Floating Classrooms on Greenpoint’s Waterways
|Project Lead:||North Brooklyn Community Boathouse (formerly North Brooklyn Boat Club)|
|Project Partners:||Newtown Creek Alliance; Sarah Durand, Professor, LaGuardia Community College; City University of New York; Michael Levandowski, Pace University; and North Brooklyn Parks Alliance (formerly Open Space Alliance)|
|Project Location:||Newtown Creek|
|Project Completed:||April 2015|
In 2014, through a competitive process, North Brooklyn Community Boathouse (NBCB) received a $24,693 GCEF grant (and provided $25,000 in matching funds) to expand their waterways environmental education program. The GCEF grant was used to purchase two 12-to-14-person canoes, and related paddles, safety equipment, and storage systems, enhancing NBCB’s existing fleet of 25 small boats used for public paddle trips. The larger, more stable boats purchased with GCEF funding allowed NBCB’s education program to expand and, over the course of the project, serve more than 300 Greenpointers of all ages and boating skills. GCEF funds were also used to develop educational materials tailored to the environmental history and landmarks of the local waterways. Finally, GCEF funded training for 6 new canoe trip leaders, including a 2-day American Canoe Association certified on-water training, an 8-hour “First Aid for Urban Waterways” workshop, and New York City Fire Department CPR training.
Since the GCEF grant ended in 2015, Floating Classrooms programming has continued to operate with the equipment purchased with GCEF funds, and taken hundreds more people out on Greenpoint’s surrounding waterways for dedicated environmental awareness and inspiration. In the future, the big canoes and the safety equipment purchased with GCEF funding will allow more groups of individuals to safely access Newtown Creek and the East River.
- Added two 12-to-14-person canoes, and related paddles, safety equipment, and storage systems, to North Brooklyn Community Boathouse’s existing fleet of boats
- Conducted over 20 environmental education trips for a dozen local groups, includingschools, community organizations, and church and business groups, with a total of over 300 participants
- Developed an “Environmental Education” workbook and a “Newtown Creek Guide Map”tailored to the environmental history and landmarks of Newtown Creek and the East River
- Trained 6 new canoe trip leaders in safety protocols and first aid techniques
Two New Additions to Boat Club’s Educational Fleet (Greenpoint Star, June 11, 2014)