Over 200 NYC middle school students, teachers, and guidance counselors enjoyed the 21st Green Horizons event on October 20th, 2016 in Central Park. New York City’s annual environmental and natural resources careers day continues to provide a free and hands-on experience for young people, working directly with professionals who volunteer their time to introduce careers they love.
Rotating around the five boroughs, Green Horizons is intensely collaborative, combining the strengths of governmental agencies at all levels, private corporations, and not-for-profit organizations. This year, the host organization was Central Park Conservancy; 20 stations were sited around the Harlem Meer in the northern part of the Park. Among the various offerings, students learned about urban forestry, arboriculture, horticulture, landscape planning, geology, meteorology, entomology, wetlands management, and water quality monitoring.
The topic of trees has been a winner from the beginning. This year, All about Trees! was conducted by NYSDEC Senior Forester Greg Owens and Council Past President Andy Hillman of Davey Resource Group, assisted by Environmental Educator Kaari Casey of City Parks Foundation. A proper planting demo, intro to tree ID, and tree inventory activity were part of the mix. Hillman showed the students how to use a D-tape and calipers to measure trees and talked about why an urban forest tree inventory is done and how it can be used. He also shared with the students interesting findings from the recently completed NYC tree census.
Arborists from the Bartlett Tree Expert Company conducted Arbor Rx and trained staff from Brooklyn Botanic Garden led their usual stations of Climbing and Pruning Trees and Lifting “Impossible” Weights by Using the Laws of Physics. The challenges of ALB and EAB were once again presented by professionals from APHIS.
For the first time this year, students were given a take-away careers booklet to help them choose high schools, curriculum subjects and, eventually, college and post-high-school training. Green Horizons Careers in the Environment and Natural Resources was made possible by financial donations over the years by the Bartlett Tree Expert Company, Davey Tree Expert Company, Con Edison, and NYSDEC. The design of the booklet by Leslie Kameny was supported by the Bartlett Tree Expert Company.
Green Horizons 2017 will soon be planned and is expected to be in the Bronx next October.
—Nancy Wolf, Environmental Education Consultant and Facilitator of Green Horizons