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Inwood Hill Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, August 4, 2003


On Wednesday, July 30, Parks & Recreation received a big gift. At a ceremony at Manhattan’s Inwood Hill Park, the award of $100,000 for the Parks Conservation Corps (PCC) was announced, in addition to $100,000 that went to the Department of Education’s (DOE) Fund for Public Schools. Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe was joined by columnist Liz Smith, Deputy Mayor for Administration Patricia E. Harris, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein and Bruce Doniger, a longtime supporter of PCC. Ms. Smith raised more than $200,000 through her nationally syndicated columns to benefit New York City youth. The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York, the City’s not-for-profit, accepted the donations made in honor of Ms. Smith’s 80th birthday.

"The tremendous response from people across the country is a testament to the high regard in which Liz Smith is held," noted Deputy Mayor Harris. "It is a stellar example of how everyone can make a difference—how the public and private sectors can work together to make the City a better place."

The $100,00 grant to Parks & Recreation is funding six PCC teams of eight high school students and one college student each. PCC is an employment opportunity program that combines park restoration with environmental education. A team of New York City high school students, participating in PCC at Inwood Hill Park, were building a trail during last week’s ceremony and were helped by the officials.

Created in 1995, PCC gives high school students a structured summer work experience focusing on urban ecology. These teams, working in parks throughout the city, are helping restore forests, wetlands and trails; propagate and plant native plants; and collect ecological data. Another team, funded through the Butler Foundation, are serving as adventure counselors at the Alley Pond Park Adventure Program, an outdoor recreation and education program for children. The entire PCC program is privately funded, and participants are selected through an application process. The high school students earn $5.75 an hour and the college student team leaders earn $11.00 an hour.

In addition to the project experience, PCC members receive lessons in CPR and First Aid; conflict resolution and team building; and natural science topics such as forest ecology and soil structure. The five-week program concludes with the PCC Career and Education Day, where each team presents their summer accomplishments and learns about future careers in the environment.

The Fund for Public Schools, which secures contributions for New York City’s public schools, designated the $100,000 grant for training Parent Coordinators as part of the DOE’s larger effort to more fully involve parents in their children’s education. The DOE’s new parent involvement strategy will significantly improve the way parents are served throughout the system, implementing programs designed to encourage and support sustained, meaningful parental participation.

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York (MFANY), formerly New York City Public/Private Initiatives, Inc., is a private, not-for-profit corporation established in 1994 to develop partnerships between the City of New York and the private sector. MFANY works closely with the Mayor's Office and other City agencies to identify opportunities for such collaboration within municipal government and then to forge relationships with appropriate private sector entities, whether corporations or individuals.


"In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing."

Norman Maclean


Directions to Inwood Hill Park

Know Before You Go

Nature CentersInwood Hill Nature Center

Due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, this facility is closed until further notice.

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