a garden and raise vegetables from seed to plate, while gaining valuable lessons in environmental science and stewardship. All sessions are taught in one of NYRP's local community gardens, conveniently located near the school:
- McLeod Community Garden - 130 Libtery Ave.
- 103rd Street Community Garden - 105 E. 103rd St.
- Riley Levin Children's Garden - 3703 10th Ave.
- Target Bronx Community Garden - 1025 Anderson Ave.
- Bathgate Community Garden - 1818 Bathgate Ave.
- Willis Avenue Community Garden - 378 Willis Ave.
- Rhodebeck Community Garden - 927 Faile St.
Students are introduced to their local community garden where they are engaged in a scavenger hunt to search for any signs life in the garden beds and compost pile. Students learn how to create a garden plan using a companion planting style and then plant vegetables.
NYRP educators teach the proper techniques to watering, weeding, and composting the garden bed and fruit trees to reassure the crops will grow. Together we will develop a maintenance schedule for students and their teachers, to ensure their plantings will grow and can be harvested.
Students will taste the fresh fruits and vegetables harvested during the growing season, and learn techniques for seed saving and storing harvested seeds.
NYRP can offer additional lessons upon request that can be led by the teacher or NYRP staff in your community garden. These lessons can provide the students with more structured, interactive learning about the importance of gardens.