KeyBank Foundation gives $25k to support Nature in the City in Syracuse school classrooms
As Central New Yorkers make their resolutions and ring in the New Year, KeyBank Foundation has made its own resolution to see Syracuse City school students benefit from hands-on science learning with a gift of $25,000 in support of the Baltimore Woods Nature Center’s Nature in the City program.
A partner of Nature in the City since 2010, KeyBank Foundation reaffirmed their support at the end of 2017 with a multi-year commitment, the first of its kind for Nature in the City.
“The hands-on learning experiences that Baltimore Woods Nature Center provides for this community, especially young people, is a valued and treasured resource,” said Stephen Fournier, KeyBank Central New York Market President. “KeyBank proudly supports the education, opportunities, and fun that Baltimore Woods brings to Central New York.”
At its inception in 2002, Nature in the City was piloted in one Syracuse City school and since that time has grown to serve all 19 elementary schools in the district. The program’s environmental educators deliver three, one-hour, interactive lessons to students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Each lesson is tailored to New York State Science Standards and supports teachers in the delivery of their science curriculum.
According to Baltimore Woods Nature Center Executive Director Whitney Lash-Marshall, each Nature in the City lesson provides an opportunity to enhance science learning in our community while at the same time connecting students to the natural world around them.
It is incredibly rewarding to see their enthusiasm to participate in direct, hands-on experiences with nature whether they are exploring the Onondaga Lake Watershed or identifying habitat for birds right in the neighborhood around their school,” Lash-Marshall said. “These place-based lessons create lifelong impacts and help to inspire future environmental stewards right here in Syracuse.”
Nature in the City is a successful working example of a community-wide collaboration. The program is funded in part by the Syracuse City School District with support from dozens of local corporations, organizations, and individuals across Central New York.
“Thanks to this generous support from KeyBank, Syracuse City School District students will continue to experience the hands-on, out-of-the-box learning that the Baltimore Woods Nature in the City program provides,” said Syracuse City School District Superintendent Jaime Alicea. “Community support is a critical part of what allows us to achieve success in the Syracuse City School District, and since 2010, KeyBank has been providing valuable support for Nature in the City. Our students benefit greatly from this programming and we appreciate KeyBank’s ongoing support.”