This spring, New York City’s public school children will have a chance to study the city’s blossoming flora and fauna as NYU Steinhardt launches the Jane Wallerstein Children & Nature Program. The program, established by a $250,000 gift from the Johanette Wallerstein Institute, is named for Steinhardt alumna Jane Wallerstein (M.A. ’71).
The interdisciplinary project provides students with unique field experiences at forests and botanical gardens in the metropolitan area to learn about urban ecology. Children keep nature journals, grow herbs, engage in plant investigations, learn about the life cycle of butterflies, and complete art projects in preparation for their visit.
“The Children & Nature Project emphasizes placed-based environmental learning that fosters a sense of wonder about the natural world through discovery and inquiry-based learning activities,” says Mary Leou, director of the Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education at NYU. “Exposing children to nature helps them develop a connection to place and learn about the interconnectedness of all living things.”
Since 2000, the Johanette Wallerstein Institute has been a generous supporter of NYU Steinhardt.
(Photo: Two kindergarteners investigate sweet gum seed pods at the New York Botanical Garden.)