2018-10-03 / Features

Programs Supported By Greener NYC Initiative Outlined


Council Member Costa Constantinides, chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, joined with environmental advocates and education groups in continued support of programs funded under the Greener NYC initiative. Council Member Costa Constantinides, chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, joined with environmental advocates and education groups in continued support of programs funded under the Greener NYC initiative. Council Member Costa Constantinides, chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, joined with environmental advocates and education groups on September 25 in continued support of programs funded under the Greener NYC initiative.

“Our future leaders will face new climate demands, which is why it’s on us to make sure they’re as prepared as possible,” said Council Member Constantinides. “I was thrilled to see the Greener NYC initiative expand this year under Speaker Corey Johnson and Finance Chair Daniel Dromm, enabling us to support constructive organizations dedicated to educating people of all ages about our environment. As we recognize Climate Week, it’s crucial to salute their contributions to making a Greener New York City and a Greener Queens.”

“The future of our planet depends on what actions we take today to fight and mitigate the effects of climate change. Cutting carbon emissions is a critical step toward having a greener city. As we are marking Climate Week, programs supported by the Greener NYC initiative will help spread awareness of the importance of protecting our globe. I am happy that the City Council expanded Greener NYC by $510,000 in this year’s budget, and applaud the efforts by Council Member Constantinides and the advocates on this vital initiative,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.

The Greener NYC initiative saw a $510,000 increase in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget, giving each Council Member $70,000 for sustainability projects, green job training, and environmental education. Constantinides was joined at the Urban Upbound office at the Astoria Houses that day by Bishop Mitchell Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Urban Upbound, and the groups he supports: the Alley Pond Environmental Center, Global Kids, Serious Fun After School, NY Sun Works, and BioBus.

The Douglaston-based Alley Pond Environmental Center received a $15,000 allocation, which will help this outdoor classroom continue providing educational programs for both children and adults. Since 1972, the Center has sought to teach its 60,000 annual visitors about the environment, as well as protect the gorgeous ecology of Alley Pond Park.

“The Greener New York Initiative is a wonderful program that allows Alley Pond Environmental Center, for the past several years, to extend our reach to more students while fulfilling our mission on the importance of educating children and adults on the importance of protecting and preserving the natural world around us,” said Irene Scheid, executive director of the Alley Pond Environmental Center.

Global Kids received $20,000 in this year’s budget, which took effect in July, to continue empowering tomorrow’s leaders. The nonprofit co-hosts the Ditmars Park Youthmarket with Council Member Constantinides, which runs from 8 am to 3 pm every Saturday until Nov. 17, located on Steinway Street between Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue. Young local residents working at the market gain both management experience and learn about the locally sourced produce they’re selling.

Four schools in District 22 will receive hydroponic labs programming and materials thanks to a $25,000 allocation Constantinides secured for New York Sun Works. Students at PS 70, PS 122, PS 84, and IS 126 will receive hands-on experience about nutrition, biology, technology, and agriculture.

“NY Sun Works hydroponic classrooms have a unique ability to boost hands-on science education in our schools, and we are very grateful to partner with Council Member Constantinides on this effort. Thanks to his leadership these students will learn about STEM, nutrition, and planetary health as we all work towards Growing a Greener NYC!” said Sidsel Robards, NY Sun Works director of development.

“Investing in our children’s education is investing in the future of our planet, and Council Member Constantinides has proven his commitment to future generations through his continued support to schools in his district. With NY Sun Works partnership, teachers will access innovative science and sustainability curriculum already aligned to the 2018 NYC Science Scope and Sequence standards. It is proven that higher order thinking, academic performance and student engagement improve with exposure to this type of program. We are honored to be part of Astoria’s greener future,” said Manuela Zamora, NY Sun Works executive director.

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