Alley Pond Environmental Center

The Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC), a nonprofit environmental education organization, is dedicated to educating children and adults in the New York City area, protecting and preserving Alley Pond Park, open spaces and waterbodies, and advocating for sustainable environmental policies and practices. The Alley Pond Environmental Center welcomes Schools for School Field Trips, Students for unique educational programs & internships, as well as Teachers for professional development and workshops! 

School field Trips and Youth Groups to Alley Pond Environmental Center offers nature trails, traverse ponds, salt marshes, forests and meadows where students and teachers will see shore birds, migrating flocks, and a variety of small animals. Or, visitors can attend one of APEC’s many environmentally-informed programs for children and adults. The Alley Pond Environmental Center is dedicated to establishing awareness, understanding and appreciation of the environment and to preserving nature in an urban setting. 

 

Alley Pond Environmental Center 

228-06 Northern Boulevard

Douglaston, New York 11362

P. (718) 229-4000

E. contact@alleypond.com

W. Alley Pond Environmental Center

Education Contact: Christine Schnurr EXT 207

Center & Trails

VISIT THE ALLEY POND ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER FOR A LIVING – LEARNING EXPERIENCE IN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IN NEW YORK CITY.

Our nature trails traverse ponds, salt marshes, forests and meadows where visitors will see shore birds, migrating flocks, and a variety of small animals. Or, visitors can attend one of APEC’s many nature oriented programs for children and adults. Please explore our website to learn more.

APEC is dedicated to establishing awareness, understanding and appreciation of the environment and to preserving nature in an urban setting.

The building is open 7 days a week, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except for major holidays.

Please check the calendar for closures. Walking trails are open from dawn to dusk, year ‘round.

Standards

APEC provides class visits for thousands of school children each year. All workshops provide educational concepts about various aspects of Alley Pond Park’s living environment. Programs have been adapted to New York State Core Curriculum Standards and Expectations.

Day of Trip Guidelines

  • • Leave children on bus and have one teacher register your group at the Front Desk. We appreciate money that folds and not that jingles!
  • • For classes booked in the Forest Room, the Sun Room or the Log Cabin please note that your instructor will pack your class craft to go.
  • • If your bus is running late please call APEC at 718-229-4000 and we will try to accommodate you. However we must try to stay within the scheduled time constraints of your trip.
  • • Please dress appropriately for a nature walk – i.e. closed shoes, rain gear, etc.
  • • In warmer weather please have children apply insect repellent outside. APEC does not provide or sell bug spray
  • • APEC does not supply hand sanitizer or paper towels
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Student Internships

Students Internship Programs (High School) at Alley Pond Environmental Center

High School Field Biology Internship for Students in Sophomores and Juniors & High School Senior Independent Internship for Seniors

The Students internship programs introduce students to environmental field studies. Students learn how to conduct practical filed research through examination of water, soil, and air quality, and biodiversity.

Students will gain confidence in scientific inquiry and learn the basics of research techniques and species identification as we explore and understand the 635 + acres of Alley Pond Park. Having taken Living Environment before attending this internship is a bonus, but not required.

Applicant Students must submit a completed Field Biology Internship Application.

Field Biology Internships (FBI)

Costs and Materials

The Syllabus

The syllabus is full of many interesting topics that scientists encounter in their studies of the environment. From air and water quality to ecosystem biodiversity, students will experience new challenges each class. Every year new topics are added and expanded. Past classes have focused on Estuary Fauna, Pond Scum, GPS and Orienteering, Water, Soil and Air Testing and Biodiversity.

Call Field Biology Internship educator Kimesha Reid Grant at 718-229-4000 ext. 202 for this year’s syllabus and more information.

Costs and Materials

The Students internships are FREE, and are underwritten by The New York City Environmental Fund. Each student will receive a FREE field notebook, Field Guides and Dichotomous Keys.

