2022 was a benchmark year for NCA: we celebrated our 20th anniversary as an organization and made huge strides by expanding our educational and volunteer programming in scope and participation, and growing our full-time staff! We are so grateful to all our volunteers, community partners, supporters, donors and friends for making everything we do possible. In total, NCA engaged over 4,600 individuals in 2022 through a broad range of public and educational programming. Here is a quick look at some of the highlights from the past year in our efforts to Reveal, Restore, and Revitalize Newtown Creek:
Hosted 82 Environmental Education Field Trips (more than double last year!), directly engaging over 1,850 students in place-based and Creek-focused learning.
Organized 26 Cleanup and Horticulture Events around the Creek, providing hands-on opportunities for over 430 local volunteers to directly improve a variety of open spaces along the waterway.
Collected and disposed of over 10,000 lbs of trash and 6,000 lbs of organic debris through volunteer events and staff led cleanups.
Documented and reported 15 pollution issues impacting the health of Newtown Creek such as illegal dumping, illicit discharges, and oil spills directly to the Creek.
Planted over 380 native plants at sites around the Creek, including; public school garden, public access pollinator gardens, street-ends, and rain gardens (as part of the RAIN Coalition that we co-launched last year!).
Launched the first year of our Urban Heat Island Youth Fellowship Program, with 5 full-time research fellows investigating areas of LIC and Sunnyside for extreme heat issues and solutions over a 6-week period.
Hosted over 20 free public programs around the Creek, including; Open Hours at Kingsland Wildflowers, the Annual Kingsland Wildflowers Festival, numerous walking and biking tours, and the launch of a new free summer education program at the Nature Walk (Creek Critters) and our first bi-lingual (English/Spanish) community engagement series focused on the English Kills region.
Launched a partnership with Billion Oyster Project to increase filter feeder populations in Newtown Creek, including; surveying of wild oyster populations, increasing our marine ecology education programming, and planning for in-water restoration installations!
Honored three long-time Newtown Creek advocates, Christine Holowacz, Mitch Waxman, and John Lipscomb at our annual Tidal Toast benefit, celebrating 20 years of NCA!
We look forward to having you join us in 2023 for more events, advocacy, and hands-on work to improve the ecological conditions around Newtown Creek and better connect the surrounding communities to this invaluable waterway. To help support our work, please consider making a donation today!