The Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy’s Enviromedia Mobile — a 48-foot traveling urban nature center and maritime museum — will rumble into Borough Hall Plaza next week for an official unveiling, part of a borough-wide mission intended to teach and enlighten.
The vehicle, according to Urban Divers founder Ludger Balan, offers a host of exhibits meant to inspire discovery and learning about the urban estuary and watershed, including an exhibit about the “Onrust,” the first Dutch ship to have set sailed along the estuary.Balan said his group’s tour, “helps provide environmental literacy where none existed before.”
Funding for the vehicle came from a $100,000 grant from Assemblymember Bill Colton, as well as support from IKEA, the Hudson River Foundation, and others. The Urban Diver’s, a not-for-profit organization, recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. Colton, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, the Hudson River Foundation, IKEA, sponsors and the public will be honored at the Oct. 21 event, scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Since the summer, the mobile nature and maritime museum has been traveling to waterfront neighborhoods like Red Hook to Bensonhurst presenting its programs as part of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Hudson River. “We have one of the longest and largest uninterrupted waterfronts in New York City and no one makes any hype about it,” he said.
Bensonhurst’s waterfront, for example, “is the only real open space the neighborhood has,” Balan said. “The whole idea of looking out into the sea and seeing the vastness of the water brings tranquility to the spirit.”
The mobile tour kicked off Aug. 15 at IKEA’s Erie Basin Park in Red Hook. If a teacher and class are interested in participating, the mobile museum will be on exhibit from 9 a.m. on Oct. 21. Local schools are invited to bring one class for a complimentary visit and workshop. Advance registration is required. For more information go to www.urbandivers.org and link to Enviromedia Mobile, or call 347-224-5828, or 347-224-5687, or email getonthewa
©2009 Community News Group
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