Depending on the syllabus for each semester, students will use a variety of field materials such as:

Binoculars (Students Program)
Magnifying Glasses (Students Program)
Field Guides (Students Program)
Field Books (Students Program)
Dichotomous Keys (Students Program)
Sampling Nets (Students Program)
Seine Nets (Students Program)
Weather Station (Students Program)
Water Testing Supplies (Students Program)
Soil Testing Supplies (Students Program)
Air Quality Testing Supplies (Students Program)
Compass (Students Program)
GPS (Students Program)
Refractometer (Students Program)
Clinometers (Students Program)
and more…

The Senior Independent Internships

Students must be High School seniors

Seniors and Students who are interested in the Senior Independent Internship can contact us for information on setting-up a program that interests them.

Applications  by Students must be submitted by the dates listed above, under Semester Details. Please call well in advance of these deadlines, to ensure enough time to develop your program.

Our Classroom

Most of our sessions will begin at the Padavan Pavilion, the Outdoor Classroom at APEC. After a discussion on the topic and materials for that week, we venture out into the park to further explore the day’s subject in a more hands-on manner.

Students should come to class dressed according to the weather (ex. boots, rain gear, gloves, winter coats), since we are almost always outside for the full three-hour class. It is suggested that you bring a change of shoes and socks, along with insect repellent and sunscreen. Other than these few things, students are only required to bring a pencil or pen to most classes.

Our Students

Students who apply and participate in our program study at public and private high schools from all over New York City and Long Island.

Teachers Workshops

Teacher Workshops at Alley Pond Environmental Center

Teachers Workshop

All of the courses below are adaptable for teachers in grades K – 12

If there is a topic that you prefer, the Education Department can customize a program for you.

Fees vary. Please contact the Education Department to discuss your needs! (718) 229-4000.

Mammals And Their Young

This course focuses on mammalian reproduction. Teachers will examine this vertebrate animal group to explore developmental differences and similarities among the bearing and rearing of mammals and sub groups of mammals; marsupials and monotremes. Each group will be classified by their unique characteristics and basic life functions through inquiry-based methods. Participants will incorporate this life science information into the science curriculum to meet NY State Learning Standards and Assessments.

Natural Adaptations With Seasonal Changes: Autumn To Winter

This course focuses on seasonal changes and the resulting adaptations of plants and animals. An introduction to the seasonal variations of the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem will be addressed through scientific inquiry. Participants will explore a forest ecosystem and how its associated organisms respond to the changes in the environment. Participants will incorporate this life science information into the science curriculum to meet NY State Learning Standards and Assessments.

Discover Butterflies – Their Life Histories

In this workshop about butterflies, participants will discover ways to integrate the fascinating life history of the butterfly into their science curriculum. Learn how to set up a home for and care for Painted Lady Butterflies in the classroom. A complete package provides teachers with the necessary components for a “butterfly experience” for their students, which meets the NY State Life Science Standards and Assessments.

Discovering Pond Life

This course provides a hands-on close-up look at the natural community of a pond. Participants will be introduced to limnology (study of inland water) and the four habitats of a pond ecosystem. Participants will learn how to enhance pond study through the use of discovery scopes and hand lenses to observe, collect and identify pond specimens. We will discuss the interdependence and interactions of specimens that are collected.

Exploring Estuaries: Endangered Wetlands

Participants will explore the habitats of Alley Creek, Little Neck Bay and Long Island Sound to learn about the various plants and animals that inhabit these estuaries and discuss the concepts of salinity, temperature, nutrients and water flow.

Participants will also learn about the geologic history of local estuaries, their various habitats, and resident organisms. Teachers will practice hands on techniques, concepts and activities to convey the importance of these vital ecosystems. These science concepts meet NY State Learning Standards and Assessments.

Birds In New York City

This hands-on workshop focuses on beginning ornithology: the fascinating world of birds! Through scientific inquiry, find out about birds’ natural history, behavior, courtship, nest building, physical features, food finding and eating.

Participants will begin to learn to identify some common urban birds and the various natural communities (meadow, forest, marsh, and pond) that they inhabit. A demonstration of live birds will be given during the workshop. Participants will focus on how to introduce interesting bird concepts to their students and how to incorporate this life science information into their science curriculum to meet the NY State Learning Standards and Assessments.

Reptiles And Amphibians. The Cold Blooded Ones. Which Is Which?

