On July 26, 2016, NYC public school girls were introduced to dragonflies through City Parks Foundation’s Green Girls program at Strack Pond in Forest Park, Queens  With names like Comet Darner, Wandering Glider, Great Pond Hawk, and Widow Skimmer, these young girls were taught how to catch and identify dragonflies.  The young women, who are participants in City Parks Foundation’s Green Girls Summer Institute, learned that dragonflies have multifaceted eyes, strong transparent wings and elongated bodies and though harmless to humans, are valuable predators that eat mosquitoes.

The Natural Resources Group, a team of scientists that helps research and maintain the resources of city’s parks, taught the students that dragonflies are among the fastest insects in the world.  The insects also stay in an aquatic larva stage for a year or more then molt into a dragonfly and live as adults for a month or two. Girls worked with professionals from the Natural Resources Group to complete a dragonfly survey.

City Parks Foundation’s Green Girls Summer Institute is a free, innovative program that inspires early adolescents to excel as environmental scientists, media artists and stewards of New York City’s precious natural resources.

            Green Girls, ages 10 to 13, enjoy free intensive summer experiences in a five-week institute focused on outdoor adventures in New York City’s parks and waterways. Girls travel to all five boroughs to study the dynamic urban forests of New York City.  Whether bird-watching, canoeing, conducting experiments, or citizen science projects, Green Girls develop a new relationship and understanding of natural ecosystems in our densely packed city.

Green Girls in action at

Green Girls in action at Strack Pond in Forest Park, Queens.

City Parks Foundation is the only independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to offer programs in public parks throughout the five boroughs of New York City.  At City Parks Foundation, we are dedicated to invigorating and transforming parks into dynamic, vibrant centers of urban life through sports, arts, community development, and education programs for all New Yorkers.  Our programs and community building initiatives — located in more than 300 parks, recreation centers, and public schools across the city — reach 425,000 people each year.  Our ethos is simple: we believe thriving parks reflect thriving communities. For more details, please visit www.CityParksFoundation.org.