Greenbelt Education @ Home!

Gretta Moulton Gate in High Rock Park on Staten Island

Just because you’re stuck at home, doesn’t mean that you can’t still learn about nature!  Below are seven videos the great educators at the Greenbelt Conservancy have put together to keep the learning going. In addition to these great videos, stay tuned for some live follow-up interactive Zoom sessions.

  1. The Gretta Moulton GateLocated in the heart of the SI Greenbelt, one of our newest educators Christopher Rommel displays the Gretta Moulton Memorial Gate for its 25th anniversary. Take a look as we share the significance of one our parks special monuments.
  2. Animal SignsOne of the Greenbelt’s new Environmental Educators, Angel Ehlers, shares some of her favorite animal signs that she found while in the Greenbelt.  You will learn a little bit about some of the signs that the Greenbelt’s urban wildlife friends leave behind, from classic squirrel and deer signs, to more rare beaver activity.
  3. Con Edison Family Science Night (Egg Experiment)Karen Roos invites families to join in this simple and fun at-home experiment turning an egg into a rubber ball.  Stay tuned for a follow-up interactive Zoom session to share your findings, make hypotheses, and ask questions!
  4. Skunk CabbageThese aren’t just your ordinary cabbages! Come learn from Christopher Rommel about one of the Greenbelt’s most common and fascinating plants, and how this funny smelling plant plays an important part in our natural environment.
  5. Bess BugsExplore interesting insects with Greenbelt Educator, Chris Ricker. This short video will cover Bess bugs, which are subsocial (brood caring) beetles that live in groups within rotting logs or stumps around the Greenbelt.
  6. How to Use and Focus BinocularsNancy Zawada, Environmental Educator at the Greenbelt Nature Center, is on the terrace showing us how to use and focus binoculars so that we can view wildlife from afar.
  7. How to Make Hummingbird NectarArlene Borruso, Environmental Educator at the Greenbelt Nature Center, is in the kitchen showing us how to prepare hummingbird nectar and how to maintain hummingbird feeders so that we can encourage and attract these beautiful visitors to our homes.
  8. Sounds of High Rock – We welcome you on a virtual stroll through the beautiful trails of High Rock Park in our new series, “The Sounds of the Greenbelt.”  Experience the sounds of nature, as well as the silence in between.  You can hear different animals, wind, water, and more on this soothing walk through some of our favorite natural landmarks.
  9. Meet the Educators – Our Education Department wants to send a big and warm “Hello” to all of YOU! Come with us on a virtual stroll down the Mole Trail at High Rock Park to meet two of our newest educators, and to say hello to so many others who have been educating here for years, bringing you classes, hikes, and programs in our beautiful Greenbelt.
  10. Meet Cornelius – Jessica Kratz, the Greenbelt Nature Center Coordinator, introduces everyone at home to our resident reptile, Cornelius the Corn Snake.  She teaches us about what he eats, where he sleeps, and more!
  11. Parts of a Tree Craft – Jessica Kratz shows us a fun and creative way to learn the different parts of a tree, as well as how to use recycled materials found around our homes to make a beautiful craft!
  12. Tulip Trees – Tulip trees are a fast growing, deciduous tree species found in the Greenbelt. In this short nature video, Greenbelt educator Christopher Ricker explains the unique aspects of this tree’s bark, flowers, and the role it plays in providing food to wildlife in our park lands.
  13. iNaturalist – Environmental Educator, Christopher Ricker explains the basics of how to get started with using the global Citizen Science app, iNaturalist.  This video will cover the step-by-step process of how to use the app, and how you can contribute observations of our wonderful and diverse planet through a brand-new lens.
  14. How to Make a Flower Press – As a part of Environmental Educator Angel Ehlers’ Nature Craft Series, this video shows you how to preserve some of Spring’s most beautiful blooms by making a simple flower press out of materials you probably already have at home.  Learn a fun new creative way to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  15. How to Make a Light Saber – May the Force be with you!  Learn from the Greenbelt’s very own Jedi Master Christopher Rommel as he creates his light saber with commonly found items around the house.  Feel free to share this simple activity with all other Jedi Padawans.  Happy Star Wars Day!
  16. Meet Pip – Jessica Kratz, the Greenbelt Nature Center Coordinator, introduces our resident reptile, Pip the Eastern Box Turtle.  She teaches us about what he eats, which time of day he’s most active, and more!
  17. Family Science Night Geodes – Join our Educators for this month’s Con Edison’s Family Science Night experiment!  The Greenbelt’s own Mad Scientist, Christopher Rommel, show you how to turn eggshells and Borax powder into beautiful crystals that look like they were just discovered hidden inside a stone.  Then share your own results at our live Zoom event on Thursday, May 21st at 3pm!
  18. Trail Blazes – The Educators are embarking on a big project to repaint the trail blazes throughout the Greenbelt trail system.  Environmental Educator Angel Ehlers tells us a bit about what trail blazes are and why they are important for humans and for our natural environment.

As always, please consider supporting the Greenbelt Conservancy Resiliency Fund.  We need your help, now more than ever, to carry us through this tough time and to ensure that our valuable mission is enjoyed by generations to come.