Gowanus Green Infrastructure Walking Tours

School Tours (Grades 3-12)

Explore the past and present landscape of the Gowanus Canal to understand how human impact affects this waterway . In this interactive tour along the Canal, students will have the chance to understand the effects of combined sewer overflow (CSO) on waterway health, observe pollution, and explore green infrastructure as a resilient solution for healthier waterways.



Students will be able to…

  • Compare/contrast the Canal of today to its industrial era phase
  • Explain how combined sewer systems pollute the water
  • Identify & count the different types of pollution that they observe in and around the Canal
  • Calculate how much stormwater  green infrastructure absorbs along the tour route


  • Combined Sewer Overflow diagram analysis
  • Historic photo compare & contrast
  • Trash tally and analysis
  • Green infrastructure calculations


Mid September – November and April – Mid June, on Wednesday mornings at 10 AM. Additional dates may be available; check our booking calendar for details.


Start and end locations are different! We begin at the Carroll Street Bridge on the public walkway behind 365 Bond Street, and we end at Whole Foods on the corner of 3rd Ave & 3rd Street. Total walking distance measures about 0.4 miles.

Class Size & Chaperones:

We are able to welcome up to 35 students per walking tour. We require a 1:10, teacher:student ratio.


We welcome and embrace diverse learners! Please let us know of any accommodations needed and ways for us to help prepare your students for their tour.

Program Cost:

  • All NYC Title I public schools or schools that demonstrate at least 50% economic need (DOE index): $95
  • Other NYC public schools: $125
  • NYC private schools: $150

A sliding scale is available upon request. 

Questions? Need more information? Contact us via email at education[@]gowanuscanalconservancy[dot]org.

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Post-Secondary School and Adult Tours

Learn about the Gowanus Canal as a former salt marsh ecosystem that became a polluted waterway through a long history of industrial pollution and ongoing combined sewer overflow, that is now undergoing revitalization  The Gowanus Canal and neighborhood have been rapidly changing through the forces of development, gentrification and neighborhood rezoning. A Superfund cleanup of the Canal is on pace to remove historic industrial waste from former manufactured gas plants, and brownfield cleanups are removing contaminated soil from the land adjacent to the Canal.

Learn more about GCC’s mission and the work we’re doing in the neighborhood with community stewards, youth and community members to achieve a vision of a Gowanus Canal and surrounding urban environment that is clean, resilient, diverse and alive.

Email education[at]gowanuscanalconservancy[dot]org to request a tour and fee information for your group.

For Self-guided walking tours, please visit our Resources page.