The idea of radical joy has come up in our conversations many times over the past few months as we talk about what we do.

We hope to always bring radical joy to our community and those who surround us by connecting all people with the wonders and peace that can be found in nature in our local parks, and even in the grass or bumblebees right outside your door. This winter and spring have been seasons of incredible growth for Rochester Ecology Partners, and the thread through it all has been joy!

We hope you enjoy reading about what this looks like and we appreciate everyone who helps us to make joyful moments happen.

-The Rochester Ecology Partners Team

What happened in the 2023-24 School Year?

(In short, A LOT!)

  • We collaborated with 13 schools to provide 1,032 program hours of nature-based learning to students in PreK – Higher Education

  • We facilitated over 8,750 nature experiences for youth

  • 900+ hours of Nature Education Around Rochester (NEAR) lessons were held on school grounds and in nearby parks to enrich classroom learning

  • Our programs served more than 10% of students in the Rochester City School District

  • We hosted Neighborhood Nature Programs at 7 sites around Rochester for over 100 hours of freetime nature immersion.

Upcoming Events

Wonderful Water Summer EcoExploration
A week long camp July 8 through July 12 for 9-11 year olds to explore the nature in Genesee Valley Park with our trained educators and other inquisitive young people. Every day will include time for play, an investigation of the life around us, and community-building activities. Learn more.

Friendraiser Picnic 

A picnic for everyone on June 15th from 4-7 at Ellison Park! This will be chance for us to meet up, have a good time outdoors, and share a little bit about what Rochester Ecology Partners is doing. There will be nature activities, games, music, and a picnic dinner for everyone. Learn More.

4th Annual Nature-Based Learning Symposium

This outdoor symposium on August 20 at Durand Eastman Park will bring educators and their partners together to experience and learn about nature-based learning through engagement with the environment, relationship-building, discussion, and workshops. Learn More.

How Nature Heals:

Did you know that within a few minutes of stepping into nature, our bodies settle, our minds clear, our stress levels decrease, and our problem-solving and critical-thinking skills improve?

Green spaces naturally encourage and provide opportunities for physical activities, helping to reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.  Plus, free play in nature has been linked to an increase in physical activity, balance, and coordination. 

In the Greater Rochester region, where 88% of children are getting less than the recommended 1 hour of active time each day and 34% of youth are overweight or obese, access to outdoor activity is critical.

Rochester Ecology Partner’s commitment to getting youth outside goes beyond the academic improvements. We understand that the more outdoor nature-based experiences we can provide the next generation, the more likely it is that they will develop an active, healthier lifestyle now and into adulthood.

Together, we can make a difference.

Please consider a donation to join us in maintaining our commitment to sustainable growth and development. Your tax-deductible gift to Rochester Ecology Partners will help all people find nature where they live, work, and play.

REP’s work in the news!

‘People don’t see how the environment is connected’: Effort joins Rochester groups (Democrat and Chronicle) 
The launch of our Environmental Directory and our goals for the project were featured in an article

Rochester students celebrate Better World Day (RochesterFirst)

Through our grant with AES we were able to support in the planting of the bulbs for this project last fall and returned this spring to lead explorations of flowers and worms during the Better World Day Celebration

New Hydration Station at Anna Murray Douglass Academy #12 (13WHAM)

We provided coaching and facilitated action planning lessons for this project as part of our partnership with the school.

Environmental Connections: Family Planning (WXXI)

Our Community Engagement Specialist E Turpin shared her thoughts about climate change, starting a family, and community on this episode that prominently features our staff in a segment from the City Nature Challenge at AMDA School #12. (starts at 3:30)

Read More News from Rochester Ecology Partners on our Blog