Posts Tagged ‘watershed’

Earlier, we mentioned available grants for watershed education projects. In addition to those, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection is offering grants specifically for watershed forestry bus tours. Grants are available to cover day and overnight programs.

According to their website, grants are available to schools for 4-12th grade student trips, colleges and universities, youth groups, and other organizations within New York City or the Catskill/Delaware and Croton watersheds. Applications are due by January 15, 2012, so if you have an idea, find out more on the DEP’s website.

The after school program here at Brooklyn Children's Museum did a tree survey recently; what would you do with a forest field trip?

Tomorrow, we’re back to the idea of waste management with a post about what do with an extra evergreen tree you may have laying around your house.

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Are you teaching about water in New York City or the West-of-Hudson (WOH) watershed? If so, consider applying for a 2012-2013 grant from the Catskill Watershed Corporation. Grants are offered in partnership with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and are intended to support

“education projects and programs that help increase awareness of the human and natural history of the WOH Watershed and the New York City water supply system; the critical role of communities in caring for water quality in the watershed, the importance of water conservation,the history and contemporary use and operation of the vast water system, or the cultural and biological diversity of the city’s WOH Watershed.”

In particular, they are looking for proposals that will lead to education about the causes and impacts of flooding or climate change.

Maybe you want to study green roofs and their relationship with Combined Sewage Overflows. Maybe you want to look at how weather and climate are changing in and around New York City and how that affects waterways. Maybe you have an idea for a new way to explain the water cycle to your students and want the funding to be able to do so.

Or perhaps you want the money to enable your students to participate in existing programs, including trips to environmental education centers, cultural programs, Trout in the Classroom or classroom models for teaching about water quality.

For more information, consult the Catskill Watershed Corporation’s website or call 845-586-1400, ext. 29 (toll-free 877-WAT-SHED) to obtain an application packet by mail. Questions may also be directed to galusha@cwconline.org. Grant proposals are due by Wednesday, February 1, 2012.

What water project would you do with your students if you had funding?

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Yesterday, we mentioned the route New York City’s water takes from upstate to your tap. Today: a post about a remarkable map of that very path.

One of the highlights at the Queens Museum of Art is the Watershed Relief Map. The map dates back to 1939 when the Worlds Fair was held in Queens. As part of the Worlds Fair, the Cartographic Survey Force (a branch of the Works Progress Administration) was charged with constructing a 3-dimensional model of the waterways that get water from upstate New York to New York City. The model measured 32 feet by 20 feet and cost $100,000 to make (about $1.5 million in today’s dollars). In the end, it was too big to be displayed and went into storage.

After a brief exhibition in 1948, the map went back into storage and was completely forgotten until 1991, when it was discovered by Michael Cetera, an employee of the Department of Environmental Protection. After a massive restoration, the map was put on display at the Queens Museum of Art, which is located on the site of that very 1939 Worlds Fair.

The Watershed Relief Map now on display at the Queens Museum of Art

To celebrate the map’s restoration, NYC H2O and Queens Museum of Art are hosting a Watershed Relief Map Presentation on Saturday, December 10th at noon. The kid-friendly event will feature Michael Cetera and NYC water educator Matt Malina. For more information, go to the event page.

The Watershed Relief Map is both a great source of information about NYC’s water and a fascinating object with an interesting history. This sounds like a great opportunity to learn more about both the watershed and the map!

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What a fantastic question! New York City uses over one billion gallons of water every day. That essential water comes to us via aqueducts that connect us to two different watersheds – the Croton watershed just up the Hudson and the Catskill / Delaware Watershed Area further upstate.

(A watershed is all the land whose water feeds through tributaries into a given larger body of water, like a lake, river, or bay. Therefore, the Croton watershed is all the area whose water, including rain water and snow melt, eventually flows into the Croton River.)

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for overseeing the quality of our water, including working with upstate authorities to keep our aqueducts full of clean water (emphasis on both full and clean).

If you’re explaining this to students, its a great idea to talk about what these upstate reservoirs are like. You most likely have students who have never been to another part of New York state. To help them envision the scene, read the first few pages of Water Dance by Thomas Locker. This beautifully illustrated book is set in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, the  region where our water originates.

After reading Water Dance, have a conversation with students about what would happen if people took too much water from the lake for wasteful purposes – would rain replace every drop we took? Would it change the natural landscape shown in the book? Then, ask students what they might do to use only the water they need from the lakes and reservoirs upstate. Students who aware of the source of our water and understand that it is not, in fact, an unlimited resource are more likely to appreciate the need to conserve water.

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