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July 14, 2021
Summer at the Conservancy
by Amanda Gaglio
Summer is a busy time here at Greater Newark Conservancy! As we begin to reopen our grounds and relaunch our programs, we're busier than ever with some brand new partnerships and events taking place at our Outdoor Learning Center.
We're excited to have relaunched our Newark Youth Leadership Project once again this summer with 18 bright, motivated students! We have 3 different cohorts our interns and mentors can participate in, Education, Horticulture, or Urban Farming where they will get to experience hands-on environmental education and professional development. With 10 high school interns, who stem from six different schools across Newark, and 8 college mentors who will be guiding and working alongside them we're so eager to see everything that they will accomplish!
With our Outdoor Learning Center open and ready for visitors we're thrilled to be hosting STEAM Urban's program, Keep Art Alive! STEAM Urban is a non-profit focused on art and STEM educational programming for marginalized and underserved children and young adults.
"Our community is made up of real students with real stories, some students’ only outlet of self-expression is school. With the decrease in educational funding for arts and recreational programming, there is a lack of support and engagement for these students. STEAM Urban has developed specific expressive art and S.T.E.M. programs where students can safely progress interpersonally and mentally."
Their program, Keep Art Alive is a community engagement program that is devoted to using art as a way to empower the community. This summer program encourages Newark youth to explore art as a means of intervention and therapy and hosts events that encourage entrepreneurship and cultural integration.
The City of Newark is hosting their Climate Justice Youth Ambassador Program at our Outdoor Learning Center as well this summer! CJYA is a program dedicated to and for Newark youths to mobilize and empower them on climate justice issues that specifically impact Newark. As the City updates its Sustainability Action Plan and works to develop a regional resiliency action plan they are working alongside local environmental champions like Newark Green Team and Newark students to engage in new processes of community outreach and stakeholder engagement.
"As a minority-majority city with a large population of youth who are especially concentrated in some of our highest needs neighborhoods, this project seeks to establish a new norm for City-led environmental planning initiatives. The CJYA Program seeks to directly confront an all-too-common systemic inequity in government planning efforts: a lack of inclusion of Black and Brown youth."