The importance of teaching the next generation about protecting the environment is clearer now more than ever, and a new program run by the City Parks Foundation is doing just that by showing students how to study and evaluate the state of New York City’s precious natural resources. The program, called Green Girls, works with young girls in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades to provide hands-on environmental experience through science, technology, interactive games and field trips.

Green Girls program, environmental program queens, Oliver W. Holmes students, EnviroScape, I.S. 204, environmental programs nyc, nyc water quality, studying water quality, student environmental programs, environmenatl education for children, green design, nyc water quality, sustainable design, water studies nyc,Image via  City Parks Foundation

Green Girls is an after-school program that meets weekly from October through May. During the program, the students learn about the city’s natural resources and participate in various activities that focus on environmental education, ecology, biology, geology, zoology and even botany.

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Currently, 20 students from IS 204 Oliver W. Holmes are taking part in a curriculum that is focused on water quality and health. The group has been on-site taking samples from various water sources in NYC in order to assess dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, coliform bacteria and more.

Using an interactive large-scale watershed model called EnvironScape, the students simulated point-source and non-point pollution. “After using the model, students tested water from various water sources in the Long Island City community,” said Kaari Casey, lead educator for the “Green Girls” program. “Water samples were taken from Hallet’s Cove, Newtown Creek and tap water from IS 204.”

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Casey also explained to the Queens Tribune that the hands-on experience will not only help educate children about the environment, but will also have long-lasting effects on the health of NYC water sources. “After testing for nitrates, phosphates, coliform bacteria and pH, students concluded that the water in Newtown Creek was the most polluted. It tested high for levels of nitrates and phosphates, and tested positive for the presence of Coliform bacteria, which is indicative of the presence of raw sewage. The sample from Hallet’s Cove showed the presence of nitrates and phosphates, but tested negative for Coliform, and the tap water sample showed little to no nitrates, little to no phosphates and no presence of Coliform. These findings will help the ‘Green Girls’ develop an understanding of the importance of water quality and work towards preserving the health of NYC waterways.”

The program is open to girls in 6th, 7th and 8th grades and includes free weekly sessions at I.S. 204 in Long Island City Queens.

+ Green Girls

Via Queens Tribune

Lead image via Queens Tribune