For all of our volunteers, supporters, and partners, here is a quick look back at some of the highlights and accomplishments from 2023:
Expanding the NCA Team
We hired three new staff members (Krista, Gus, and Musa) in the spring allowing us to expand out operations, public and horticulture events, and educational programming. And we are back at it, check out our two current job openings: Community Engagement Coordinator and Part-time Environmental Educator!
A Record Year for Educational Programming
We hosted 110 separate field trips (2800+ students total) to Newtown Creek this year; the vast majority offered at no cost to Title 1 public schools. Check out this fun reel for some of the highlights!
500+ volunteers helped restore the Creek at 34 separate cleanup and horticulture events. In total we removed 13,000+ lbs of trash from areas near the Creek, and 4,800+ lbs of non-native plants for compost collection.
2,900+ individuals engaged through public programming like Kingsland Wildflowers Open Hours, Greenhouse Gang, Lost Bridges Series, Creek Critters, English Kills Series, Tree Care Events, The Fairy Rings Series, Autumn Saturdays and more!
We launched our on-site Greenhouse this year, growing 1,000+ native plants from locally collected seeds. Plants were up-potted and either used for NCA restoration work or offered to the community through our Newtown Native Nursery.
No More Pollution Please
On land and water, we documented and reported over a dozen environmental violations to agencies for investigation, including spills, seeps, and illegal dumping. We also began setting up wildlife cameras around the Creek to monitor activities
Tomorrow’s Environmental Leaders
Our 2023 Urban Heat Island Fellows documented extreme heat conditions in the Maspeth Industrial Business Zone and proposed real solutions relating to green infrastructure, transportation, and land use.
Art on the Creek
A number of artists created Creek inspired works this year, many of which NCA helped sponsor and support! Some of our favorites include: Newtown Odyssey ; Mespaetches Dynamic Listening ; Newtown Creek Stickers ; Superfund Soliloquies ; River Watchers.
If it Bleeds…
We received prominent media coverage of Creek related issues this year including: An Earth Day piece by WNYC; CBS covering 45 years since the oil spill; NY1 talking about storm surge barriers and green infrastructure to name a few.
As is the case every year, we rely on key partnerships to expand our advocacy and educational work as well as increase outreach. In 2023 this included:
+ Launching the Queens Landing Boathouse and Environmental Center with Hunters Point Parks Conservancy (project lead) and North Brooklyn Community Boathouse
+ Expanding the RAIN Coalition, increasing advocacy, and executing weekly rain garden maintenance (3400+ lbs of trash removed by NCA staff in 2023)
+ Leading the Kingsland Wildflowers partnership and delivering public programming, field trips, and unique events like the Annual Kingsland Wildflowers Festival.
+ Planting native salt marsh grasses in the Wetland Frames with LaGuardia Community College
+ Participating in a number of key coalitions and issues pertaining to our mission, such as the Newtown Creek CAG, National Grid Rate Case, USACE Harbor and Tributaries Study (HATS), Meeker CAG, Last Mile Coalition, and Forest for All NYC.
We are very excited for what 2024 has in store! If you would like to support our work with a tax-deductible donation you can do so here.