This course focuses on the life history of reptiles and amphibians. Participants will learn about the characteristics, behaviors and adaptations of reptiles and amphibians within the natural environment.

Participants will be introduced to native reptiles and amphibians, will learn how to use inquiry-based methods to identify and distinguish between them, and will share ways to incorporate these natural science concepts into the classroom to meet NY State Learning Standards and Assessments.

Biodiversity In Alley Pond Park With Focus On Insects

This course is a make-it-take-it live crickets workshop which introduces participants to the concept of biodiversity.

Participants will be introduced to the ecosystems in Alley Pond Park – forest, pond and meadow – which contain a diversity of flora and fauna. Each participant will make a terrarium containing a cricket, to demonstrate the components of an ecosystem. Teachers will be able to use the terrariums to help their students study the natural interactions and interdependencies of crickets and their environment. Participants will incorporate this life science information into their science curriculum to meet NY State Learning Standards and Assessments.

Urban Forest Ecology: Trees

This course focuses on urban forest ecology in Alley Pond Park. Participants will learn about the biotic and abiotic relationships and inter dependencies within the forest ecosystem, the animals that inhabit trees, how to identify local trees and the stratification of an eastern deciduous forest.

Participants will learn about the parts of trees, how to tell the age of trees, and the roles of trees in the forest environment. Each participant will receive and learn to use a dichotomous key to aid in identifying tulip, oak, sassafras, maple and dogwood trees.

Endangered Species

This course explores the reasons that plant and animal species become endangered, the consequences of population decline, and what can be done to halt the decline. An introduction to biodiversity and invasive species will be given through inquiry-based methods.

Participants will share ways to incorporate these natural science concepts in their classrooms to meet the NY State Learning Standards and Assessments.

Rain Drops To Drink – Nyc’s Water Supply System

This course focuses on NYC’s water supply system, its watershed and how it works. We will explore the system from raindrops, to mountains, to aqueducts, to pipes, to your faucet, through inquiry-based methods. We will also discuss the benefits of our water supply system and ways to conserve this precious resource – safe, fresh drinking water.

Participants will share ways to incorporate these natural science concepts in their classrooms to meet the NY State Learning Standards and Assessments.

Global Warming And Sustainable Energy

This course focuses on global warming—its causes and how it relates to sustainable energy resources. The consequences of global warming will be explored through inquiry-based methods.

Participants will be introduced to renewable energy resources that are available now. They will share ways to incorporate the climate change concepts in the classroom to meet the NY State Learning Standards and Assessments.

Trash In New York City – Recycle, Reuse, Reduce, Refuse

This course focuses on solid waste—its sources and where it ends up. Participants will learn to identify household products that are recyclable and what resources are used to make them. They will also learn why the 4 R’s are necessary to help our environment through inquiry-based methods.

Participants will be introduced to NYC solid waste issues and remedies to solid waste problems. Participants will share ways to incorporate these issues into the classroom to meet the NY State Learning Standards and Assessments.

School Field Trips (Pre-K to 5th Grade)

School Field Trips (Pre-K to 5th Grade) at Alley Pond Environmental Center

Kindergarten through Grade 5 Programs

APEC provides School Field Trips for thousands of school children each year. All School Field Trips provide educational concepts about various aspects of Alley Pond Park’s living environment that will enrich the New York City and State science curriculum objectives.

K through Grade 5 programs incorporate some standards from the following:

 

School Field Trips Science Standard 1, Analysis, Inquiry and Design;
School Field Trips Science Standard 2, Information Systems; and
School Field Trips Science Standard 4, the Living Environment.

School Field Trips are held rain or shine; please dress accordingly – boots in wet weather, coats and hats in the cold, insect repellent in the spring.

Students on the School Field Trips may bring lunch, and eat at our outdoor picnic tables, weather permitting. No indoor lunch facilities are available.

Discipline is always the responsibility of the class teachers on every School Field Trips. Adult supervision is mandatory on every School Field Trips as well. We recommend one adult chaperone for every six children on their School field Trips to Alley Pond Environmental Center.

School Field Trips are by reservation only. To Schedule a trip call 718-229-4000.

