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Posts Tagged ‘Staten Island’

Nature is all around you, even here in New York City. Every plant, animal, body of water, or rock formation is an instance of nature. Some “natural” places have been altered (like Central Park, landscaped by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux), yet they still have numerous natural features.

But fine… you want pristine natural formations like you might find upstate? You got it. New York City is also home to 51 “Forever Wild Nature Preserves,” places essentially untouched by human beings. Some are so untouched, in fact, that you can’t visit them, but others do make for great field trip spots.

Check out the following, one in each of the five buroughs:

Students participate in a citizen science program with an Urban Park Ranger.

At these and many other parks throughout the city, programs are led by Urban Park Rangers. Follow the link to find out more, including links to nature cameras and more.

For field trip information, go to the website of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation or call 212-NEW-YORK to schedule a trip.

*** If you’re curious, here’s the full list of 51 Forever Wild sites.

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Growing food in a classroom is great, but it’s also wonderful to go to a farm and see lots of food being grown. Students start to link plants to the food on their plate. Learning about where food comes from will also prepare students to learn about food transportation and related sustainability issues as they grow older.

There are actually lots of farms in New York City and fall is a great time for a visit, enabling students to learn about harvest. Check out these farms, both contemporary and historic, throughout New York City. All of them offer field trip options; farms marked in bold type offer field trips to all grades, including early childhood.

Of course, if you don’t teach in one of these neighborhoods, another option is to find your closest community garden and arrange a visit there. One way to find a local garden is to use the Green Apple Map. Click the link, zoom in to your neighborhood, and find out where a local community garden is located: http://www.greenapplemap.org/. Additionally, to find information about and resources for community gardening, see Green Thumb: http://www.greenthumbnyc.org/. Oasis NYC also has a comprehensive listing of community gardening resources: http://www.oasisnyc.net/garden/resources.aspx

One of many community gardens in Brooklyn

And don’t forget farmer’s markets! Try arranging a field trip to one and give students a chance to talk to the farmers who come from just outside the city to supply New Yorkers with fresh food. For more information, check out: http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/  or http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/ourfarmers

Do you know of other farm or garden resources we forgot? Please share!

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