Photo: New York City Parks
The Youth Sustainability Corps first class planned a total of 50,000 square feet of green roofs to be installed in garden facilities this year.
This month, New York City students are making the Bronx neighborhood greener by installing 2,000 square feet of green roof over the St. Mary’s Recreation Center in the South Bronx. As the first tier of the Youth Sustainability Corps (YSC), these 30 local high school and college students, under the guidance of green infrastructure experts at New York City Parks, planned new green roof systems that would be installed on 50,000 square feet of park rooftops. the coming months. The Saint Mary’s roof – erected by the students themselves – is the first of six sites to be built. YSC students also installed new rainwater control measures on the rooftop of St. Mary’s, and built new raised grow beds, which will grow seasonal vegetables this year.
“On the first day of Youth Sustainability Corps training, many students had never seen a green roof, but today they can search for more than 2,000 square feet of new sustainable infrastructure that they had planned and built by hand,” said New York City Commissioner Parks. So Donoghue. “As Parks has been a pioneer in green roofing and workforce development in New York City, we are proud to use our expertise in both to educate the next generation and give them a head start in the future in green jobs.”
“DYCD can be proud of the more than thirty students from the Work, Learn & Grow program whose work experience has transformed a rooftop in the South Bronx and paved the way to greening five more across the city in the coming months” told Workforce Connect Valerie Mulligan “What the Youth Sustainability Team has achieved in just a few months will benefit our environment for years to come – leaving participants with the work-readiness skills they need to explore in-demand jobs and environmental justice. Special thanks to the Parks Department, the Mayor’s Office of Youth Employment, and the City Cleanup Team for joining DYCD in this innovative partnership for a greener, more sustainable New York City. “
Launched in December 2021, NYC Parks has partnered with DYCD, the Mayor’s Office of Youth Employment, and City Cleanup Corps to develop the first Youth Sustainability Corps (YSC), a specialist green park training program within DYCD’s Work Learn Grow program where students gain work readiness, and exploring careers in the green economy, receiving targeted employment training and skills development with a focus on environmental justice and inclusive city recovery. YSC Parks students worked 75 hours on weekends and school holidays until March 5, 2022, and received technical training from NYC Parks experts in sustainable facilities for innovative green roof infrastructure planning. They will gain hands-on experience with the full scope of green roof installation, and learn about systemic environmental challenges and a wide range of sustainable solutions being piloted at NYC Parks. Combined and funded through the City Cleanup Corps Economic Recovery Program, these program components served youth with 225 hours of the program, with a total earnings of $3,375 per student.
In parallel with the launch of YSC, Parks has committed to expanding the green roofs of park-owned buildings by 50,000 square feet—bringing the agency’s total area to 250,000 square feet. At just $14 per square foot, park green roofs are an economic advantage that leads to cost savings over time. The estimated cost of installing an additional 50,000 square feet is only $500,000 and will provide expected savings of approximately $8.65 million for the city.
From April 2022, new green roofs will be built at the following locations:
? Brooklyn: Prospect Park Garage (12,500 square feet)
? Bronx: Kwame Toure Recreation Center (4,500 square feet)
? Manhattan: Sheltering Arms Pool House (5,500 square feet)
? Queens: Rockaway Beach 17 Street Operations Building (6,500 square feet)
? Staten Island: Midland Beach Playground Comfort Station (2,500 square feet)
Since 2008, Parks has taken green spaces to new heights by building green roofs at 33 facilities across the city. The parks currently maintain more than 200,000 square feet of roof systems, including native plants, sedums, green walls, water towers, a vegetable and herb farm, and honeybee hives. When an additional 50,000 square feet of green roofs are installed, a quarter of Parks’ flat rooftops will have green roofs. A total of 250,000 square feet of green roofs will capture approximately 8 million gallons of storm water annually, preventing water from entering the city’s already stressful sewage system. Additionally, green roofs lower black roof temperatures by up to 90 degrees.