For School Field Trips program descriptions, prices, registration information, and policies about our Nursery and Pre-K programs, please see our Early Childhood Brochure.

School Field Trips Programs are available in 2 formats:

1 Hour Workshop: Includes live animals and a nature walk

1 Hour and 15 minutes Workshop: Same as above plus a theme-related craft to take back to the classroom.

CHOOSE FROM THE FOLLOWING THEMES FOR YOUR SCHOOL FIELD TRIPS:

For 2’s, 3’s, Pre-K and Special Needs

Animals! Animals!

Whose Clues? (School Field Trips Program)
What’s in a Pond? (School Field Trips Program)
Crawling Critters (School Field Trips Program)
Fantastic ForestsPre-K (School Field Trips Program)
Furry Friends (School Field Trips Program)

 

Seasonal Pre-K

Let’s Talk Turkey (November Only)

Beautiful Butterflies (May Only)

*Butterfly larvae can be ordered to take back to the classroom for an additional fee. Orders must be made at least two weeks in advance.

School field Trips (6th to 12th Grade)

School Field Trips Programs (6th to 12th Grade) at Alley Pond Environmental Center

Our secondary education programs focus on supplementing Junior High, Regent’s and Advanced Placement curricula in the sciences. School Field Trips through hands-on experiences implementing the scientific method with environmental testing, sampling, and observations in the field, students gain a true sense of ecology in New York City’s natural habitats.

All School Field Trips programs provide educational concepts about various aspects of Alley Pond Park’s living environment that will enrich the NYC science curriculum objectives.

Class Visits – Grades 6 – 12

School Field Trips are by reservation only. To schedule a School Field trips or for further information call the Upper Grade Coordinator in the Education Department at (718) 229-4000

We begin scheduling School Field Trips for the current school year on the day after Labor Day.

Middle School and High School Field Trips are generally 2 hours in length. Programs include a walk on

Alley Pond Park’s trails and a field component.

For program descriptions, prices, registration information, and policies, please see our Middle and High School Field Trips Brochure

CHOOSE FROM THE FOLLOWING TOPICS FOR YOUR SCHOOL FIELD TRIPS:

The Nature of Water (water cycles, water sheds) (School Field Trips Program)
Wetland Systems (School Field Trips Program)
Endangered Species (School Field Trips Program)
Invertebrate Lifestyles (School Field Trips Program)
Evolution and Adaptations (School Field Trips Program)
Plant Anatomy (School Field Trips Program)
Ecosystems of Alley Pond Park (School Field Trips Program)
Soil Quality (School Field Trips Program)
Geology of Alley Pond Park (School Field Trips Program)

 Custom School Field Trips

Work with Alley Pond Environmental Center staff to organize a program that will complement your current curriculum. Topics range from native plant identification to air pollution studies. Call APEC’s diverse and experienced staff to discuss your program ideas!

School Outreach Programs

Outreach Programs

School Visit

Appropriate for grades Pre-K through Middle School. Our experienced staff can pack up any of the following 8 programs (all include live animals) and bring to your classroom.

Note: Additional travel fees and tolls will vary depending on location. For additional information or to book a program, please call us at 718-229-4000 and ask for the Outreach Coordinator.

POINTS TO REMEMBER:

Since all programs involve full group participation with hands-on specimens, we set a maximum group size to 30 students per presentation (Pre-K=25)
Programs are limited to 3 classes per day
Program length varies according to age group
We do not offer assembly programs
APEC Alive serves all 5 boroughs and Nassau County

Animals Alive

Our most popular outreach program! Live animal presentations include discussions on animal classifications, habitats and adaptations using open-ended questioning and hands-on learning techniques. Program can include: mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

Native Americans

Observe and handle artifacts from the Mattinecocks, one of the 13 tribes on Long Island that spoke the Algonquin language. Compare and contrast modern lifestyles and those of the 1500’s. Learn about their customs, survival techniques and conservation practices. Instructor demonstrates how to make a bow and arrow out of willow branches…class keeps it!

