New York City Urban Field Station

University Partnerships

Environmental Education:
Trans-disciplinary Approaches to Addressing Wicked Problems - Global online course from Cornell University features case study and lecture from NYC UFS researchers


University of Maryland Program for Society and the Environment creates a hub for social scientists and students who study all aspects of the society-environment relationship and will help the university to be a force in fostering greater understanding of human relations and the natural environment.

K12 Education

[phtot:] Former Forest Service Chief, Abigail Kimball, explores the forest with Harlem Link students.

The New York City Urban Field Station (UFS) has supported environmental education initiatives throughout the city:


The Forest Service also participates in Green Connections, a partnership program linking upstate and downstate students in the New York City watershed. Classes connect through letters, emails, videos, and shared curricula. Topics focus on watersheds, drinking water, and forest management in the watershed.

NYC Urban Field Station staff partnered with East New York Farms! (ENYF) to evaluate their Youth Internship Program alumni, as part of a project that received support from Northern Research Station Civil Rights Special Project funding. ENYF is a program of United Community Centers, and runs an intensive 9-month internship program for local youth ages 13-18 in Brooklyn, NY. Interns grow food in community gardens using sustainable methods, collaborate with adult gardeners to run two farmers’ markets, and participate in workshops to help them understand the context of their work. The evaluation addressed alumni outcomes, attitudes, and behaviors after taking part in the ENYF internship for at least one year, and found that the amount of time spent in the internship positively impacted alumni attitudes and behaviors around aspects of Food, Health, Environment, and Community.

The New York City UFS developed the Bronx Youth Urban Forestry Empowerment Program to give underserved youth from the Bronx a sustained, hands-on education in tree care, tree identification, tree pit gardening, tree inventories , parkland habitat restoration, and outdoor recreational activities.  It was funded through a 2008 More Kids in the Woods Grant. Partners include:  Trees New York, NYC Housing Authority Garden and Greening ProgramMosholu Montefiore Community CenterRocking the Boat, and the Black Rock Forest Consortium. This paid internship program aimed to increase the students’ understanding of their local environment and related social issues by empowering them to become stewards of and advocates for their community’s urban environment, starting with the landscape at the Soundview public housing development in the Bronx and moving outward to local and regional open space resources. This hands-on program is also intended to enhance students’ reading, critical thinking, work readiness and problem-solving skills. Download the evaluation report (pdf) from this project to learn more.

Jointly with the Harlem Link Charter School, the UFS created a Nature Fieldwork Partnership that brought the elementary school’s students to forests, wetlands, and restoration sites throughout the New York City region. This project was successfully funded through the 2007 “More Kids in the Woods” program. The overarching goal of this partnership is for urban students to have a meaningful, hands-on learning experience on public lands that will hopefully make a lifelong impression. In addition, Harlem Link students experienced large, natural environments through physical activity--walking or hiking—which was a second main goal of the partnership. For elementary grades, walking lends itself to scientific exploration. The children have a natural curiosity for increasing their environmental knowledge and wanted to learn the names of various trees and plants and their environmental benefits.
The “Neighborhood Tree Project” was created by Council on the Environment of New York City for P.S. 45 on Staten Island, NY, and was supported by the NYC Urban Field Station with funding from the Forest Service Civil Rights Initiative.  The Neighborhood Tree Project introduced youth in kindergarten through 5th grade to the urban forest through structured lesson plans and field- based learning about trees.  Students learned to identify, classify, and measure trees and applied observational, science, math, logic, and writing skills.