model showing a daylighted river in the Van Cortlandt Park

8th Graders Become Advocates for Daylighting Tibbetts


This spring, the Friends’ staff had the pleasure of hosting 8th grade students in Van Cortlandt Park from Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in Queens for two days for our “Wetland Stewardship for a Healthier Bronx” Van Cortlandt Adventures program which is funded by an Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Education Grant.  During their time with us in the Park, we focused on Water Quality Monitoring and Daylighting Tibbetts Brook while exploring around Van Cortlandt Lake.

Students drew this diagram showing the show the potential daylighting path Tibbetts Brook could make to meet Harlem River.

diagram showing the same initial Daylighting Tibbets path

Back in the classroom, their science teachers- Eli Zaritt and Leah Roberts- continued the lessons guiding these future advocates to take action. The students learned about the importance of daylighting, took a closer look at the possible route, discussed next steps and ideas for how they could get involved.  The students drew a diagram and created a model of what Daylighting Tibbetts Brook could potentially look like.  The students wrote letters to Mayor Bill de Blasio (here’s an example of one of the letters to the Mayor), NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson and NYC Council Parks Committee Chair Barry Grodenchik asking them to get involved by working with CSX to lower their asking price for the property which is needed to make daylighting a reality.

Seeing these young people’s work and reading their letters is truly inspirational and a great reminder of how we can all get involved to help make Daylighting Tibbetts Brook a reality.  Visit our petition to learn more and add your name to the growing list of supporters.

Skip to content