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Background/Objectives/Methods Despite the nickname “Concrete Jungle”, New Yorkers often experience a disconnect between society and nature with the environment as the last thought on their minds. In an effort to return the environment to the people (and vice versa), multiple organizations are working to collect ecological data, often by engaging local community members. However, much of this data is not shared, thus hindering future ecological studies and community participation. In order to remedy the lack of data-sharing, Randall’s Island Park Alliance (RIPA) in New York City (NYC) developed the Park-As-Lab (PAL) program: a research collaborative where scientists, environmental advocates, and communities work together on scientific research. PAL works to encourage civic engagement, support STEM career paths, and increase our understanding of NYC’s ecosystems, ultimately promoting more resilient communities. Results/Conclusions Since its creation in 2018, Park-as-Lab has reached nearly 4,000 participants through 25 research projects, seven monitoring projects, and 25 partners. Many of the research projects focus on community-identified local issues but PAL also helps regional scientists. All of the data collected by PAL and completed final projects are added to the PAL data repository and interactive map which are hosted on RIPA’s public website. This data sharing will allow for improved collaborative efforts between the environmental organizations of NYC as PAL fosters partnerships through continued engagement and communications. This presentation will cover PAL research topics, outreach and education initiatives, and collaborative data-sharing efforts by NYC organizations.
Conference Presentation, SER2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program