Due to its challenging history and the many restoration efforts in its watershed, the Newtown Creek is a unique waterway that lends itself to the place-based learning experience as an example of the impact humans can have on the natural world. Through our STEM based curriculum and stewardship driven activities, learners will understand the Creek’s history, habitats and inhabitants, incorporating hands-on learning and ultimately connecting the subjects with aspects of environmental justice, climate action and their own lives.
NCA hosts private groups from Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for school groups, clubs, summer camps, and other types of educational groups. We offer programing to any age but ask that K – 2nd graders have the appropriate ratio of chaperones. A standard tour can accommodate up to 30 participants for a 2-hour visit, with the ability to host larger groups for longer periods of time with enough notice.
Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof Exploration
Grades: 1st – Adult, Capacity: 35 Students
This 1.5 hour long program takes place solely on the Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roofs. This tour is perfect for ages K-5th and has the capacity of 30 students. Through these workshops, participants are able to investigate the qualities that make a healthy and successful ecosystem.
They will be introduced to specific fauna and flora while exploring concepts such as biodiversity, seasonal changes, cycles of nature, native vs. non native and ways in which humans have and continue to change our urban ecology. Seasonal activities may include plant walks, plant structures, pollination and insect identification, soil explorations, seed collecting, and flora and fauna identification.
Location Description: Kingsland Wildflowers at Broadway Stages
NCA manages this unique 25,000 square foot green roof that is home to an abundance of native plants and insects. The roof provides incredible views of Manhattan and the heavy industrial zones both next door and in the distance.
The views, and our place atop a rare green roof full of native plants, creates an opportunity for conversation and education around New York City’s conservation efforts, green infrastructure initiatives and policy, and our role in the growing climate crisis.
This building is a shared space between Kingsland Wildflower partners and film and television production company. There are multiple bathrooms and sinks to fill waters available at Kingsland Wildflowers. Kingsland Wildflowers space can accommodate 30 students max. If there are more students in your group, please contact us for the best way to proceed.
Accessibility: To access the community space (4th floor) there are 3.5 flights of stairs or an elevator in the lobby. The elevator can also reach the top floor (5th floor) although there is a step up to be able to walk around the main meadow. The roof’s paths are made of large slabs of stone that at times can be uneven. Please make a note on the sign up sheet if you have any additional questions about accessibility.
Urban Waterways and Green Infrastructure Tour
Grades: 4th – Adult, Capacity: 40 Students
This 2 hour long program will include both the Newtown Creek Nature Walk as well as Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roofs. We have found that Nature Walk tours are best with groups of 35 or less. If there are more students in your group, please contact us for the best way to proceed.
The tour will start at Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof where we can discuss the importance of green infrastructure, stormwater management, and creating habitat with greenspaces all while taking in an entirely different view of the creek and its surroundings. Then we will head to the Newtown Creek Nature Walk where we will walk along the Nature Walk stopping throughout to discuss water quality, the history of the Creek, modern waste and consumption, and CSO challenges.
Note: This program has a different start and end point.
Location Description: Newtown Creek Nature Walk
Located in Greenpoint, this Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)- open public art space offers your group a scenic, meandering walk along the bank of the Creek, full of historical and artistic artifacts that easily spark conversations about water quality, the history of the creek, modern waste and consumption, and CSO challenges.
Accessibility: The Newtown Creek Nature Walk is wheel friendly although can have some uneven surfaces including small gravel, brick, and soil. There are two water fountains closer to the Kingsland Ave entrance, multiple trash cans and picnic benches, but no bathrooms. Please make a note on the sign up sheet if you have any additional questions about accessibility.
Marine Ecology Investigation
Grades: 4th-12th, Capacity: 20 Students
This 1.5 hour program will take place at the Queens Landing Boathouse and Environmental Center and is for smaller groups who would like a more in-depth program about water quality, our watershed, and the local marine ecology.
This program will include water related activities such as analyzing data, measuring water’s physical characteristics; dissolved oxygen, turbidity, temperature, pH, and salinity as well as learning how our findings impact our city, quality of life, and human and marine life health. Groups will be able to use tools such as plankton tows, microscopes, hand lenses, and water testing tools.
Location Description: Queens Landing Boathouse and Environmental Center
We welcome groups to our brand new space , Queens Landing Boathouse and Environmental Education Center right on the shore where the fast-moving East River and the calm mouth of Newtown Creek meet. This program will take place in both the classroom as well as by the shore of Newtown Creek.
Accessibility: Queens Landing meets ADA accessibility standards. The space is all one floor, has one large bathroom, and sinks for water refills. Please make a note on the sign up sheet if you have any additional questions about accessibility.
Climate Change Adaptations Tour
Grades: 6th-Adult, Capacity: 30 Students
This 2 hours tour takes place in Hunters Point Park in Long Island City. The tour begins and ends at the band new Queens Landing Boathouse and Environmental Center. From there, we will set off on a walk through Hunters Point Park discussing how history, climate change, water cycle and fight on pollution has influenced the design of the park. Topics of landscape design, horticultural choices, water quality, and future projects will be introduced through examples in the park creating a memorable and unique leaning experience.
Location Description: Hunters Point South Parks
We welcome groups to our brand new space , Queens Landing Boathouse and Environmental Education Center where we start our tour of Hunters Point Park located where the fast-moving East River and the calm mouth of Newtown Creek meet. This park has the first public access point to the Creek in Queens and is designed to provide coastal habitat for wildlife and incorporate resilient design strategies that address stormwater management, rising sea levels, and pressures related to increasing density.
Accessibility: Hunters Point Park has wide and even paved paths throughout the park. Stairs can be avoided if needed. There are public restrooms, water fountains, and shade available. Please make a note on the sign up sheet if you have any additional questions about accessibility.
Create Your Own
Can’t find what you are looking for? Need another time slot? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work with you to create a program that is right for your group.
*Fully subsidized field trips are available thanks to the generous support from Con Edison.