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, Summer Stage Kids, weekly Birding, Drawing and Painting, and Seasonal Happenings.
Here's a peek into our work and accomplishments...
Urban Ecology Teen Internship
Started in 2012, Urban Ecology Teen Internship (formerly Green Jobs for Youth: Cultivaing Green Careers) has been a year-round paid internship for students from Bronx-area public and parochial schools. Interns not only work with Parks Department horticulturists and forest restoration staff in the field for an hourly wage; they also gain college credits from CUNY Lehman College in natural sciences or GIS mapping. During the school year they assist with weekend programming and some take on special leadership training.
The Conservancy offers many internship opportunities to energetic and enthusiastic individuals interested in the environment, parks, progamming, birding and general non-profit management.
Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy hosts free programs that reach thousands of people each year: Barefoot Dancing, Summer Stage Kids, weekly Birding, Drawing and Painting, Seasonal Happenings and more!
Summer Stage Kids
July & August Thursday mornings are a great time for children and their caregivers to come out to the playgrounds of Van Cortlandt Park. Performances from jazz to hip hop and juggling to Capoeria engage and entertain kids keeping their minds and imaginations going all summer long!
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.
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.