Student Symposium & Bronx River Assembly

Bronx River Assembly

On June 5th, the Bronx River Alliance with partner organizations conducted the Student Symposium & Bronx River Assembly. The first part of this event offered young people in the Bronx to present their Bronx River projects, and the second allowed “to celebrate all good things happening in the watershed.” This event took place in a new Hunt’s Point Riverside Park. The amazing, stunning beauty of this public park is another story. The park was opened recently after tremendous efforts of different environmental organizations and as a result of leadership of local residents on a previously abandoned end of a road, now serving as a place for recreation, waterfront access, community meetings, and various environmental and outdoor activities.

During this event, which included performances, boat rides, and information booths presenting different organizations, I met with some environmental education organizations, which were new for me. Most educational programs were presented by young participants themselves. The first was A.C.T.I.O.N. at The Point. Several young people who work under supervision of Adam Liebowitz, A.C.T.I.O.N. leader, told about their impressive work, a lot of which involved civic participation in decision-making regarding the environment. I should definitely come to this organization and learn more. Here is some text from a brochure that Adam gave me:

Activists Coming tInform Our Neighborhood is a teen community leadership programs of THE POINT CDC. The program engages young people who work to identify social and environmental justice issues facing the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx with the goal of creating and implementing ongoing youth-led solutions. Working together with community members and fellow community organization, A.C.T.I.O.N. serves as a community link for the re-envisioning of Hunts Point. We implement grassroots techniques in community planning and policy, and disseminate such information to the community. A.C.T.I.O.N. serves as role models for positive change for the current generation in Hunts Point.

Then I talked with young participants from Rocking the Boat. One of them, Marcus Caceres, prepared extraordinary posters about monitoring of water quality in the Bronx River done by the Rocking the Boat team. This organization also organizes outdoor experiences, such as boating on the Bronx River, and participates in ecological restoration of the Bronx River. Later this evening I took a boat ride with Rocking the Boat. To my greatest surprise, all boats that were of real professional quality were made by teens!

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