JBRPC Invites Local Communities to Get Involved in Their Parks

For over a decade, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy (JBRPC) has been at the forefront of environmental stewardship, spearheading initiatives to preserve and enhance the natural beauty and ecosystem health of Jamaica Bay and its surrounding parks, and improve how local communities connect with these public parklands.

JBRPC has built collaborative relationships with public agencies, community groups, elected officials, and local stakeholders. With these groups, JBRPC has removed more than 50 tons of trash and debris from shorelines and parks, planted over 420,000 native plants and trees, and fostered environmental leadership in more than 100 young adults for potential careers in restoration and natural resources management. JBRPC has hosted 110,000 people at public programs and events – including our signature Jamaica Bay Festival and popular Discover series.

Central to JBRPC’s mission is its commitment to community involvement and education. Over the years, the organization has organized more than 230 stewardship events, mobilizing over 4,000 volunteers who have contributed their time and energy to preserving the natural beauty of Jamaica Bay.

JBRPC runs a very active education program that bridges the gap between community members and shorelines by immersing program participants in New York City’s dynamic coastal environments and cultivating a spirit of stewardship for our public lands. This academic year, we continued our work with local schools, engaging over 2,500 students from 26 Title 1 schools located in our catchment area.  Students participate in shoreline clean-ups, ecology exploration, and advocacy campaigns during our programs, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for the importance of conservation and sustainability. In partnership with Rangers at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge this spring, JBRPC launched a new early childhood family program series – Park Pals, which aims to engage families with young children in safe nature exploration.  Each month, Park Pals introduces a new theme to families through sensory and literacy activities, ranger-guided exploration of GNRA parklands, and conservation action.

One of the highlights of this year was the inaugural Floyd Bennett Field! Public Arts Festival, organized in partnership with the National Park Service, Gateway National Recreation Area. The Festival attracted over 2,000 visitors to celebrate the intersection of art and nature at the historic former airfield. Featuring original art films projected onto the façade of Hangars 3 & 4, the festival continued the tradition of showcasing creative talents in the community, following in the footsteps of renowned artists such as Patti Smith, Katharina Grosse, and Yayoi Kusama.

Looking ahead, JBRPC is paving the way for the next generation of environmental stewards through initiatives like the Wetland Fellowship program. With 12 individuals joining the workforce development program this year, the organization is empowering participants to become stewards of wetlands and natural areas, ensuring their preservation for future generations.

As summer approaches, JBRPC is gearing up to host a series of free public programs and events, inviting the community to immerse themselves in the beauty of Jamaica Bay and Rockaway parks. From Discover Jamaica Bay tours to community stewardship events and beach cleanups, and our signature Jamaica Bay Festival with dozens of events happening on July 13, there are countless opportunities for individuals to get involved and make a difference.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an aspiring environmentalist, or simply looking for a way to give back to your community, JBRPC welcomes you to join their efforts in preserving and protecting Jamaica Bay. For more information and to stay updated on upcoming events, visit www.jbrpc.org or follow JBRPC on social media.

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