Group Name: Parks and Recreation

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Adult Leader/s: Emily Oliapuram and Sandra Fritz

Student Members:
Elizabeth Salas, Catherine Alvear, Nahian Choudhury, Mary Degante, Kimberly Guevara, Valerie Nasso, Karol Vergara, Caitlin DeJesus, Yolanda Ramos, Laura Buritica, Alondra Caceres, Russell Chan, Rafael Cordero, Paola Novel

Goals and Objectives:
GOALS – Parks & Recreation: What is the importance of greenery to our physical health & mental health? HOW CAN STUDENTS RE-ENVISION THEIR OWN COMMUNAL SPACES? Make comparison Before and After the week’s activities. Investigate 1) public art in parks, 2) High Line – why is this important? 3) Travers Park – envisioning a communal space. STUDENT OBSERVATION – How is Greenwood Cemetary designed? How is Manhattan’s Central Park designed? (use your 5 senses: how is this space inviting?)

Connections – each morning we will do different activities to help students connect into the space. Examples – Recipe Card Mix Up, Talking Stick, Birth Order, North/South/East/West.

Monday, October 21 –
Icebreaker – morning routine: Recipe Card Mix-up. Pair/Share: – List what you like about parks, plazas/ communal spaces. Gallery Walk with questions: – 1) Why do you think they are important? 2) What are your favorite parks or hangout spaces?

  • Created groundrules for respectful group interaction.
  • Start group focus on parks and communal spaces.
  • We started the morning with an icebreaker so our group could celebrate who they are and get to know more about each other.
  • They wrote recipes describing their personalities and presented it to the rest of the group.
  • We then described what our ideal parks space were and what the attributes were for these communal spaces.


Research and create slide show of parks and communal spaces. Criteria: What do you notice?

  • Formulate questions about parks and communal spaces.

12:15 – Trip to Greenwood Cemetary for trolley tour.

  • Notice – Using 5 senses: how does the space look & feel?
  • Why was Central Park modeled after this space?
  • Students will find out about the historical background of the cemetary & its role in designing Central Park. History of Greenwood: What did you learn?


Tuesday, October 22 –
Icebreaker – morning routine: Birthdays activity. AM – Pair-Share: brainstorm interview questions for Councilman Danny Dromm; meet councilman at PlayStreet, Travers Park for interview.

  • Focus questions: 1) Why is there a need in Jackson Heights for more communal spaces? 2) How has the community pro-actively organized around this issue?
  • Create Interview questions for Danny Dromm’s office? Note-taking during interview.

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PM: Review video of Danny Dromm; compare and contrast Greenwood Cemetary with Travers Park/Playstreet.

  • NY 1 video on Daniel Dromm’s greening focus of Jackson Heights;
  • Article – Green Spaces Then and Now; Green Environments Essential for Human Health, Research Shows.
  • Paragraph; relate interview to articles, provide evidence for POV

Wednesday, October 23 –
AM: Read Aloud NY Times article re walking in the park. Jigsaw activity – “How Cities Use Parks to…”

  • Student pairs read & report about the advantages to living near parks.
  • Consider community revitalization; community engagement; economic development; safer neighborhoods.
  • “Easing Brain Fatigue with a Walk in the Park”, by Gretchen Reynold, (NY Times)


PM: Trip to the High Line, Manhattan.

  • Focus: 1) Reclaiming Urban Space for a Communal Space/Park. 2) Arts in the Parks:
  • Explore sculptures in the High Line parksrecHL3.JPG
  • Scavenger Hunt – find artwork
  • photos of highline

Thursday, October 24 – parksrecHL1 (1).JPGparksrecHL1 (2).JPG
AM-PM: Work on Project.
Late PM: Question/Answer about Parks and Recreation; Beachball activity/closing – Questions about Parks & Rec

  • Each student will be actively engaged in finishing their final projects.
  • Work on power-points, physical landscape designs, etc.
  • During the final project: Why did you create this, using the topics we’ve learned this week in class?


Friday, October 25 – LIVE PRESENTATION in Auditorium
Each student will be actively engaged in finishing their final projects. Late PM: Beachball activity/closing – Questions about Parks & Rec

  • During the final project answer: Why did you create this, using the topics we’ve learned this week in class?
  • Work on power-points, physical landscape designs, etc.