project leader
Carlos L
5100 Biddulph Ave.
(Old Brooklyn)
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the project

Last year, Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation (OBCDC) was able to pilot a summer camp experience for 36 campers.  OBCDC partnered up with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park to develop the Crooked River Exploration Camp.  Crooked River Exploration Camp is a ten-day outdoor camp that provides local youth in first through sixth grades with an alternative camp experience centered on the Cuyahoga River watershed.

Piloted in August 2018 as a five-day camp, we are expanding to two five-day sessions with varied curriculum in June 2019. The camp includes three days exploring the environment in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood (including Brookside Reservation and the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo) and two days in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Students will explore ecosystems including ponds, forests and gardens, conduct observations and identify organisms. Fun and educational experiences include testing water quality for pH, turbidity, phosphates and nitrates in Old Brooklyn and at CVNP. The students will also learn technology based in the park including a stream table and augmented reality sandbox to reinforce concepts of stream erosion and deposition. Campers will also get to enjoy outdoor play, park exploration, hikes, kayaking, and many other fun things with the help of the staff from the Concervancy for CVNP's Education Center.  

This year we are expanding programming to offer two weeks of programming.  Week 1 will focus on Water and the Week 2 will focus on Exploration.  Money we raise will support primariliy our scholarships.  Other items we want to support are snacks, lunches, and t-shirts for campers.  We are also looking to develop year-round programming for camper (Ex: Junior Rangers) in Old Brooklyn.

the steps

Sept. 2018- Regroup and strategy with the Conservancy for CVNP.

Oct-Dec 2018: Identify and apply for grants

Jan-Mar 2019:  Continue application, program planning, fundraising planning.   March 15th registration goes live.

Apr-May 2019:  Fundraising for camp in Community, registration, outreach.  Goal register 100-120 campers.

June 2019: Camp begins

  • June 17-21 (Water week)
  • June 24-28 (Exploration Week)


why we're doing it

The development of this camp was to provide access and opportunity to youth within and around Old Brooklyn.  Making an affordable camp experience for families was important to OBCDC and something we hope other communities in Cleveland will model.  We hope this opportunity sparks an interest in environmental education and conservation. 

These lessons will also help students to explore social and environmental justice themes, including how low-income communities and communities of color have higher exposure to environmental risk factors like pollution, landfills and unmitigated brownfields, and have less access to the benefits provided by clean air and open greenspace. All curriculum is designed to encourage the next generation of bold leaders supporting thriving parks, healthy communities, and an environmentally just society.

Partnering with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park made sense, because they have a deep interest in connecting with families in Cleveland.  Many families do not get to expereience our local national park. CVNP is only about a 25 minute drive, but for many families in Old Brooklyn and the surrounding neighborhoods that drive may not easy for them.  Many families may be working and the commute would be out of the way while for others they may only take public transit which may limit them to Cleveland in terms of summer programming options.  

Connecting youth to nature is a way to connect them with their community and increase their understanding of how this impacts their health.  


Disbursed budget:

TOTAL RAISED = $2,935.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $88.05


Original Budget:

$3,500- Scholarships

$1000- Lunches

$500- T-shirts for campers & staff

$600- Toward development of year-round programming

$400- Transportation Support to and from CVNP


ioby Platform Fee $35

ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $187



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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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