The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are happy to announce our December 2015 Friend of the Month- Mike Zamm. Mike is GrowNYC‘s Director of Environmental Education who has over 45 years of experience in NYC schools designing and teaching topics related to the environment and sustainability. Mike Zamm is one of our key partners for our Wetland Stewardship for a Healthier Bronx playing a vital role in helping to develop the curriculum, recruit schools and lead programs. Mike has been bringing the groups he works with out into the field, including Van Cortlandt Park, for many years. We are lucky to have him partnering with us on this project and thankful for all of the work he has done in Van Cortlandt Park with his students over the course of his career.
How and when did you get involved with the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park?
We were referred by the Urban Park Rangers to the Friends starting in the early 1990’s; we did plantings, invasive removal, litter removal and trail building with students from DeWitt Clinton High School and the High School for Environmental Studies, all with the Friends guidance and support.
What is your favorite place in the Park?
Anywhere along the Van Cortlandt Lake shoreline.
What is your favorite memory of the Park or event you have participated in?
It is the series of tree planting events, done in cooperation with the Friends and the Parks Department, that students in the environmental management class at Lehman College organized for students (grades 5-12) in schools in the general vicinity of the park. The college students had great experiences and the younger kids loved those days.
Parks just completed a Master Plan for the Park, what improvements would you like to see in Van Cortlandt Park in the next 20 years?
I’d like to see the daylighting project implemented; also ongoing maintenance of the trails and the building of new ones, continued invasive removal and tree planting.