In East Harlem, Kids Go on ‘Concrete Safaris’

The goal of Concrete Safaris is to improve health outcomes in East Harlem starting with its youngest residents – kids and teens. The organization gives youth experiential education so they can become environmental leaders and health advocates for themselves and their communities. One part of the curriculum is an after-school program for kids, ages 7-12, which includes an internship component for teens and young adults. The youth are currently planting a garden – with vegetables, fruits and flowers – on a plot of land in the Thomas Jefferson Houses, a New York City Housing Authority development. When the crops are ripe, the kids and community members can take the produce home to enjoy. In addition to the gardening, the youth participate in biking, obstacle courses and other fitness activities.

Concrete Safaris is a community partner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and located in the East Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center. The Action Center – along with locations in the Bronx and Brooklyn – provides residents with access to primary care and neighborhood-based social services as well as spaces for community organizations to gather.

Multimedia journalist Stephanie Daniel checked out the community garden in this video.

This report is one in a series of Voices of NY stories looking at health equity issues in the NYC area. Support for the series has been provided by the New York State Nurses Association.

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