The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s Environmental Education Center. Eagle file photo by Mary Frost
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy plans to celebrate the official reopening and sixth Anniversary of the Environmental Education Center on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 99 Plymouth St. in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The free, family-friendly afternoon features special birthday festivities inside the Education Center, as well as outdoor activities presented in collaboration with Billion Oyster Project, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Bridge Parents and the New York State Department of Conservation.
The Environmental Education Center has been closed since the start of the pandemic and will reopen in a limited capacity for weekly Open Hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays (3 to 5 p.m.) and Saturdays (1 to 5 p.m.) with COVID-19 protocols and safety measures enforced.
Opened in 2015 in a building that previously served as a city water meter-testing facility, the center is the home base for the Conservancy’s education programs and has served more than 10,000 school children each year, according to the Conservancy.
Taking advantage of its unique waterfront location, the Center has offered kids and teachers one-of-a-kind experiences. The Great Brooklyn Bridge class, for example, has allowed students to tour the bridge and learn about engineering concepts, while the Awesome Oyster program has empowered children to make scientific measurements through hands-on work with oysters, according to a 2017 Eagle article.
On Sept. 25, visitors are invited to explore unique educational exhibits and animals, and take part in a wide range of kid-friendly activities including crafts, a community art project using recycled materials, a mini photo booth, park scavenger hunts and more. The Brooklyn Public Library will present a nature-themed story time at 2:30 p.m. at the Pebble Beach stairs.
“Throughout the pandemic, our environmental educators worked hard presenting creative outdoor and virtual programming for children and families to learn and explore,” said Nancy Webster, executive director of the Conservancy. “We look forward to reopening the Environmental Education Center on Sept. 25 and welcoming the public to this festive celebration of the Center’s sixth anniversary.”
“The Conservancy’s environmental programming offers so much for kids and families. We are so glad the Conservancy is able to reopen their doors and again offer educational programs from the Education Center,” said Eric Landau, president of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Participants and staff are required to wear masks at all times, and all visitors ages 12 or older are required to provide proof that they have had at least one dose of the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, as well as a valid ID. A maximum of 25 visitors are allowed in the Education Center at one time.
The Conservancy’s education programs began in 2008 with a grant from U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn), according to Eagle reporter Mary Frost. When the building, funded by Councilmember Stephen Levin and Con Edison, opened in 2015, then-Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer hailed it as a “turning point in DUMBO” that opened the Plymouth Street portion of the park to the neighborhood for the first time.