Pond Power

Students learn  all about pond life including native animals and plants.  Instructor brings pond boards and pin-up animals to demonstrate a typical pond.  Children will meet a live pond resident and discuss food webs and amphibian metamorphosis

Earthworms

Earthworms teach young children sensitivity to living things and illustrate the interdependency of life.  Students interact with and handle these often misunderstood creatures.  Through hands-on activities and discussion, children will learn the earthworm’s physical characteristics, habitats, and special adaptations.

Birds of a Feather

This program will introduce students to the world of birds.  Children will explore the adaptations birds have developed to survive in different ecosystems, their life cycle and predator/prey relationships.  Students learn these concepts and develop their observation skills while examining feathers, eggs, nests, skulls and talons.

Time For Trees

Instructor visits your classroom and reviews photosynthesis, the forest food web and biodiversity with an interactive forest community activity.  Program includes a visit from a forest native…the Common Eastern Box Turtle.

Insect Investigation

This program offers students insight into the world of insects.  With the use of bug viewers, each child will get the opportunity to examine live crickets up close.  Students will learn the body parts of insects, their life cycles and their interrelationship with other animals, plants and their environment.

Summer Camp & Scout Group Trips

Center & Trails

VISIT THE ALLEY POND ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER FOR A LIVING – LEARNING EXPERIENCE IN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IN NEW YORK CITY.

Our nature trails traverse ponds, salt marshes, forests and meadows where visitors will see shore birds, migrating flocks, and a variety of small animals. Or, visitors can attend one of APEC’s many nature oriented programs for children and adults. Please explore our website to learn more.

APEC is dedicated to establishing awareness, understanding and appreciation of the environment and to preserving nature in an urban setting.

The building is open 7 days a week, Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and varying hours on the weekend, except for major holidays. Call ahead if coming in on a weekend. Please check the calendar for closures. Walking trails are open from dawn to dusk, year ‘round.

Parking and entrance to the building and grounds is free, but we do have a suggested donation of $5 per person. You can contribute right at the front desk if you wish to do so!

Scout Groups – Download the Brochure Here

Family Trips and Programs

Childrens Weekend Classes – Click Here

Preschool Weekday Programs

After School

Family and Adult Programs

Annual Events

Birthday Parties at APEC

Make your child’s birthday joyful and enriching!

APEC’s birthday parties are learning experiences which will be remembered for a lifetime. Your child and guests are given the opportunity to appreciate nature first hand. We look forward to helping you celebrate your child’s special day!

Our 2-hour parties include:

An indoor, age-appropriate discussion about nature which includes the handling of live animals
A guided nature walk on the trails (weather permitting)
A nifty craft to make and take home.

Your child is the guide. He or she chooses the craft from our wide selection prior to the party. On party day he or she gets to choose the animals that will make a special guest appearance at the party. Program lasts about 1 ½ hours, followed by about ½ hour for refreshments and birthday cake.

Please view our Birthday Party Brochure for more details.

Click here to view our current craft choices (call to confirm; subject to change).

Theme parties for Tweens

New This Year!

Designed for Ages 8 & up Fee: $275 for up to 12 children (12 children maximum)

Spa Day Birthday

Treat your guests to a spa like experience inclusive of calming nature sounds, soothing aromatherapy and mini massage lesson. Guests will have fun creating and using all natural “spa”sentials to take home. Recipes included.

LOG CABIN LAB Owl Pellets

What’s in an owl pellet? Don a lab coat and immerse yourself in the world of dissection. Using common lab equipment guests will discover the snacks and facts about owl food.

Inquire about these themes and others at ext. 205
Party Information

Ages:

2 and up

Days:

Saturday and Sunday (some after school and holidays available)

Times:

10 am – 12 noon or 1 – 3 pm (4 – 6 pm depending upon availabiliy)

Fees:

$250.00 for up to 15 children

$12.00 for each additional child

Maximum of 30 children

$30.00 second instructor fee for over 20 children

Food and Decorations:

You supply all food, cake, beverages, paper goods, decorations, and goody bags. You may arrive before the party to decorate the room and set up.

Please remember that APEC does not allow balloons in the building, due to safety concerns for our animals. Please do not include balloons in your decorations or give-aways.

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Author: Stuspots

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