Press Releases


Date Released: 4/24/2006

“Environmental Impacts and Urban Parks,” a special hands-on program for high school students from upper Manhattan and lower Bronx schools, will be presented on April 26 from 9 AM to 2 PM  at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine and in Morningside Park. 

The program was organized by George Kraemer of Purchase College in collaboration with the New York City Parks and Recreation Department and the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.
Students will have opportunities to meet with Purchase College students to hear about careers in environmental studies and learn how urban parks, though far removed from their original state, play many important ecological and cultural roles in the city’s environment.  The high school and Purchase students will meet Marechal Brown, Morningside Park’s head gardener, and learn about invasive and native vegetation and assist her in physically removing invasive plants and replacing them with plants native to the region.  Students will also hike through the park with Purchase students and evaluate the human impact on the park’s environment and learn about the health of the park. 

Through presentations at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, coordinated by Purchase professors George Kraemer and James Utter, students will learn about the environmental impact on open spaces in cities and continuing ecological debates about when to preserve open spaces and when to develop land.  High school participants will perform a role-playing exercise to help understand the tensions between development and conservation. Purchase College students will discuss their college experiences as students of environmental sciences and will describe topics they are studying.

The event is supported with a grant from the Ettinger Foundation. 
Schools interested in participating should call the Cathedral’s Public Education Office at 212-932-7347.