K - 12 Activities
The Idlewild Park Mini Salt Marsh Environmental Center Project offers a "natural" opportunity for children to learn from and enjoy the unique natural and cultural resources in Idlewild Park. The Idlewild Park Forever Wild Preserve is an ecologically valuable 324 acre natural salt marsh site in southeast Queens, NY. Headwaters to Jamaica Bay, its health is critical to the health of the bay.
Hands-on workshops provide an unforgettable science experience for students and helps them meet New York City Department of Education performance standards. The workshops are available for students in grades K-8, and are customized to fit specific needs of specific classes and age groups. A workshop series called Science-in-the-Park is also available during the school year after-school, as well as in the summer.
Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) is a worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school-based education and science program promoting and supporting students, teachers and scientists to collaborate on inquiry-based investigations of the environment and the Earth System working in close partnership with National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA Earth System Science Projects (ESSPs). GLOBE provides opportunities for students to record measurements in the fields of atmosphere, hydrology, soils, and land cover/phenology, report their data on the Web, publish research projects based on the data, create maps and graphs to analyze data, and collaborate with scientists and other GLOBE students around the world.
A GLOBE station exists at the National Park Service's (NPS) Jamaica Bay Unit, Gateway National Recreation Area, Floyd Bennett Field, Building 69. Schools surrounding Jamaica Bay maintaining GLOBE stations include:
The Jamaica Bay Unit at GNRA offers a variety of educational programs including:
- Ecology Village Overnight Programs
- Day Programs
- What's Alive at Dead Horse Bay
- Habitats by Land and Sea
- Dynamic Seashores
- Operation Explore
- Barrier Beach Habitat Hunt
For more information, click here for a sample brochure.
The Salt Marsh Nature Center (SMNC) is one of ten Urban Park Ranger Nature Centers in New York City. It serves as an in-park community center for public education, recreational activities and environmental studies, as well as a starting point for walking tours and workshop sites for educational programs. SMNC features exhibits highlighting the diversity of the landscape, an abundance of informational written material like trail maps, nature center brochures, and The RedTailer, a newsletter that lists walks, tours, and special events. SMNC offers an educational program called The Natural Classroom taught by Urban Park Rangers where children learn about plants and animals of the salt marsh.