East River State Park Summer Series Season Finale Celebration

On Saturday, October 3rd, we held our last East River State Park Summer Series event of the 2015 season. With us to celebrate were students from the Green School (participating in our Youth Leadership Intensive), Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG), and some very special guests: river birch and hackberry trees, donated by WECAN (Women’s Climate Action Agenda) for the event.

One of the birches had traveled from across the East River, where it was part of WECAN’s event on September 29th and the United Nations Church Center: Women Speak: Climate Justice on the Road to Paris and Beyond (which featured a host of powerful and inspiring women leaders, including Mary Robinson, Jacqui Patterson, Patricia Gualinga, and Osprey Orielle Lake).

Digging into the ground was also a very effective history lesson (not to mention a good workout): a few inches below the surface, we started to discover interesting items, including bricks, metal wires, a doorknob, and a giant tire. Park Manager Andrew Bogardt noted that, until a few years ago, when the current of the East River drove it further out, one could see an entire Fiat car hanging out at low tide. Ryan Kuonen, who led our tour, explained that the whole area of the Park used to be a site of heavy industry and shipping, so when the Park was created in 2007, tons of clean dirt had to be shipped in to put on top of the existing detritus. Even more interesting: the land around the Park didn’t used to exist at all, but ended at giant sand dunes approximately where Kent Avenue is today.

Getting our hands dirty while learning more about how that dirt came to be there seemed a fitting culmination of our first (hopefully of many) Summer Series. You can check out all the events we had below, and we are so grateful to all the organizations and individuals that led workshops, volunteered with us, and helped make the East River State Park just a little more awesome, including (but not limited to):

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation, New York City Department of Parks, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Citizens Committee of New York, Sustainable CUNY, Friends Seminary, Morgan Stanley, OptiMedia, Open Space Alliance of North Brooklyn, Brooklyn DayHab, Temple of Understanding, Teens in Action, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, NYC Compost Project hosted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Billion Oyster Project and the New York Harbor School, Urban Soils Institute, the City Parks Foundation, Ride Brooklyn, and all the trees, bushes, flowers, bees, fishes, birds, and mammals that make this Park what it is!


History of East River State Park (with WECAN and Neighbors Allied for Good Growth)


Oysters 101 (with Billion Oyster Project)

Tree Care Tuesday

DIY Bike Repair (with Ride Brooklyn)


Water Explorations

Tree Care Tuesday

Back to the Future of Water (with City Parks Foundation)

Fishing Clinic


Let the Sun Shine In (with Sustainable CUNY)

Tree Care Tuesday

DIY Rainwater Harvesting (with Citizens Committee for NY)

How Green Is Your Clean (with the Urban Soils Institute)


Bird, It’s a Plane!

Tree Care Tuesday

Bugging out (with the NYC Compost Project)

Fishing Clinic


Riverkeeper Sweep (with Riverkeeper)

Tree Care Tuesday

Grow Your Green Thumb

Local Plants and Animals


Meeting (and making) new Friends

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