project leader
Emily F
175-10 Cross Bay Boulevard
(NYC DOE schoolyards and national parkland in Queens in Brooklyn)
latest update rss
Thank you for helping us purchase our native plants!

the project

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is committed to uniting all Americans to ensure that wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. Since 2013, NWF in New York City has been partnering with the National Park Service, the Greenbelt Native Plant Center, the NYC Department of Education and partners on a program called Growing a Wild NYC (see The year-long program engages K-12 students, and teachers in NYC public schools, and community volunteers, in creating and restoring pollinator habitat in their schools and local parks, while teaching them about their environment. 

Through a series of Six Steps, Growing a Wild NYC educates students about the important role of pollinators and the causes of their decline. It empowers them to grow and plant the native plants that pollinators need to survive. More than 2,000 students have made a tangible difference for wildlife since 2013 by planting thousands of native plants in parks and schoolyards in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. They have seen flowers bloom and native pollinators return to the areas they restored.

Unfortunately, in 2017, NWF and NPS lost their funding for this highly successful and much-loved program. The program is continuing without funding thanks to the passion and dedication of the partners. However, we lack the funds to purchase the native plants, from the Greenbelt Native Plant Center, that the students will need to plant in June 2018!!  

Please help us help the pollinators by donating generously so we can purchase the plants we need to create more pollinator habitat in New York City!

the steps

October/November – First Field Trip to Gateway National Recreation Area  Introduction to Growing a Wild NYC program, seed collection and cleaning, soil testing, STEM activities, initial Fall plantings in park.

November - Order for thousands of native seedlings placed with Greenbelt Native Plant Center. These plants supplement what students grow in the classroom.

January – First Classroom Visit by Program Staff  Introduction to seeds, seed germination, how to grow seedlings under grow lights in the classroom, how to care for seedlings.

March – Second Classroom Visit by Program Staff  Staff demonstrate how to “step up” or transfer seedlings from seed trays to pots for later planting into the ground. Staff follow up with schools on their seed-growing experiments and protocols.

May/June – Students Create Pollinator Gardens  Students, teachers, volunteers and program staff plant hundreds of high nectar seedlings that they've grown in their classrooms in their schoolyards.

May/June – Final Field Trip to Gateway  All students return to their local national park to plant thousands of high nectar seedlings provided by our local native plant nursery, Greenbelt Native Plant Center.


why we're doing it

Over 80 percent of the world’s flowering plants require a pollinator to reproduce. In the United States one third of all agricultural output depends on pollinators.  Insects (butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, ants, wasps) and other animal pollinators (bats, birds) are vital to the production of healthy crops for food, fibers, edible oils, medicines, and other products. 

Unfortunately, populations of bees and other pollinators are declining around the world as a result of habitat loss, overuse of pesticides, parasites and disease, and climate change and extreme weather events that are disrupting natural cycles and migration patterns.

Growing a Wild NYC educates students about this important global issue and engages students in restoring the critical habitat that pollinators need to survive 

National Park Service staff have chosen.native plant species for planting that will bloom throughout the growing season, to ensure that pollinators can have food all year round.

More importantly, the program seeks to create pollinator corridors that connect schoolyards and parks so that pollinators have as many places to rest and feed as possible, especially as they're migrating through New York City!


Disbursed Budget
$631.07 – used to purchase native plants from Greenbelt Native Plant Center
Raised = $650.00
less ioby Platform Fee waived
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $18.93
Total to Disburse = $631.07
Updated Budget (12.20.17)
Native Seedlings procured from the Greenbelt Native Plant Center - $1,908
Subtotal = 1,908
ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $57
Total to raise = $2,000
Native Plant Species We Will Be Ordering:
Asclepias incarnata: Swamp milkweed
Asclepias syriaca: Common milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa: Butterfly weed
Baptisia tinctoria: Horsefly weed
Eupatorium hyssopifolium: Hyssop leaf thoroughwort
Eupatorium serotinum: Late flowering thoroughwort
Euthamia graminifolia: Lance leafed goldenrod
Helianthus decapetalus: Thin leafed sunflower
Lespedeza capitata: Round-headed bush clover
Monarda fistulosa: Wild bergamot
Nuttallanthus canadensis: Canada toadflax/ little seed
Rudbeckia hirta: Black eyed susan
Solidago Canadensis: Canada goldenrod
Solidago juncea: Early goldenrod
Solidago rugosa: Rough stemmed goldenrod
Solidago sempervirens: Seaside goldenrod
Symphyotrichum Novae-Angliae: New England aster
Updated Budget
Native Seedlings procured from the Greenbelt Native Plant Center - $3,850
Subtotal = 3,850
ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $115
Total to raise = $4,000
Native Plant Species We Will Be Ordering:
Asclepias incarnata: Swamp milkweed
Asclepias syriaca: Common milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa: Butterfly weed
Baptisia tinctoria: Horsefly weed
Eupatorium hyssopifolium: Hyssop leaf thoroughwort
Eupatorium serotinum: Late flowering thoroughwort
Euthamia graminifolia: Lance leafed goldenrod
Helianthus decapetalus: Thin leafed sunflower
Lespedeza capitata: Round-headed bush clover
Monarda fistulosa: Wild bergamot
Nuttallanthus canadensis: Canada toadflax/ little seed
Rudbeckia hirta: Black eyed susan
Solidago Canadensis: Canada goldenrod
Solidago juncea: Early goldenrod
Solidago rugosa: Rough stemmed goldenrod
Solidago sempervirens: Seaside goldenrod
Symphyotrichum Novae-Angliae: New England aster
Original Budget
Native Seedlings procured from the Greenbelt Native Plant Center - $6,000
Seed Trays - $500
Subtotal = 6,500
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $195
Total to raise = $6,730
Native Plant Species We Will Be Ordering:
Common Yarrow
Common Milkweed
Butterfly Weed
Partridge Pea
Little Joe Pye Weed
Slenderleaf Goldenrod
Canada Goldenrod
Canada Toadflax
Common Evening Primrose
White Heath Aster
New England Aster


