NYC H2O’s mission is to educate and inspire New York’s citizenry about its incredible water system. We want to create a generation of concerned, educated New Yorkers who conserve and advocate for natural resources. We empower citizens including students and teachers to think about the role of water in their lives so that they don’t take water for granted and can knowledgeably be involved with responsible public policy in the future.
Although NYC H2O received its 501(c)(3) designation in May, 2012, it began offering education programs in 2009 to adults and school groups. Over the last six years we have offered 100 educational programs focused on NYC’s water system and ecology to a combined audience of 3,500 people. This audience has included dozens of engineers, city planners, and professors, attesting to the quality and informational rigor of the programs. Events have included bike, walking and reservoir tours in NYC, hikes upstate, paddling in the Catskill watershed, public lectures on infrastructure and water conservation, sewage plant tours, and beach cleanups. During paddles and hikes, NYC residents get to see and touch one of the actual sources of their water.
We began offering the Reservoir Field Trips for School Groups Program in 2014 for students from second grade to high school. In 2014, the first year of reservoir trips we gave 50 tours reaching 1,200 students. In 2015, we gave 95 tours reaching 2,400 students, 90% of whom were for Title I Schools. We have found that adults and children alike are deeply touched by participating in our activities; resulting teacher interest and word of mouth have rapidly expanded the demand for our school tours. Our goal in 2016 is to offer 120 tours reaching 3,200 students.
NYC H2O has an extensive network of experts in the field of engineering, history, geography and city planning with whom we work. Our partnerships connect us to a vast base of knowledge about the water system and the latest developments to the city’s infrastructure, keeping our programs up-to-date. Furthermore, many of the people who attend NYC H2O programs are engineers and city planners which allows us to further extend our network. Not least, NYC H2O has reached out to over NYC 2,000 teachers, enabling us to effectively market tours to schools.
Matthew Malina (President) is the Director and founder of NYC H2O as well as an educational consultant. Malina is a native of NYC and studied engineering at the University of Virginia where he received his bachelors (1996) and masters degree (1998). He has run his own private practice as a math tutor for 9 years and for 5 years prior to that was a public school math teacher. Malina started NYC H2O in 2009 after attending a teaching workshop about the NYC water system in the Catskills. He recognized the opportunity to expand public education on NYC’s model water system, while inspiring citizens to become responsible stewards of natural areas including watersheds. Because of his background in education, he recognized the learning opportunity that the water system offered across many disciplines and he developed the reservoir tours for schools in 2014.
Under Malina’s leadership, NYC H2O has attracted and galvanized over 50 experts in engineering, city planning, natural sciences, and public health as well as hundreds of volunteers to participate in a wealth of water related experiential, activist and educational events from reservoir walking and paddle tours, public lectures on infrastructure and water conservation, sewage plant tours, and beach cleanups.
Since 2012, when NYC H2O received its 501(c)(3) designation, it has offered 65 programs for adult audiences and has reached a combined audience of 2,000 people. In 2014, NYC H2O began offering school programs and gave 53 tours reaching 1,200 students. This required the recruiting and training of tour guides and the development of engaging educational tours focused on hands on activities as well as on physical activities. Due to teacher and student enthusiasm and great demand, in 2015 H2O plans to offer 80 tours and reach 2,000 students.
Malina is also the Operations Manager for InTandem, an organization that provides tandem riding opportunities for blind people. He leads volunteer outreach and oversees equipment. Malina has also developed his own teaching tools and instructional videos on how to teach math in a hands on way. These can be viewed at MathAtHand.org
Kimberly Worsham (Advisor) develops the NYC H2O's external relations and manages institutional funders. Worsham discovered a passion for water advocacy while in graduate school, where she consulted in India for a local water and sanitation NGO, Gram Vikas, on organizational development and programmatic scale-ups. She received her MPA and B.Sc in business at New York University. Kim is currently a Masters degree candidate in Integrated Water Management at University of Queensland and is an International Water Centre Scholar. Leading up to that she worked in NYC for 2.5 years developing pioneering new community programs for economic empowerment and education for the City government.
Adam Schwartz is our Development Director as well as a tour guide. Adam is a geographer and helped curate the Brooklyn Historical Society exhibit Up From Flames, Mapping the Recovery of Bushwick 1977-2007.