Thursday, July 29, 2010

Local Kids Set Sail for the Boston Harbor Islands with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay

During the month of July, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s All Access Boston Harbor program traveled from South Boston’s Bank of America Pavilion three times a week, taking over 100 kids each day from the diverse communities around Boston on an adventure to Georges or Spectacle Island to learn about the Boston Harbor and its diverse marine ecosystem.

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay offers this free marine education and recreation program to over 4,000 youths and over 130 community groups for all of the Boston neighborhoods and many of the surrounding communities.

The kids and teens get to experience Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands first hand. For many their first opportunity to visit the Harbor Islands as well as take a ride on a boat and have a fun educational experience.

The participants meet at Save the Harbor’s All Access Boston Harbor dockside and listen to stories from maritime historian David Coffin. He teaches the youth about the Harbor’s past and future. The kids then hop on the Virginia C. II for a narrated cruise to either Georges or Spectacle Island.

On Georges Island the youngsters get to explore Fort Warren, a Civil War-era fort with eerie tunnels, real cannons and the haunted parade ground. Save the Harbor’s marine educators also lead beach walks and scavenger hunts for critters such as Asian Shore Crabs, Green Crabs, and Periwinkles, while teaching the young people about what it takes for these creatures to survive in a tidal habitat.

The Spectacle Island trip has a curriculum that is geared towards traditional seaside recreational activities like swimming, hiking, kite flying and fishing. Kids can fly kites, swim on the beach (staffed with a Department of Conservation and Recreation lifeguard), or can go for a hike around the island with our marine educators.

Whether chasing crabs on the shore on Georges Island or floating in the waters off Spectacle Island, youth participants in All Access Boston Harbor walk away with an experience that will stay with them for a lifetime.

“We are so glad to give this opportunity to the kids of Boston as well as the organizations we partner with, said Save the Harbor President Patricia Foley, “We are exposing them to a whole new world of opportunities.”

These free summer youth programs are made possible by the generous support of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s youth program funders; ABCD Summerworks, Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation, Inc., Bank of American Pavilion/Live Nation, Clinton H. & Wilma T. Shattuck Charitable Trust, Connors Family Office, Dolphin Trust, Elizabeth Elser Doolittle Charitable Trusts, Forrest Berkley & Marcie Tyre Berkley, Friedman Family Foundation, GDF SUEZ Gas NA LLC, JetBlue Airways, John Hancock Financial Services, Inc., John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Massachusetts Bay Lines, Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, Massachusetts Port Authority, National Grid Foundation, P & G Gillette, State Street Foundation, South Boston Community Development Foundation, William E. & Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust, and Yawkey Foundation II.

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