Donte Taylor talks about children’s programs at the New York Restoration Project
Donte Taylor is the Manhattan Regional Manager for the New York Restoration Project (NYRP), a non-profit committed to developing New York City’s green spaces. The NYRP runs many programs for children to help them learn about the environment, how to garden, and all about healthy eating. Here, Donte talks about the different ways NYRP helps kids.
Q: What kind of programs does the New York Restoration Project have for kids?
A: Well, one thing that NYRP does is run a summer camp at Swindler’s Cove in Inwood for kids ages –seven to 13. It’s free, but spots are very limited. Every year there is a certain theme for the camp, like healthy eating or learning about nature. Kids at the summer camp get a chance to go on educational trips to different parks run by the NYRP or the NYC Parks Department. For example, sometimes kids visit Orchard Beach in the Bronx.
One year, when the summer camp focused on healthy eating, the kids were given daily nutritional facts that help them learn how to eat right. They were taught how to cook good food. My daughter attended summer camp when healthy eating was the theme two years ago. At the end of the camp, she and the other kids were all given a cooking set to bring home and use.
Q: Does NYRP have any programs in schools?
A: We have our NYRP Environmental Education programs. As a part of the program, there are NYRP educators that work with different elementary and high schools in the five boroughs. The Environmental Educators are part of NYRP, and they go out to schools and teach kids how to grow their own food in the city and encourage students to discover local green spaces. The educators also bring school groups to High Bridge Park, Swindlers Cove, and Sherman Creek. The Environmental Education program has materials for teachers to use in the classroom to teach students about different environmental science topics. Teachers can also bring students on field trips to the NYRP’s 55 community gardens in the five boroughs as well as Swindler’s Cove.