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Urban Environment Program at Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC 

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Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC’s (CUCE-NYC) Urban Environment Program uses innovative, science-based and hands-on learning strategies to enable diverse audiences to address local environmental needs.  Extension Educators work in partnership with residents, organizations and agencies to plan, conduct and facilitate research and education programs that result in increased knowledge and skills, and improved urban and community environments. CUCE-NYC’s Urban Environment Program develops learning opportunities in the following areas:

§  Environmental, Horticultural and Science Education

§  Professional Development

§  Community Improvement and Sustainability

We invite you to visit the links below and explore how our programs impact New York City.




Public Resources

About Us

Environmental Public Health

Public Question Guide


Sustainable Communities

For Educators

Outreach Map

Urban Ecology

Resource Links

Contact Us

Programs In Development


Latest News



Read the latest news on the “Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youthresearch and Extension partnership project (at right, photo of Grandview Elementary School in Monsey, NY):

Extension’s School Garden Program Grows Success
(Dec 23, 2013, Cornell Chronicle)



Read about our 2nd “Hurricane Sandy Relief Event – Tree Giveaway and Planting” on Saturday, Nov 9 in Breezy Point, Queens
(photo by Gretchen Ferenz):

Volunteers plant trees, remove debris in Breezy Point
(Nov 14, 2013, Cornell Chronicle)

Breezy Gets Greener with Trees
(Nov 15, 2013, The Wave, pg 15)



We are very pleased to share that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell have selected a consortium of institutions, including Cornell University, for the new “Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay”! You can learn more at this link.
(Photo by Tom Fox)



Read about our recent June 15 “Hurricane Sandy Relief Event" in Breezy Point, Queens here.

The event was also covered in the Cornell Chronicle (June 19, 2013), and the June 21st issue of the Rockaway Point News.

More photos can be found on our Facebook page.


4-H "Teens as Planners" Youth Group from Georgia visited the Rockaways in June to help restore marshes and pick up debris. 

Read more about their visit here.
NEW!  See a video of the 4-H Teens as Planners' experience in the Rockaways, created by Russell Oliver:

"Georgian Extension Teens Clean Breezy Beaches and Plant Beach Grass in Jamiaca Bay post-Sandy"




Many gardens have been flooded and/or damaged by Hurricane Sandy. To contribute to the recovery effort all around NYC, GreenThumb, in consultation with the "Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities" Project Team, offers the following advice for gardens affected by Hurricane Sandy:  Guidance For Gardeners Post Hurricane Sandy - November 2012

For general post-Hurricane Sandy resources for NYC residents, please visit  The link for disaster survivor assistance from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is here.  Information from NY State Governor Cuomo's office can be found here.

New York EDEN-- Extension's Disaster Education Network-- which links extension educators, emergency managers, and community officials to enhance resilience and reduce the impact of disasters in New York communities, houses a clearinghouse of information on its website(disaster preparedness, natural disasters, infectious diseases, etc.) including post-Hurricane Sandy resources.



NEW! CUCE-NYC Public Question Guide

The CUCE-NYC Public Question Guide was created based on the existing Frequently Asked Questions. Each question has a short answer or directions on how you can learn more. Pleae download the file from the link above. Photo of adult Emerald Ash Borer: David Cappaert, Michigan State Univ.,




RECENT MEDIA on the Healthy Gardens, Health Youth project
"School Gardens Sprout Up Across Nation to Curb Obesity"
(Oct 17, 2012; Cornell Chronicle

"Researchers Test How School Gardens Foster Healthful Habits"
(Oct 17, 2012; Cornell Chronicle)

 on the People’s Garden ‘Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youth’ Project: “Training Teachers Coast to Coast” (April 26, 2012)



Clemente Elementary School
in Rochester, NY

Workshops teach NYC residents how to 'live greener'” (Feb 29, 2012; Cornell Chronicle)
Read about our “Living Green” program on energy efficiency and conservation, healthy homes and sustainable living, working with the Community Environmental Center.



"Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youth" People's Garden Initiative
USDA Deputy Under Secretary Dr. Janey Thornton describes her visit to Hiawatha Elementary School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to learn about the “Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youth” project. Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC co-leads the People’s Garden School Pilot Project with Washington State University Extension; Iowa State University Extension and University of Arkansas Extension also participate on the national leadership team. This research project aims to measure how school gardens influence students’ fruit and vegetable consumption.

Visit our New York "Healty Gardens, Healthy Youth" webpage here.






Extension trains Roosevelt Island maintenance staff in landscape horticulture (Oct 10, 2011; Cornell Chronicle)
Learn about Cornell Univ Cooperative Extension-NYC's landscape horticulture program with grounds staff of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), underway since 2009.






USDA grant will fund gardens in NYC schools
$1M will launch 70 school garden programs, 23 in N.Y. (April 8, 2011, Cornell Chronicle)
Learn about Cornell Univ Cooperative Extension-NYC's recently-awarded "People's Garden" grant, which will reach 70 schools in 4 States and 2,800 students. Cornell Extension-NYC will co-lead with Washington State University Extension, along with Iowa State University Extension and University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.



“Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities” Advisory Committee Meeting
A "Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities" Advisory Committee meeting was held on Sept 19, 2011 in NYC. Updates were provided on the testing for metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in 64 NYC gardens; creation of a research field test bed in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn; and the Farmer Field School education workshops in collaboration with Cornell graduate student Megan Gregory/Garden Ecology Project.

Learn more about the project at Cornell Extension-NYC's project webpage and at the Cornell Waste Management Institute's link.

Media Coverage:

"Lead, other chemicals taint some urban gardens." (Mar 23, 2011, Associated Press)

The dirt on urban gardens: Some contamination but help is on the way.” (Dec 16, 2010, Cornell Chronicle)



  Healthy Soils gardener meeting at
Brooklyn Botanic Garden



Find us on Facebook to discover more about our programs and events.



* Website under construction *