Environmental “Ed Shed” 2021-10-05T16:20:47+00:00

Project Description

Environmental “Ed Shed”

Project Lead: North Brooklyn Community Boathouse, formerly North Brooklyn Boat Club
2014 Project Partners: Newtown Creek Alliance; Sarah Durand, Associate Professor at LaGuardia Community College; Jane Beckwith and Kestrel Perez, Associate Professors at St. Joseph’s College; Boy Scouts of America, Troop 469; and North Brooklyn Parks Alliance, formerly Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn
2018 Project Partners: Greenpoint Eco-Schools; Environmental Science Department at LaGuardia Community College; Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park; Newtown Creek Alliance; and NYC H20
Project Locations: 437 McGuinness Boulevard / 41 Ash Street; and Greenpoint-wide
Total GCEF Funding: $172,214
2014 GCEF Grant: $24,426 2018 GCEF Grant: $86,560
2020 GCEF Grant: $61,228
Total Matching Contribution: $26,900
2014 Matching Contribution: $3,600 2018 Matching Contribution: $23,300
2014 Project Completed: September 2015 2018 Project Completed: July 2019
2020 Project Completed: August 2021

In 2014, through a competitive process, North Brooklyn Community Boathouse (NBCB) received a $24,426 GCEF grant (and provided $3,600 in matching funds) to support ongoing educational programming at the Environmental “ED Shed,” located at the boathouse. Established by NBCB, in conjunction with LaGuardia Community College, the ED Shed is a hands-on environmental education and research center that connects Greenpoint residents to their surrounding waterways.

NBCB used their GCEF funding to train educators, and develop and expand community workshops on marine science topics and water quality conditions in the East River and Newtown Creek. Grant monies also supported the creation and maintenance of an instructional aquarium – housing fish, crab, mollusk, and invertebrate species native to Newtown Creek – at the ED Shed.

Through another competitive process in 2018, NBCB was awarded $86,560 in GCEF funding (and provided $23,300 in matching funds) for equipment, personnel, and materials, including multi-user canoes, to enrich their programming. The ED Shed has established itself as a local environmental educational hub by expanding its on-the-water, GCEF-funded, “Floating Classrooms on Greenpoint Waterways” project, which offers themed public paddling trips and events.

In 2020, NBCB was awarded $46,228 to hold six free, public paddle events and three ecology canoe tours of Newtown Creek and to purchase additional equipment to support their programs. The events will further connect members of the community to local waterways. The funds also went towards event expenses, staff coordination, safety training for trip leaders and volunteers, and the purchase of new life vests and paddles, six kayaks, a kayak storage shed, and a safety boat and lift.

Additionally, NCBC was awarded a separate GCEF grant of $15,000 in 2020 to engage in organizational capacity-building workshops for board members and volunteer leaders. The workshops will focus on reconnecting leadership with the organization’s mission, revitalizing internal and external communications, and ensuring the organization’s long-term sustainability.

  • Educated 845 community members at 48 events on marine science topics and the environmental health of Newtown Creek and the East River in 2015
  • Involved 15 local community groups and teaching institutions in educating Greenpoint residents about their waterways
  • Created an instructional aquarium displaying fish, crab, mollusk, and invertebrate species native to Newtown Creek
  • Developed materials to support environmental education programs, including a poster explaining the NYC sewer system and combined sewer overflows, and a 10-page environmental workbook for students
  • Purchased 2 new 29-foot canoes, and several smaller canoes, canoe paddle docks, 6 kayaks, a safety boat and lift, a kayak storage shed, life vests, and other safety equipment
  • Held 12 community open house events at the boathouse in 2018-2019
  • Held 21 trips with college-aged students from Pratt Institute, St Joseph’s College, LaGuardia Community College, The City College of New York, New York University, and The New School, as well as middle school students from Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School
  • Held 8 public canoe trips in 2018-2019, with a total of 390 participants, with themes such as birdwatching ship-spotting, and understanding combined sewage overflows
  • Held 36 public paddles on Greenpoint waterways, including Newtown Creek, with over 1,000 participants in 2018-2019
  • Held a series of 6 free, public paddle events in Greenpoint during the summer of 2021, serving over 100 community members
  • Engaged NCBC board members and volunteers in organizational capacity-building and sustainability training