NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Daily Plant Masthead

Volume XXVII, Number 5715
Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012

The Citywide Green Teens Program: 2012 Summer Highlights (Part II)

Teens who become involved in Parks’ Citywide Green Teens Program do not just receive community service credit for participation; they become immersed in environmental stewardship. From collecting bags of recyclables, picking up litter in the parks, planting and caring for trees, removing non-native invasive plants, promoting a public recycling initiative, learning about composting, conducting energy audits and creating anti-litter videos for a PSA contest, the Green Teens made 2012 a summer hard to forget.

In fact, this year marked the first citywide expansion of the Green Teens program. Due to internal and external partnerships amongst Public Programs, Operations, Capital Projects, Computer Resource Centers, MillionTreesNYC, City Parks Foundation, Department of Sanitation and Solar 1, we were able to provide an enriching summer learning experience to the 217 teenagers from the five boroughs. From 2011 to 2012, the number of Green Teens sites doubled from 10 to 21 and included recreation centers and parks. At these sites, teens managed to collect 2,167 bags of litter and recyclables, adopt 65 trees, and display nine PSA videos at 51 screenings reaching 10,200 viewers!

Yesterday, we provided information on projects in Brooklyn and on Staten Island. Here are some of the highlights from this past summer in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx.

This summer, eight Manhattan Green Teens teamed up with Capital Projects and took part in a five-week design workshop guided by Landscape Architect Christopher M. Crowley. Students visited several sites collecting photos of existing park work throughout Manhattan. The catalog of photos became the pallet of material in which students borrowed from to create a new design for the playground in Battery Park, a site long overdue for reconstruction. “From a beginning of knowing nothing about park design, I was amazed with what we produced in just a five week period,” said Crowley.

In northern Manhattan, under PRM Terese Flores, Green Teens got their hands dirty in a pilot project to analyze the impact of public recycling. The teens helped conduct waste audits by sorting through trash and recycling in Dyckman Fields and Anne Loftus Playground. Read more about this project on the Green Teens Blog at .

The Green Teens in Queens had an excellent summer. Summer youth employment participants assisted with the following parks projects: anti-litter and recycling, horticulture work, Forest Park trail restoration, redesigning the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Park, and learning how to conduct an energy audit at Lost Battalion Hall. The Queens Green Teens’ anti-litter and recycling efforts this summer resulted in 1,510 bags of litter and recyclables collected. The horticulture youth maintained 13 flowerbeds, potted over 1,000 plants, and helped create 250 tree pits. Landscape Architects Imelda Bernstein and Jane Couch and Interns Selma Quddus and Kari Sorensen taught the teens how to use Google sketch-up to create four designs for the NY State Pavilion. All of these efforts were displayed at the Green Teens exhibition, held on August 17, where the Green Teens received certificates for their hard work. To see all the great sustainable designs, please visit our Green Teens Blog and click Queens.

Ten teens from St. Mary's Recreation Center in the Bronx began their seven week program with the unique task of developing and designing a sustainable playground. After choosing Grant Park as the site for their sustainable playground, the teens were divided into groups creating designs and researching the history of the park. Parks Designer Renata Sokolowski introduced the teens to the role that Capital Projects play in designing parks and playgrounds in New York City as well as the development process of these parklands. During the course of the sustainable design workshop, the teens learned how to review a site analysis and develop a design scope for the playground on paper before transferring it to a 3-D design rendered through software.

Do you know someone who is between the ages of 13-17 years old and interested in serving his/her community by making it a cleaner and greener place to live? Email to learn more or to get involved in the Green Teens program at your local recreation center.

Submitted by Diana Benlevy


“The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

Cecil B. DeMille
(1881 - 1959)

E-mail this:


<< Back to Daily Plants Main.

Was this information helpful?