Urban Science Program Continues to Impact Syracuse Students

May 18, 2011 – Thanks to a funding grant from National Grid, Blodgett and Roberts Elementary Schools in Syracuse, will be participating in the Baltimore Woods Nature Center’s Nature in the City program designed to ignite interest in science to thousands of Syracuse students by linking urban schools with neighborhood green spaces through environmental education.

Now in its seventh year, the award-winning program is working in concert with the Syracuse City School District and companies such as National Grid to deliver an innovative approach to urban natural science education to students in grades K-6 in eleven Syracuse city schools.

Students at Blodgett and Roberts Elementary schools will gain valuable experiences in science instruction through walking field trips to parks and neighborhood green spaces, as well as in the classroom, to strengthen student’s connections to the natural world. The students build scientific literacy through activities that link state standards to their surroundings, and develop sensible stewardship for their neighborhood.

“Nature in the City is a model program to join National Grid’s focus on support education and the environment in the communities we serve,” said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid Director of Community and Customer Management. “Working with the Baltimore Woods Nature Center gives National Grid the opportunity to help develop environmental leaders of tomorrow and advance our Engineering Our Future initiative to inspire youth to pursue science, technology, engineering and math skills,” she added.

“Syracuse Parks are the perfect living laboratory for teaching science,” said Patty Weisse, Executive Director, Baltimore Woods Nature Center.

“There is no question about the merit of the program, every teacher and administrator raves about Nature in the City,” said Daniel Lowengard, Superintendent Syracuse City School District.

Recent results taken from pre and post test scores from the fifth grade energy program indicate an average 50 percent improvement in fifth graders’ understanding of energy following Nature in the City instruction. Nature in the City gives children an opportunity to experience the study of natural science in the milieu of parks and neighborhood green spaces as well as the classroom, providing early learning experiences in the sciences that are relevant, meaningful and fun.

Financial support to Nature in the City was also awarded by the Syracuse City School District, Time Warner, Lockheed Martin MS2, Lockheed Martin Employee Federated Fund, Dominion, SRC Inc., AXA, Byrne Dairy, Key Bank, Colonial Laundromat, Anaren Microwave, Gear Motions Foundation, CNY Air and Waste Management Association, and Onondaga County’s Save the Rain green infrastructure project.

Employees of corporate sponsors can also volunteer their time to assist with programs in the classroom and walking field trips. Opportunities such as sponsoring a classroom bird feeding station or a local park clean up can also be scheduled. Please contact Nature in the City volunteer coordinator Emma Anderson at (315) 673-1350, or email for more information.

Baltimore Woods Nature in the City meets New York State science curriculum standards and brings authentic natural science learning to K-6 grade urban school children. Supported by the Syracuse City School District and corporate sponsors, Nature in the City is tied to the Syracuse City School District curriculum and New York State Science Standards with lesson content that supports teachers and directly impacts students. To learn more about the program visit for additional information.

National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.


3 images provided by courtesy of Baltimore Woods Nature Center: Nature in the City logo; Baltimore Woods Nature Center logo, and Photo of second graders from Dr. Weeks elementary school on a bird walk at Lincoln Park with a Nature in the City Educator

Thea Reidy
Baltimore Woods Nature Center
4007 Bishop Hill Road, P.O. Box 133
Marcellus, NY 13108
315 673-1350 office; 315 247-7904 cell
Nature in your hands
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