Two Bridges Neighborhood Council (TBNC) kicked off the season opening of Pier 42 by hosting the Lower East Side’s first-ever “bioblitz”: a species count to celebrate the biological diversity of this unique waterfront park. Throughout the day, scientists and enthusiasts, as well as students and community members, combed the half-acre park inventorying as many plant, animal and fungal species as possible.
In 4 hours, the inventory teams covered 2,200 square feet of terrain; discovered 108 different species; and counted 4,439 individual organisms!
“With Pier 42 as our living laboratory, the Bioblitz data collected on May 4th will inform a much larger environmental justice community science project that looks at the range of environmental factors that shape our waterfront community.” said Kerri Culhane, ecological designer and Associate Director of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council.
STEM Education Consultant and Bioblitz Organizer, Dr. Christine Keefe, added: “Pier 42 park offers a unique location for residents of the Lower East Side to explore the nature of their city. From slime molds to seagulls, Bioblitz on Pier 42 offer[ed] a valuable opportunity for the public to work alongside scientists counting, mapping, and learning about our wild neighbors. Community-centered waterfront programs like Paths to Pier 42 engage local residents in an essential conversation about the environmental and social issues that affect them directly. ”
A visual representation of the species discovered during the first-ever BioBlitz on Pier 42.
Curious for more information? You can check out Two Bridges’ Flickr page to view the full set of photos from the BioBlitz. Two Bridges Neighborhood Council (TBNC) has been dedicated to serving the many neighborhoods of Manhattan’s Lower East Side since 1955. We create equitable housing, celebrate cultural diversity through neighborhood-based programs, and work together with local residents, businesses, entrepreneurs, and leaders to stimulate and maintain economic vitality.
To prepare youth for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers, TBNC offers after-school and summer camp STEM programming with an emphasis on local issues of sustainability and design. The Bioblitz on Pier 42 was sponsored by Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and Two Bridges’ After School & Summer STEM Education Programs, with funding from the Environmental Protection Fund administered by the NYS DEC.