City Parks Foundation

City Parks Foundation.png
830 5th Avenue, New York, NY, United States

CPF (City Parks Foundation) is the only nonprofit organization to create programs in parks throughout all five boroughs of New York City. We enrich and connect New Yorkers through free and accessible arts, sports, education and community-building initiatives.

We connect teachers, students and families through hands-on classroom, after school and teacher-training programs in parks, schools and Recreation Centers across New York City. Annually, our programs reach 7,500 students and community members and 600 teachers.

Information on Events and Calendar Dates for the City Park Foundation can be found here

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School and Student Programs

Green Girls!

Green Girls is an innovative program that encourages girls to excel in the sciences and realize their potential to create change within the natural environment and their own lives.

The three-week Green Girls Summer Institute, going into its sixth summer, serves 30 girls from the four Young Women’s Leadership Schools in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with hands-on activities and trips to parks and natural areas, wildlife refuges, and cultural institutions. Green Girls provides middle-school girls with intensive summer experiences that enrich their understanding of science and environmental justice issues, familiarize them with New York City’s vast natural and institutional resources, and promote leadership and life skills. Ultimately, the Green Girls Summer Institute helps girls explore their own vast potential and the extensive career possibilities available in the sciences.

These carefully-selected and sequenced activities address a variety of science subject matter, including environmental education, ecology, biology, geology, zoology, and botany. Sessions encompass an array of environmental and environmental justice issues that focus on community problems and the need for green spaces, water conservation, air quality and the natural world.


Coastal Classroom (4th Grade and up)

Discovering the Secrets of Our Aquatic Ecosystem! Coastal Classroom – offers workshops in parks along the waterfront, focused on coastal ecology, aquatic habitats, water quality, and urban waterfront restoration and preservation.

Hands-on activities in our parks are among the very best opportunities to learn about ecology and the environment. Few places in the city provide better resources for active learning about our natural world and the issues we face in preserving it than our parks.

Coastal Classroom provides young people (4th grade and up) and community members of all ages opportunities to “get their feet wet” in some of New York’s coastal hot spots. Situated within the Long Island Sound watershed, participants delve into New York City’s waterfront and explore the world beneath the waves through exciting, meaningful programming. See the present state of our water resources and get a glimpse into the challenges of future preservation efforts.

Seed to Trees (1st Grade to 4th Grade)

Since 1992, Seeds to Trees: A Field Based Environmental Education Program for Public Schools has introduced NYC children to science and nature in the urban environment through classroom activities and unparalleled field experiences. Seeds to Trees reinforces core academic skills while continually experimenting with new models and strategies.

Seeds to Trees Early Childhood Program: City Parks Education’s interdisciplinary nature and science pilot is specifically designed for children who are 3-4 years old. This program emphasizes science observation, sensory awareness, creative expression, literacy and analytical skills development. In a series of 3-5 sessions, plant and animal themes are introduced via songs, stories, movement and craft projects.

Seeds to Trees for Elementary Schools (1st-4th Grades): Seeds to Trees offers an inquiry-based, dynamic program in the span of four months—either in the fall or in the spring. The program includes lessons on topics relating to the natural environment and environmental stewardship, such as learning about the forest ecosystem and the effects of pollution on the health of a forest and the water supply, among other topics.

Learning Gardens

Learning Gardens brings garden-based learning to NYC schoolchildren and community members. UsingNYC Parks gardens, we present engaging interdisciplinary lessons in core subjects. Students in grades pre-K – 8 and their teachers receive learning materials, curricula, and tools to enhance their use of the gardens.

The environmental education idea is simple: build a communal garden, combine it with a series of wonderful lessons, and then invite community members—schools, senior and day care centers, families, and organizations—to work on their gardens and cultivate valuable benefits.

We serve over 2,850 community members, children, and teachers through school, out-of-school and summer programs. The program is open to groups that are within close proximity to (e.g. close walking distance) the gardens. All scheduled classes, workshops, and events take place in local parks: at Grove Hill Community Playground in the Bronx, the Umoja Community Garden in Brooklyn, in Liberty Park in Jamaica, Queens.


Youth Made Media

Youth Made Media (YM2) is a multimedia/technology after school program offering video production training, media literacy, new media, academic support and life skills training. Launched in 2004 out of the Red Hook Recreation Center in Brooklyn, Youth Made Media expanded in 2009 to operate in all five boroughs.

 During the school year, the program is open from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; in the summer, we conduct an Intensive Summer Institute, four days per week, to train youth in all aspects of production.

Through multifaceted activities, these programs help kids discover their unique talents and aptitudes, while mastering valuable technology skills and exploring careers and workplaces. Participants gain experience in using a broad range of standard and specialized industry software for video and sound editing. These programs provide a safe space where teens can share with one another, develop leadership skills, forge a group identity, and serve their community.



Additional Information

Program Details and Information for School Groups Available Below

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Admisson and Location Hours

We connect teachers, students and families through hands-on classroom, after school and teacher-training programs in parks, schools and Recreation Centers across New York City. Annually, our programs reach 7,500 students and community members and 600 teachers.


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