Junior Litter League logo depicting a trash can with NYC Parks logo on it in front of criss-crossed trash grabber tools

Jr. Litter League

Does your team have what it takes to keep our city clean? Sign up today for the Jr. Litter League, a new citywide competition and youth service program. Your team will help care for local parks, learn about the importance of the environment, and win fun prizes!

How to Compete

Through the Jr. Litter League, teams of up to 15 students and three adult leaders volunteer to pick up litter in a local park. Submit the amount of litter you collect each week—and see how your team is doing compared to others across the city!  There is no limit to the number of clean-ups teams can run.

Schedule

Litter League season officially kicks off April 1 and runs through June 11. Registration is open through May 1.

Eligibility

The Jr. Litter League is open to teams of school classes, afterschool clubs, and youth organizations. Teams should have a minimum of seven participants, and all children on the team must be age 10 or older. Volunteer hours can be counted towards service-learning requirements.

Students place cardboard trash into a bag while on a volunteer cleanup at a City beach.

Results

Registration for Jr. Litter League is now closed. Thank you to all the teams that have registered for the competition! All participating teams can review the current standings and prize information below.

Standings

Thank you to every team that has registered! Below, you can find a list of the current standings for every team that has participated in at least one clean-up as of May 5, 2021. If you believe the standings are incorrect, please contact your program facilitator.

Team Borough School Level Amount
Team Pollution Solution Brooklyn Elementary School 1,716 lbs
BFS green Brooklyn Elementary School 15 lbs
Mrs. Rasidakis' Class Queens Elementary School 20 lbs
Mrs. Yegros' Class Queens Elementary School 20 lbs
PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP Brooklyn Middle School 309 lbs
364FalconsFriends Brooklyn Middle School 130 lbs
Liberty Avenue MS Brooklyn Middle School 26 lbs
FCYP/MXCIA Manhattan High School 1,091 lbs
LESP Dragons Manhattan High School 224 lbs
Team FIHS Queens High School 127 lbs

Prizes

All teams can earn baseball cards throughout the program as specific targets are reached. Prizes will be awarded to winning teams at the Elementary, Middle and High School levels by borough. Citywide winners will also be crowned in each level.  Teams must complete at least four hours of volunteering to be considered for the competition.

Borough Winners

Borough can select a prize from one of the options below.

With the Urban Park Rangers
  • See our parks like never before—from the water! Get free paddling lessons led by our Urban Park Rangersin the gentle protected waters of our lakes.

    The group is given instructions on how to safely operate the canoe before exploring the water wonders of NYC Parks. Participants must fit securely into a personal floatation device. Recommended for ages 8 and older.

  • Want to go fishing but don’t know how or where to start? OurUrban Park Rangerswill teach youhow to properly use a fishing rod or cast a net. Our experienced Rangers teach the ethics of fishing and the ecology of our waterways. All equipment will be provided. Recommended for ages 8 and older.

  • Be prepared for anything! Learn tips and tricks for navigating and surviving in the wild from our expert Urban Park Rangers. Learn how to build a shelter, build a fire, use a compass and more.

  • Meet some of the live creatures that the Urban Park Rangers care for! You’ll get to see the animals up close and in person, hear a little about the animal and ask questions. Animals may include box turtles, snakes, walking sticks, aquatic turtles, hissing cockroaches and more. Program can also be offered virtually at your request.

  • The"Horse of Course" program, offered by NYC Parks’ Mounted Enforcement Patrol unit, gives students an up close look at parks’ ‘tallest’ officers. The program covers the history of the horse,the evolution of the modern-day equine, its behavior, and its role over the centuries, shaping everything from agriculture to war.

    PEP officers also share how they keep the horses fit and healthy and well-behaved so they are able to deal safely with the public.

    Participants are, of course, invited to pet the horse!

Other Prizes
  • Do you have what it takes to be a tree climber or pruner? Find out in this close up look at what’s involved from a Parks tree expert.

    Tree climbers and pruners do all types of work for the New York City trees. Theymaintain healthy treesand removedtreesthat have reached the end of their life span. They climb treesusing ropesand harnesses;theyclimb in and out of an aerial lift device (bucket truck); operate a chainsaw; operatechippers, loaders, and stump grinders; and work outdoors in all kinds of weather, includingresponding to big storms.In fact, tree work is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the country.

  • The Randall’s Island Garage is the headquarters of NYC Parks’ vehicle fleet. It services more than 600 Parks and 300 Department of Environmental Protection vehicles, coordinates towing operations, receives new vehicles, and services the Agency's small equipment.

