National Park Services and CUNY Inaugurate New Education Center

October 10, 2004 | College of Staten Island

The College of Staten Island (CSI) and Brooklyn College, of The City University of New York, are collaborating with the National Park Service (NPS) to develop the National Parks of New York Harbor (NPNH) Education Center that will serve a multi-faceted audience. This partnership will engage the K-12 student population of the New York Harbor region on both sides of the Hudson River, teachers of grades K-12, higher education faculty and students, non-formal educators and the community as a whole.

WHAT:
The National Parks of New York Harbor Education Center will officially open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the facility. Students will be engaged in hands on activities in two of the Center’s discovery rooms.

WHERE:
The National Parks of New York Harbor Education Center, located in Building 210 at historic Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island, NY.

WHEN:
Tuesday, October 19, 2004 at 10 a.m.

WHO:
The opening ceremony will be attended by officials from the National Park Service, Brooklyn College, the College of Staten Island, members of the New York City Board of Education and local elected officials.

Contacts:
Brian Feeney (NPS) 718-354-4602
Joe Fodor (Brooklyn College) 718-951-5882
Ken Bach (CSI) 718-982-2328

Directions:
Mass transit: S51 Bus from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal to the Fort Wadsworth entrance on Bay Street. From Brooklyn, S53 Bus. By car from Brooklyn: Verrazano Narrows Bridge to the Bay Street Exit. From Staten Island: Staten Island Expressway East to the Bay Street Exit. Turn left at the bottom of the ramp and proceed to Bay Street and the Fort Wadsworth entrance.

The Education Center serves the public as:
• An idea factory where university and NPS staff and educators design, develop, evaluate and implement innovative education programs
• A living laboratory where professionals study and promote environmental, historic and cultural education
• A community center where the public learns how to best protect and conserve natural systems and cultural resources
• A model educational facility, reaching out to diverse and under-represented groups by tailoring programs to their interests and needs
• A professional development center for NPS staff, university faculty, their students, and a wide variety of educators

Benefits of the Partnership
This partnership with Brooklyn College and the College of Staten Island enables the National Park Service to improve and increase opportunities for students, teachers, and the general public to better understand the heritage embodied in the NPNH sites. It creates a continuum of learning that lays the foundation for stewardship of our natural and historic resources now and into the future. As envisioned in the NPS Advisory Board report, Rethinking the National Parks for the 21st Century, the partnership enables the National Park System to offer “citizens of all ages opportunities to strengthen their connections to the environment and to renew their sense of wonder and appreciation for our democracy.”

Unique Assets of Each Partner
The College of Staten Island’s Discovery Institute provides a venue for the renewal and development of teaching for its vast network of new and experienced teachers.

Brooklyn College brings a distinguished faculty ready and eager to utilize the NPS resources for research and scholarship to stimulate student achievement and intellectual growth.

The National Parks of New York Harbor contain sites of significant American political and social history, are home to some of the enduring symbols of our country and showcase the importance of open space and the connection between ecological and urban systems. Using the real places, objects and real world issues of the parks, this partnership can become an effective force in the reform and renewal of the local school system.