Thank you for helping us purchase our native plants!

Dear friends of wildlife,


The National Wildlife Federation would like to thank you all so very much for your donations which are helping us to purchase 17 species of native plants (a total of 1,000 plants) that our 608 students will plant in June 2018 at Gateway National Recreation Area - our local national park - as part of the Growing a Wild NYC program.  Students, their teachers, and parent volunteers will be planting at several different sites: 

  • Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (Queens)
  • Floyd Bennett Field (Brooklyn) 
  • Schoolyard gardens (Brooklyn and Queens)

Thanks to you, we will be purchasing the following native plants from the Greenbelt Native Plant Center - NYC's native plant nursery located in Staten Island:


1) 20 Asclepias incarnata – Swamp milkweed

2) 50 Asclepias syriaca   - Common milkweed

3) 150 Asclepias tuberosa  - Butterfly weed

4) 100 Baptisia tinctoria   - Wild indigo

5) 50  Euthamia graminifolia  - Flat top goldentop

6) 50 Eupatorium hyssopifolium  - Hyssop-leaf thoroughwort

7) 50 Eupatorium serotinum   - White boneset

8) 20 Helianthus decapetalus – Ten-petal sunflower

9) 20 Lespedeza capitata   - Round-headed bush clover

10) 75 Monarda fistulosa   - Wild bergamot

11) 50 Nuttalanthus canadensis – Canada toadflax

12) 50 Rudbeckia hirta  - Blackeyed Susan

13) 50 Solidago canadensis – Canada goldenrod

14) 125 Solidago juncea  - Early goldenrod

15) 40 Solidago rugose   - Rough-stemmed goldenrod

16) 50 Solidago sempervirens  - Salt marsh goldenrod

17) 50 Symphyotrichum novae-angliae  - New England aster


These plants will help create colorful, biodiverse havens for pollinators and fill nectar gaps that currently exist at Gateway and across the City.


We will send you photos of the plants that the students have planted in June.

Thanks again for your support. It will make many bees, butterflies and birds very happy!


We also want to thank ioby for providing this wonderful fundraising platform that allows individuals and organizations to help make this world a better place.


Sending everyone bee love and honey kisses,


Emily A. Fano

Senior Manager

National Wildlife Federation

NYC Eco-Schools

(646) 502-7096

Thank you to our first donors!

Thank you to our first donors who kicked off our campaign. We're very grateful to you! Please help spread the word to friends, family and colleagues! We now have our official plant list from the Greenbelt Native Plant Center:

Asclepias incarnata: Swamp Milkweed 

Asclepias syriaca: Common Milkweed

Asclepias tuberosa: Butterfly Weed

Baptisia tinctoria: Horsefly Weed

Eupatorium hyssopifolium: Hyssop Leaf Thoroughwort

Eupatorium serotinum: Late Flowering Thoroughwort

Euthamia graminifolia: Lance Leafed Goldenrod

Helianthus decapetalus: Thin Leafed Sunflower

Lespedeza capitata: Round Headed Bush Clover

Monarda fistulosa: Wild Bergamot

Nuttallanthus Canadensis: Canada Toadflax/Little Seed

Rudbeckia hirta: Black-Eyed Susan

Solidago Canadensis: Canada Goldenrod

Solidago juncea: Early Goldenrod

Solidago rugosa: Rough Stemmed Goldenrod

Solidago sempervirens: Seaside Goldenrod

Symphyotrichum Novae-Angliae: New England Aster


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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