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Our Work

The Conservancy identifies programs that contribute to park stewardship and education, and ensure the long-term well-being of its 1,146 acres of natural areas and recreation venues including a widely used cross country trail that attracts athletes from across the state and is over 100-year-old. To this end, The Conservancy has mobilized the park’s vast natural and professional resources to create Urban Ecology Teen Internship (Urban Eco-Teens). Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy hosts free programs that reach thousands of people each year: Barefoot Dancing, and weekly Birding.



Here's a peek into our work and accomplishments...

-Free Programs

Youth Opportunities

Urban Ecology Teen Internship

Started in 2012, Urban Ecology Teen Internship (formerly Green Jobs for Youth: Cultivaing Green Careers) is a year-round paid internship for students from Bronx-area public and parochial schools. Urban Ecology Teen Internship (Urban Eco-Teens) gives local underserved high school students the opportunity to succeed in their first college experience while concurrently working alongside NYC Parks natural resource management professionals in the field. They also gain college credits from CUNY Lehman College in natural sciences or GIS mapping. During the fall and spring, selected interns participate in Leadership Training and with these acquired skills lead volunteers from the general public in park restoration projects. They not only develop usable skills, they develop an understanding of the complexity of natural resource management issues and an awareness of the scope of careers in environmental science fields. In tandem with their practical instruction and academic studies, they learn to work as part of a team and develop transferable workplace and life skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Internships

The Conservancy offers many internship opportunities to energetic and enthusiastic individuals interested in the environment, parks, progamming, birding and general non-profit management.

Cultural Programs

Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy hosts free programs that reach thousands of people each year: Barefoot Dancing, weekly Birding, and more!

Barefoot Dancing

On Thursday evenings during July and August, Barefoot Dancing is held on the lawn of the historic Van Cortlandt House – family picnics are encouraged. Barefoot Dancing features performers who play live instrumental music and present dance forms of their native ethnic tradition. They introduce the historical and cultural roots of each dance form, then draw the audience members in to join them.

Weekly Bird Walks

Saturday mornings at 8 am NYC Audubon experts lead bird walks for birders of all levels of experience in spring, summer and fall. Over 200 species of birds make their homes in Van Cortlandt Park, we want you to see them all!

Cross Country Trails

The Conservancy provides many tons of crushed stone and dedicated seasonal staff to maintain this historic trail that loops around the flat Parade Ground, up Vault Hill and another loop in the back hills. Tens of thousands of people use this trail for healthy recreation and competition.

Community Council

The Conservancy brings together stakeholders of all interests in the park to assess various park issues and recommend solutions to form our Community Council. Committees within the council focus on: natural areas, sports fields, educational programs, safety, public relations, fundraising and more. Most recently 25 subcommittee meetings were instrumental in creating the Van Cortlandt Park Master Plan 2034 which is now online and accessible to all.