Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations
Mission: Our mission is to foster and awaken the potential of neglected communities and neighborhoods by working with them to improve their physical environment. By helping to forge relationships among these communities, local & state government and private businesses through environmental rehabilitation programs, we hope these neighborhoods gain a sense of place, opportunity and pride.
Results: The Science Barge, a self sustaining, hydroponic farm docked in Yonkers on the Hudson River, became the #1 field trip destination in Westchester. Daylighting of the Saw Mill River began Dec 2010. Community gardens and outdoor classrooms continue to grow, Green team jobs training program
Target demographics: All ages of citizens in Yonkers and the greater Hudson Valley
Programs: Youth leadership: gwhvs youth initiatives are highly regarded and designed to create the urban conservation leaders of tomorrow. Activities for high school students include the award winning summer youth employment program called the green team and the school-year, urban conservation corps. Students are educated, mentored trained, and paid as employees over multiple years to develop their understanding and their skills in urban conservation. Service partnerships have been established with yellowstone national park, the appalachian trail, wallkill national wildlife refuge, and the ny harbor parks.
improving parks, greenways, & public space: under this core program, gwhv restores the physical and environmental conditions of neighborhoods in southwest yonkers and newburgh, ny. Activities include vacant property cleanup and renewal, the development of new greenways and transit corridors, the restoration of existing parks and trails, playground renovation, tree planting, and public art, including murals, mosaics and outdoor sculpture. In addition, gwhv works to ensure that these improvements remain vibrant, active, and successful through stewardship and public programs.
science education: gwhvs is a regional leader in stem education for low-income minority students in yonkers and the new york city metro area. Our science barge serves more than 5,000 students each year and is a floating farm powered by solar, wind and biodiesel. It won best science education field trip in the new york area on multiple occasions and a federally-funded evaluation showed an increase of more than 50% in stem retention among low-income students. This year we are adding the ecohouse to this innovative teaching platform, and have a federal grant from the national oceanic and atmospheric administration (noaa) to expand our services to address global climate issues and resiliency. Gwhvs educators are highly accomplished and provide in-class stem services at two public high schools and four elementary schools through a partnership with yonkers public schools.