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 Tuesdays through 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.
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 the beginning of Newtown Creek Nature Walk entrance 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. We will then head up to 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.
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.
Marine Ecology Investigation
Grades: 4th-12th, Capacity: 20 Students
This 1.5 hour program will take place on the bulkhead of Kingsland Wildflowers property 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: 520 Kingsland Avenue Bulkhead
This program take place on the paved shore of the creek behind Kingsland Wildflowers. It is fully accessible and has two picnic tables for students to work at. Facilities can be found in Kingsland Wildflowers building on either the 3rd or 4th floor, accessible by elevator.
Climate Change Adaptations Tour
Grades: 6th-Adult, Capacity: 30 Students
This 2 hour tour takes place in Hunters Point Park in Long Island City, beginning at the Gantrys at 50th Ave, and concluding at the southern tip of the park. Along the way participants will learn about the paths and influences of water through Earth’s ecosystems, and see how we can design resilience at the local level by centering both the water cycle and climate change’s impact on it.
Location Description: Hunters Point South Parks
Located in Long Island City 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.
Hunters Point Parks has a public bathroom and concession where food may be purchased at certain times. This is a public park so groups must be respectful of park rules and other park-goers. Trips to Hunter’s Point South Park may be done in partnership with our partners at the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy. Check their website for more activities and other ways to get involved in the park.
Create Your Own
Can’t find what you are looking for? Need another time slot? Select this option 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.