CUNY Students Film Channel Thirteen Documentary

CUNY Students Film Thirteen’s Documentary Inspired by Ken Burns’ Epic National Parks Series in National Parks: New Yorkers’ Memories, Premiering September 27

Filmed By CUNY Students, Television And Web Content Profiles New Yorkers’ Life-Changing Adventures To America’s National Parks

From Yosemite to Acadia to the Florida Everglades, Ken Burns’ documentary series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea tells the story that America’s most special places should be preserved – not just for the rich and royalty, but for everyone. On Sunday, September 27 at 8pm, PBS will premiere Burns’ 12-hour, six-part series tracing the history and glory of the country’s National Parks over the past 150 years. To coincide with the premiere of The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, THIRTEEN brings the theme of America’s treasure to the New York area with a local documentary focusing on the inspiring stories of New Yorkers’ whose lives were changed after visiting one of the nation’s National Parks. National Parks: New Yorkers’ Memories premieres Sunday, September 27 at 10 pm on THIRTEEN.

National Parks: New Yorkers’ Memories is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG – one of America’s most prolific and respected media providers.

“This country has the most beautiful parks in the world,” exclaims Kadafi Marouf, a world traveler who has visited over 7 National Parks and is one of several New Yorkers featured in National Parks: New Yorkers’ Memories. Justin Yu, a self-proclaimed “bike-riding city-dweller,” also shares his memories – and astonishment – of being able to climb to the top of Yosemite’s Half Dome Mountain. David Rockefeller discusses his family’s influence in the development of the National Parks and world-famous rock climber Ivan Greene talks about scaling granite cliffs in Yosemite.

Shot primarily by three CUNY students, Daniel Cowen, from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter, Andres Otero, from CUNY Hunter, and Davi Santos, from Macaulay Honors College at Lehman, THIRTEEN’s National Parks: New Yorkers’ Memories is a unique collaboration with film students seeking a real-life, hands-on experience in television production. This is one of the first on-air and online projects shot entirely by students.

“This project would not have been possible without the help of the Friends of Thirteen, Inc. and the talented students at CUNY,” said Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET.ORG. “The quality of work by these three students is impressive. THIRTEEN is proud to offer unique opportunities like this to the next generation of filmmakers and journalists.”

To continue with Burns’ theme of America’s natural landscape, THIRTEEN will also premiere City of Parks on Sunday, September 27 at 10:30 pm, which explores the parks and monuments of New York Harbor from the perspective of local teens from the Brooklyn-based Reel Works Teen Filmmaking.

Visit to learn about National Parks: New Yorkers’ Memories, City of Parks, and to watch web-exclusive video diaries, produced in collaboration with New York’s National Parks Service, of visitors to the African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan.
National Parks: New Yorkers’ Memories is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG. Cyndee Readdean is producer. Daniel T. Allen is assistant producer.

About Macaulay Honors College

Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York offers an exceptional academic and co-curricular environment for engaged and motivated students, who come from all parts of New York and around the world. Macaulay students enroll in one of seven CUNY colleges (Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, Lehman, Queens and Staten Island). Through the unique Macaulay advising program each student develops a coordinated, individualized academic program that includes research, global learning, graduate and professional mentoring, community engagement, and close faculty-student collaboration.

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Rich Dikeman, Director of Communications
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New York public media company WNET.ORG is a pioneering provider of television and web content. The parent of THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and Creative News Group, WNET.ORG brings such acclaimed broadcast series and websites as Worldfocus, Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Wide Angle, Secrets of the Dead, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Visions, Consuelo Mack WealthTrack, Wild Chronicles, Miffy and Friends, and Cyberchase to national and international audiences. Through its wide range of channels and platforms, WNET.ORG serves the entire New York City metro area with unique local productions, broadcasts and innovative educational and cultural projects. In all that it does, WNET.ORG pursues a single, overarching goal – to create media experiences of lasting significance for New York, America and the world. For more information, visit

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