  • Take a tour of the 45,000 square foot green roof at Randall’s Island, the only known green roof in the country to feature dozens of unique green roof systems side-by-side. These systems varyby type of growing medium, depth of growing medium, and plant selection. Since 2007, the roof has served as an experimental station for green roof design and construction, monitoring and comparing the performance of many different systems. You’ll be amazed at what you see and learn!

  • At 2,200 acres, Freshkills Park will be almost three times the size of Central Park and the largest park developed in New York City in over 100 years. Formerly the world’s largest landfill, this enormous park is developing gradually, with Schmul Park, Owl Hollow Soccer Fields and the 3.2 mile New Springville Greenway already open. The first on-landfill section, North Park, opens this year. Staff returns to the site this spring for kayak tours, nature walks and education programs to limited capacity. The park is still being built, and is scheduled to be opened in phases, over the next 15 years.

    Get a special preview of what this park will look like when complete!

  • The Greenbelt Native Plant Center is a 13-acre greenhouse, nursery, and seed bank complex which grows and provides native plants and seeds from local sources. It maintains on average astock of over 300,000 local trees, shrubs, vines, forbs, grasses and ferns housed in six greenhouses across four acres. It’s the only one of its kind in New York City!

  • Learn about some of the most interesting and unique jobs you can do from fields you may not have thought of or know little about (don’t know much about).Staff from the below areas will come together for a virtual career panel discussion where YOU get to ask the questions. Winners will be asked to select their top 3 interests from the below list.

    Staff from those areas with the most interest will be selected to participate in the discussion.

    • Blacksmith
    • Carpenter
    • Education (Environmental and Wildlife)
    • Enforcement
    • Forestry, Horticulture, and Natural Resources
    • Landscape Architecture
    • Legal
    • Marketing
    • Park Manager
    • Special Events
    • Urban Park Ranger
    • Urban Planning and Design
    • Youth Recreation
  • Did you know that Coney Island Creek waters are used byoysters, horseshoe crabs and many fish species? Explore the shoreline of Kaiser and/or Calvert Vaux Parks and to learn how we monitoroystergrowth and count horseshoe crabs. Our experienced staff will explain howoysters are cleaning our waters. You might get to see the many birds that arrive each spring at to fatten up on horseshoe crab eggs before migrating to Canada and even the Arctic.

  • Did you know the Bronx River is home to migratory fish? Each spring, river herring and American eel travel from the ocean to the Bronx River! Come tour our engineered fish passages in the Bronx River that allow these fish to swim up over a dam to continue their migration. Our staff will share the basics of river ecology and discuss how important the Bronx River is to the ecology of New York City. All equipment will be provided. Recommended for ages 8 and older. Fish passages are located in River Park, The Bronx.

Citywide Winners

Citywide winners may also choose one from the following:

  • Each spring and fall, NYC ParksNatural Resources Groupplants thousands of treesto expand and restore our city’s forests. To acknowledge your team’s achievement as a citywide winner of the Jr. Litter League, your team can select a forest where a grove of trees will be planted in yourhonor, one for each team member. Team members will receive photos from the tree planting and a commemorative certificate indicating the location of the grove, the tree species and the date planted.

  • As an acknowledgement of your team’s winning efforts to help NYC Parks remove litter in our parks, we’d like to honor your accomplishment with a 10-year bench adoption!

    NYC Parks has thousands of benches in all five boroughs.We will work with your team to selecta bench in a City park, with certain exceptions, and we will install a plaque recognizing your achievement with the following inscription:

    “Dedicated to Class XXX from The XXX School, the citywide elementary school winner of the Jr.Litter League 2021.”

  • More than 600,000 street trees make up part of New York City’s urban forest. To acknowledge your team’s achievement as a citywide winner of the Jr. Litter League, your team can select a street tree to receive a tree guard. A plaque will be installed on the tree guard with an inscriptionrecognizing your achievement:

    “Dedicated to Class XXX from The XXX School, the citywide elementary school winner of the Jr.Litter League 2021.”

Learn More

Want even more ways to get your team involved in our Parks? Here’s how you can help.

Become a Volunteer

Check out our Volunteer page to sign up for more projects, or to suggest your own!

Visit Parks@Home Jr.

With crafts, games, and virtual tours, visit our Parks@Home Jr. page to bring our parks to your home.

Visit Partnerships for Parks

Visit Partnerships for Parks' website to connect with an outreach coordinator to find out how to advocate for your local park

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