2013-07-26 / Community

Summer 101 Starts At Rockaway Waterfront Alliance


A visit to Brooklyn Grange Farm, one of NYC’s largest urban rooftop gardens. A visit to Brooklyn Grange Farm, one of NYC’s largest urban rooftop gardens. Last week marked the beginning of the summer season for the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance as they kicked off their Shore Corps and Aqua 101 summer youth programs.

The five week summer session is one of the only free summer programs offered in the Rockaways and gives 50 Rockaway middle and high school students opportunities to enjoy their Rockaway waterfront environment through kayaking, cycling, surfing, swimming, gardening, and more.

Week one was packed full of special guests and exclusive experiences. Local artist and architect Matteo Pinto and artist Carolina Cisneros presented a floating wetlands project for the 59th Street Marina that they will be working on with RWA’s campers to construct this summer, using recycled soda bottles.

Tony Pignatello and John Wright of Sebago Canoe Club spent an afternoon teaching RWA’s campers kayak safety and then led them out onto Jamaica Bay for many campers’ first kayaking experience.


RWA students plan out the floating wetland project for the Beach 59th Street Marina. RWA students plan out the floating wetland project for the Beach 59th Street Marina. Senior beach lifeguard for NYC Parks, Janet Fash, came to teach the students beach safety before taking campers to Beach 59th Street for a swim, The New York Fire Department Foundation also led an informative CPR workshop. Frank Cullen and the New York Surf School are hosting another summer with RWA of surf instruction; teaching RWA campers how to ride the Rockaway waves.

Students have also been taking trips to meet designers, planners and professionals in their own studios and workspaces to learn more about possible career choices.

Last week students went to Brooklyn Grange Farm to see one of NYC’s largest urban rooftop gardens. They also traveled to the Riverhead Foundation to enjoy the LI Aquarium exhibits and toured the Brooklyn Navy Yard Museum where they also went to meet designers at the Terraform 1 design studio.


Young campers hit the surf as the RWA kicked off their Shore Corps and Aqua 101 summer programs. Young campers hit the surf as the RWA kicked off their Shore Corps and Aqua 101 summer programs. RWA organizers offered big thanks to all the special guests who shared their time and expertise with RWA’s summer youth this past week.

“Enriching experiences like these help Rockaway youth develop a deeper connection to their waterfront.” said RWA Program Manager, Blaze Jones- Yellin.

RWA plans to expose Rockaway young people to many more local educational and recreational experiences as the summer progresses, continuing to nurture the relationship between local youth and their waterfront.

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