Registration is Now Open for 5th Annual Hike-a-Thon

Friends of Van Cortlandt Park's Hike-a-Thon logo.The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park hope you will join us for our 5th Annual Hike-a-Thon and help us make it the most successful one yet on Saturday April 26th, 2014.  Get out for a hike and help us raise funds for the restoration of Van Cortlandt Park’s spectacular hiking trails.  Similar to a Walk-a-Thon, we are asking you to seek out supporters to sponsors your hike for this rain or shine event.  Goody bags will be provided to those that raise additional funding at 3 levels ($30, $60 and $100).  Plus prizes will be given to those that raise the most funding.  Participants can choose one of three hiking routes (ranging from an easy 1 mile hike to a strenuous 5 mile hike) the day of the event.  Visit our Hike-a-Thon page for more information and to register (there is a $25 fee) by April 21st, 2014.  Read more »

Friend of the Month- January 2014

Friends of Van Cortlandt Park's January 2014 Friend of the Month, Nancy Nunez of the Riverdale Neighborhood House, Bronx, NY.The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are very happy to announce that our January 2014 Friend of the Month is our wonderful, longtime friend- Nancy Nunez.  Nancy Nunez is the Deputy Director of Youth Services for the Riverdale Neighborhood House who helped us create our Environmental Internship back in 1996 and has helped to develop and improve our program over the last 17 years.  The Friends are truly lucky to work with such a wonderful  person. Read more »

10 Reasons YOU Should Volunteer in 2014

The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park love our volunteers and the wonderful work that they do in the Park.   We believe that volunteering, whether with us or another organization, is something everyone should and can do.  Here are our top 10 reasons YOU should volunteer in 2014.

Volunteers from Queens College ready to begin their service project in Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, NY.

Volunteers from Queens College ready to begin their day of service in Van Cortlandt Park. Photo by Asa Aarons.

10.) Volunteering provides personal rewards.  It has been know to promote personal growth and self esteem, reduce stress and make you healthier.

9.) Strengthen your resume.  Many employers and schools look favorably upon volunteer experience.

8.) It saves resources.   In New York State, the estimated value of a volunteer’s time is $28.73/hour.    ( Read more »

5 Resolutions for 2014 from the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park

Happy Holidays from the Staff of the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park Bronx, NY

Happy Holidays from the Staff of the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park. Here’s to 2014!

We are so excited for the new year, that we are making our resolutions a little early this year.  The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are looking forward to all that 2014 will bring as we continue to Bring Youth, Community and Nature Together.  For this new year, we are making the following five resolutions:

1.) The Friends will hire a Seasonal Trails Project Managerallowing us to complete more projects in our Trails Plan (to date we have completed 7 out of 21) and to expand our Volunteer Trails Crew and our Get Active Hiking Series. Read more »

Friends of Van Cortlandt Park’s Top 10 Accomplishments in 2013

This year, we expanded our community outreach; partnering with several new groups and continuing to work with old friends. Here are our top 10 accomplishments (in no particular order):

1.) We worked on garden, forest, and trail restoration projects with 1,100 volunteers.

2.) We brought 1,600 students into the park though our Van Cortlandt Adventures Education program; Read more »

Help Wanted: The Friends are Hiring

Friends seeks a Seasonal Trails Manager to complete trail restoration work in Van Corltandt Park, Bronx, NY.

Seasonal Trails Manager will work with interns and volunteers to install check dams like these ones along the Northwest Valley Trail. Photo by Asa Aarons.

Van Cortlandt Park contains 1,146 acres of forest, wetlands, lake and open space with over 20 miles of hiking trails.  In 2009, the Friends hired the New York/ New Jersey Trail Conference (NY/NJTC) to complete a Trails Plan for various hiking trails in the Park.  We have begun implementing these projects over the last few years and currently have completed 7 out of 21 projects. The purpose of the Trails Plan is to ultimately make the trails more sustainable, to better serve Park users and to highlight and protect the Park’s unique natural resources.  The Friends have secured funding to hire a seasonal staff person to be dedicated to implementing this plan for the next two years.  Read more »