Floating Classrooms on Greenpoint’s Waterways 2021-07-15T16:54:42+00:00

Project Description

Floating Classrooms on Greenpoint’s Waterways

Project Lead: North Brooklyn Community Boathouse, formerly North Brooklyn Boat Club
Project Partners: Newtown Creek Alliance; Sarah Durand, Associate Professor at LaGuardia Community College; City University of New York; Michael Levandowski at Pace University; and North Brooklyn Parks Alliance, formerly Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn
Project Location: Newtown Creek
2014 GCEF Grant: $24,693
2014 Matching Contribution: $25,000
2014 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 environmental education program on Greenpoint’s waterways called “Floating Classrooms.” The GCEF grant was used to purchase two large 12- to 14-person canoes, paddles, safety equipment, and storage systems; enhancing NBCB’s existing fleet of 25 small boats used for public educational paddle trips. Greenpointers of all ages and boating skills participated in paddle trips over the duration of the project. GCEF funding was also used to develop educational materials tailored to the environmental history and landmarks of local waterways. Finally, grant monies allowed six new canoe trip leaders to receive training through a two-day, American Canoe Association-certified, on-the-water course, a “First Aid for Urban Waterways” workshop, and NYC Fire Department-administered CPR instruction.

Since the grant period ended, Floating Classrooms programming has continued to operate with the boats and related supplies purchased with GCEF funds, and provided an opportunity for hundreds more Greenpointers to learn more about – and enjoy – their local waterways.

For more information, visit North Brooklyn Community Boathouse’s Environmental Education page: NorthBrooklynBoatClub.org/education/

  • Added a pair of 12-to-14-person canoes, and related paddles, safety equipment, and storage systems, to NBCB’s existing fleet of boats and supporting gear
  • Conducted more than 20 environmental education trips for a dozen local schools, community organizations, churches, and business groups, with more than 300 participants
  • Developed an educational workbook about Greenpoint waterways, as well as 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