Nature in the City is Baltimore Woods Nature Center’s K-6 science education program that links 11 Syracuse city schools with local parks and green spaces, connecting children to science using their own neighborhoods. Children learn by doing, from collecting samples of invertebrates from city streams, to observing birds in parks within walking distance of schools.
“Nature in the City is a unique model for nature centers and science education—we don’t bus students out to Baltimore Woods in Marcellus. Instead, we take students out in their own communities, teaching science in hands-on ways and forging bonds between children and their own green spaces. Syracuse has an abundance of parks for us all to enjoy and be proud of,” says Patty Weisse, Baltimore Woods’ Executive Director. The program not only increases students’ knowledge of science, but it gets children outside and encourages them to become stewards of their neighborhoods.
Each school has a corporate or foundation sponsor, and this year Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is sponsoring LeMoyne Elementary for the first time. “We are so excited and thankful to have Excellus BlueCross BlueShield join our group of corporate sponsors. Our walking field trips encourage students to enjoy being active outdoors and embrace a healthy lifestyle. It makes so much sense for the leaders in our healthcare community to support Nature in the City,” concludes Weiss.
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield regional president Dr. Arthur Vercillo agrees. “Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is pleased to sponsor Baltimore Woods Nature Center’s Nature in the City program,” he said. “The program will bring science to life for LeMoyne Elementary School students and strengthen their ties to nature, which will go a long way toward improving the physical health and well-being of children in our community,” states Vercillo.
Each school classroom receives three Nature in the City lessons, and Baltimore Woods organizes pre and post-testing of participating students. The results show how students increase their understanding of key science benchmarks, and this knowledge translates into higher state test scores for the schools. Syracuse Nature in the City students scored an average of 1.4 grade levels higher on the New York State 4th grade science assessment on content covered in the curriculum. “Corporations and foundations support Nature in the City’s proven results and measured impact on children’s science learning,” says Patty Weisse.
The Syracuse City School District provides funding as well, along with Onondaga County’s Save the Rain initiative that supports the 3rd grade green infrastructure program. Other corporate and foundation sponsors for the current 2012/13 school year include: Constellation Energy (Ed Smith Elementary), Dominion and the Lockheed Martin Employee Federated Fund (Meachem Elementary), The Gifford Foundation (Webster Elementary), Lockheed Martin MS2 (Dr. Weeks Elementary and Salem Hyde Elementary), National Grid (Frazer Elementary and Roberts Elementary), O’Brien and Gere (Seymour Dual Language Academy), and SRC, Inc. (HW Smith Elementary).
- 6/10/2013 • Theater Weekend Held at Adirondack Great Camp
- 6/09/2013 • Skaneateles Hosts Antique and Classic Boat Show
- 6/08/2013 • Baltimore Woods Announces Programs for June 2013
- 6/07/2013 • Imagine Presents ‘Saturation of Color’
- 6/06/2013 • 2nd Annual CNY World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKIP) is June 15th, 2013