FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Queens Public Library’s Hunters Point Branch Selected as Site of Environmental Education Center
Environmental Initiative Is a First for QPL and Will Offer Learning Opportunities at Its Newest Branch About the Area’s Soil, Pollution, Plants and Marine Life, Among Other Topics
LONG ISLAND CITY _ Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott today announced that the Queens Public Library Foundation has secured a nearly $1 million grant—$995,993 over the next three years—to operate an environmental education center at the new Hunters Point Library, scheduled to open to the public for the first time on September 24. Funding for the Hunters Point Environmental Education Center (HPEEC) was made possible by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Newtown Creek Environmental Benefits Fund (NCEBF), that is administered by the City Parks Foundation.
Modeled after the Children’s Library Discovery Center (CLDC) at QPL’s Central Library in Jamaica, HPEEC will offer STEM classes and workshops to children, teens and adults using interactive carts that address topics such as trees, plants, flowers, marine life, pollution, composting, recycling, climate change and water purification. The center will open this fall.
“The environmental education center is a first for Queens Public Library, and will offer members of the community and beyond a unique opportunity to understand, study and appreciate the natural surroundings of Hunters Point and Long Island City,” said Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “With STEM programs for children, teens and adults, the center will add an exciting new learning dimension to Hunters Point Library. I want to congratulate the Queens Public Library Foundation and the library’s staff for their outstanding work in obtaining this generous grant. I also want to gratefully acknowledge the City Parks Foundation and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for collaborating with us to bring this center to life, and thank the Newtown Creek Environmental Benefit Fund for funding it.”
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Steve Zahn said, "We are thrilled that the Queens Public Library’s Hunters Point branch is receiving funding for the new Environmental Education Center through the Newtown Creek Environmental Benefit Fund. Investing in environmental education is critical for providing communities with the tools and information needed to understand what is going on in their backyards, the city, and the world. We commend the efforts of the City Parks Foundation for making this grant a reality.”
The center will be presented in partnership with the New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, the New York Hall of Science and the Queens Botanical Garden and the New York Botanical Gardens, among other organizations. It also will serve a professional audience that includes librarians and library administrators who can replicate environmental programming elsewhere in the QPL system, museum professionals who want to develop closer ties with libraries and educators who are interested in hands-on learning.
The NCEBF was the result of a 2008 settlement between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New York City for water quality violations stemming from the City’s operation of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
About Queens Public Library
Queens Public Library is one of the largest and busiest public library systems in the United States, dedicated to serving the most ethnically and culturally diverse area in the country. An independent, non-profit organization founded in 1896, Queens Public Library offers free access to a collection of more than 5 million books and other materials in multiple languages, technology and digital resources, and more than 87,000 educational, cultural, and civic programs annually. Each of QPL’s 66 locations is a safe, trusted, center of community life where everyone is welcome and can expect an experience that will help them get them where they want to go in their lives, no matter who they are, where they come from or what they want to learn.
About City Parks Foundation
At City Parks Foundation, we are dedicated to invigorating and transforming parks into dynamic, vibrant centers of urban life through sports, arts, community building and education programs for all New Yorkers. Celebrating our 30th anniversary this year, we program in more than 400 parks, recreation centers and public schools across New York City and reach 300,000 people each year. Our ethos is simple: thriving parks mean thriving communities. The Newtown Creek Environmental Benefits Fund (NCEBF) is administered by the City Parks Foundation. The NCEBF was the result of a 2008 settlement between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New York City for water quality violations stemming from the City’s operation of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Contact: Elisabeth de Bourbon, firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-990-0704