Urban Ecology Field Trips

Grades K-5

In this outdoor field trip, students will visit the Lowlands Nursery and become urban ecologists, exploring the past and present Gowanus Canal ecosystem. Students will make unique observations, explore the wildlife and plants of the Canal, and become stewards for improving ecosystem health. Teachers will receive pre- and post-visit materials to accompany their trip experience.



Students will be able to:

  • Compare/contrast today’s Gowanus Canal to its historic salt marsh ecosystem
  • Understand how urbanization of the Canal has led to its current state
  • Observe and record the plants & animals of the Gowanus Canal ecosystem
  • Build a model habitat along the Canal to support biodiversity
  • Go back to their school and create a microhabitat
  • Demonstrate that plants support  biodiversity in cities


  •  Compare and contrast past and present habitat
  • Ecologist observation stations of plants, birds, marine life, and insects
  • Habitat restoration puzzle
  • Native plant seeds take-away

All activities are aligned with New York State Learning Standards


Tuesdays & Thursdays, April through mid-June, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM. Additional dates may be available; check our booking calendar for details.


Lowlands Nursery, 25 9th Street, Brooklyn 11215. This program takes place outdoors.

Class Size & Chaperones:

We are able to welcome up to 35 students per trip. 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 field trip.

Program Cost:

  • All NYC Title I public schools or schools that demonstrate at least 50% economic need (DOE index): Free
  • Other NYC public schools: $200
  • NYC private schools: $350

A sliding scale is available upon request.

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

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Funding for the GCC Urban Ecology Program is provided from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund as administered by a grant from the New York State DEC Environmental Justice Community Impact grant program.