In a city as large as New York, it is critical that our children experience the natural world beyond their neighborhood. GrowNYC provides young people with an opportunity to address and educate others about a wide range of environmental topics, such as air and water quality, planting and caring for trees, energy and sources of energy and green design.
Last year we motivated 1,500 youth from 50 classes in 10 schools to participate in 27 environmental improvement projects in four boroughs.
Students learn about energy sources using their homes and classrooms as real-life examples and learn why and how to conserve energy. Nearly 400 students built and tested their own working pizza box solar ovens, which reach temps of over 200 degrees, demonstrating the power of the sun for hundreds of classmates, parents and community members.
Students learn about the NYC watershed, its history, and how restoration efforts can improve water quality and the area’s natural health and beauty. They also look at erosion, i.e. causes, restoration, and prevention and the role that trees and plants play in our ecosystem. They put that knowledge to work when they led 17 restoration projects along 7 bodies of water, in 5 city parks and on school campuses. The results: They took action by planting and mulching 3,100 trees, shrubs and plants and removed invasive plants from nearly 7,000 square feet of shoreline.
Green design fosters an understanding of sustainability and conservation both locally and globally by exploring green architecture, planning and design as a solution to environmental issues. Our program includes an overview of green design, case studies of local sustainable street and building designs, transportation and water supply, and 3-D green-design model building.