project leader
Audrey J
location
167th Street and Edgecombe Ave
(Washington Heights)
latest update rss
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the project

On June 1st, 2019, CLIMB (City Life Is Moving Bodies) and its community partners will be celebrating celebrating its Quinceanera - 15 years of connecting communities through our annual hike through Northern Manhattan parks. Hike the Heights is an annual volunteer-planned and community run event that links 2,000+ local residents with their beautiful parks in Northern Manhattan, including the “Giraffe Path,” an urban trail that connects over 7 parks and surrounding neighborhoods. This family-friendly event brings together New Yorkers of all ages for hiking and a community party with arts, games, healthy food, and active fun in their parks.
We connect people with the parks in their communities. Hike the Heights shows local residents the natural resources that exist in their own back yard to encourage them to engage with and use the parks, making them safer for everyone.
 
We build community through the arts.  In preparation for the event, local children from Head Start groups, pediatric clinical facilities, and local schools work with CLIMB and our community partners to create giraffe statues from recycled materials.  On the day of the event, these giraffes decorate the parks and line the hiking trails, lending a playful feel to the volunteer-led tours through parks previously marked by violence.
 
We promote environmental stewardship.  Before Hike the Heights, CLIMB and its partners host park clean-up and trail maintenance days so local residents can give back to the parks that give them so much.
 
We bridge communities. Hiking along the giraffe bridges the divide between surrounding neighborhoods. Neighbors from Central Harlem and Washington Heights/Inwood hike along the giraffe path and interact with one another, strengthening bonds and building community.
 
This year our theme is a reflection on the inequalities that persists in all of our communities in observance of 400 Years of Inequality.  2019 is the 400th year since the first Africans were sold into bondage in North America. Inequality has structured the way we all live, play, work, learn, and build communities, affecting each of us in personal ways. We want to recognize and name these ways in order to walk together toward a more equitable society.

the steps

  • Conduct outreach to past and new community partners

  • Host collaborative event planning meetings to plan, arrange and hold the hikes and community parties in the parks
  • Support partners in community initiatives through cross promotion and 'showing up'
  • Recruit past and new sites for children’s giraffe making workshops, and coordinate these trainings
  • Recruit seed groups and hike leaders
  • Expand hike start locations into more neighborhoods
  • Fundraise for events costs including party activities requested by local residents
  • Hold park clean-up days to remove litter and maintain trails
  • Set-up the Giraffe Path installation
  • Celebrate the vibrant Northern Manhattan communities and parks at our June 1st event!
     

why we're doing it

Open spaces and parks in large urban areas are invaluable. The diverse residents who use these spaces – from toddlers to seniors, joggers to strollers – enhance their quality and vibrancy. Northern Manhattan has an extensive network of paved and unpaved park trails that can take a hiker from 110th street to 218th street through beautiful urban parks and past breathtaking natural vistas. Community partners lovingly refer to the network of trails as the "Giraffe Path" because, on a map, the parks form a green giraffe-shaped oasis where local residents can escape the hustle and bustle of city life.


Unfortunately, many of these trails have been forgotten by locals who retreated from parks during the epidemic of violence that plagued Northern Manhattan in the 1980s and early 1990s.  Volunteer groups and the City Parks Department have brought these parks and surrounding neighborhoods a long way on the path to restoration and, though some additional maintenance work is required, what these spaces need now is increased foot traffic (and bike, rollerblade, wheelchair, & stroller traffic as well!).  Neighbors and visitors must be invited to come out and learn about these trails. We have found that once residents learn about their parks, they fall in love with the trails and are more likely to be involved in park stewardship and other community volunteer activities.
In coming together for a celebration at the Sunken Playground, lovingly refered to by locals as 'The Pit', we hope to encourage others to reclaim these parks and public spaces, using them as they would their own backyard, increasing physical, social, civic activity in the neighborhoods they are in.

CLIMB and Hike the Heights seek to raise awareness about these public spaces and build a sense of community pride and ownership over them. Parks are important community assets for public health and community well-being. By connecting neighbors with their parks, we hope to promote both healthy lifestyles and community advocacy for these beautiful natural assets.

budget

$2,500 meals for everyone

$800 artist materials,

$500 portable toilets

$600 icees for everyone,

$400 compostable cups, plates, and utensils
$200 truck rental for transporting tables, chairs, stage, tents



PROJECT FUNDING NEEDED = $5,000
ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $274
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $164
TOTAL TO RAISE = $5,473

 

updates

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photos

This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration

donors

  • Swenson
  • Maria Herrera
  • Whitney Skillen
  • Anonymous
  • Mindy Fullilove
  • Antonio & Lizzette (UOA 718)
  • Det.Pat
  • Anonymous
  • Steve Walters
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Coplin Exchange
  • Anonymous
  • Imt
  • Reyson A.
  • Audrey
  • Ysabel A.
  • Anonymous
  • Ken and Ben