Urban Rangers Go “Wild”
Urban Rangers is an after-school employment program for high school students enrolled in the Yonkers Public School system. Funded by, and working closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this unique program trains youth in roles usually played by professional rangers. These young people work at events, educating the public about conservation and the need for habitat restoration. One of their work sites is the daylighted Van der Donck Park in downtown Yonkers, recently designated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership.
Similar to the Green Team, this program focuses on leadership, group dynamics, construction skills and conservation education. Youth work on a variety of projects for the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including construction of a Turtle Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, installation of owl boxes, building a pollinator garden and a bat garden at Floyd Bennet Field National Historic Site, and designing and planting a mini-wildlife refuge near School 13 in Yonkers.
The Urban Rangers meet Tuesdays after school from 3:30-6 at the Groundwork office and some weekends and holidays in Gateway National Recreation Area.