Cultural institutions provide unique social support and educational opportunities to NYC neighborhoods
Go to www.wcs.org to sign the petition
NEW YORK – June 14, 2010 – Community groups around the City are speaking up in support of the
Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium as these institutions face a proposed 42
percent cut in city funding. If allowed to pass, City Hall’s devastating cuts
will be felt by neighborhoods across the five boroughs as the Wildlife
Conservation Society – which runs the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium – could
be forced to eliminate jobs and reduce services which would directly impact
businesses and families throughout the adjacent communities.
The Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium draw approximately 2.8
million visitors annually. WCS provides free access to community groups
in the Bronx and Brooklyn that would otherwise not be able to attend the zoo.
In Fiscal Year 2009, more than 228,000 New York City school children attended
the Bronx Zoo through its program allowing all public, private and parochial
schools from the five boroughs free access Monday through Friday.
For the same year, some 464,000 New Yorkers attended the
Bronx Zoo on Wednesdays when guests are admitted for free, while close to
38,000 guests visited the New York Aquarium for free on Friday afternoons.
What community leaders are saying:
“The Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium are true treasures,”
said Donna Rodriguez, Program Director for the Kipps Bay Boys & Girls Club,
based in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx. “Without them our children would
never experience seeing wildlife first hand. Where else can a child be present
and witness an animal or fish giving birth? My children have had that
experience at the Bronx Zoo.”
“The Bronx has the greatest concentration of children living
in poverty in New York State,” said Michael Rustin, Associate Executive
Director for Youth and Family Services at the Southeast Bronx Neighborhood
Centers. “For the past three years, WCS has provided our campers with 40
Community Access passes, allowing them a brief respite from the many social
problems and the rippling effects associated with poverty, crime and
unemployment that plague our community.”
“The students of Mark Twain I.S. 239 have been deeply
impacted on an intimate emotional and intellectual level by our numerous visits
to the aquarium through the years,” said Carol Moore, principal of the Mark
Twain Intermediate School for the Gifted and Talented in Coney Island, Brooklyn.
“Countless students have been inspired to continue their research into marine
life and our planet’s environment.”
Added Joseph Montebello, principal of P.S. 225 in Brooklyn,
“As part of the Brighton Beach community, we are fortunate to have this
extraordinary institution close to us and have encouraged our teachers and
parents to avail themselves of its resources. The education of New York City
children does not only take place in the classroom, but in off-site experiences
that enhance their learning and allow teachers to create appropriate
supplemental lessons in school.”
The Wildlife Conservation Society has initiated a petition
campaign to save the Bronx Zoo, the New York Aquarium and the other NYC
cultural institutions from the draconian cuts to its city funding. The
campaign is aimed to build massive community support behind efforts to convince
City Hall to restore funding to the city’s cultural institutions which employ
New Yorkers and help bolster the local economies in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Visit www.wcs.org to sign the petition.
Contact:Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; firstname.lastname@example.orgSteve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; email@example.comMary Dixon – 347-840-1242 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wildlife Conservation
Society saves wildlife and wild
places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation,
education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife
parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change
attitudes toward nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in
harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the
integrity of life on Earth.
Join more than one million wildlife lovers working to save the Earth's most treasured and threatened species.
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