Learning Disguised: Green Lakes State Park’s New Plan to Educate Students in CNY Green Lakes State Park Opens Multi-Million Dollar Education Center

Staff at the $6 million education center plan to educate children in a new way.

(Ryan Clarke) The beautiful new environmental education center includes a new outdoor classroom with exhibits about animal life, beaches, and fish. Katie Mulverhill, the environmental education manager at Green Lakes, says that millions of people come to visit the park each year, but Green Lakes real commitment is to educate local kids.

(Katie Mulverhill) I think that is a big possibility, more people can come .. and we welcome that. But, I also think that for some people coming we can give them a new experience.

(Ryan Clarke) Mulverhill believes that the new New York state government is the driving force behind the movement to teach our kids about life outdoors.

(Katie Mulverhill) Right now, it’s a really big commitment that New York State parks has to connect kids to parks.

(Ryan Clarke) Green Lakes State Park will continue their goal of educating the youth throughout this school year. Ryan Clarke, N-C-C News.

Manlius, N.Y. (NCC News) — Despite temperatures dropping to below 40 degrees on Tuesday, Green Lakes State Park was packed with families hiking, playing and relaxing by the water. For a cold winter afternoon, Central New York’s most popular park was full of people. Now, Green Lakes is home to more than its beautiful beaches, golf course, and picnic areas. Green Lakes staff has now shifted their focus to something different, a newly opened environmental education center.

Multiple exhibits showing
One of the many aquamarine exhibits at the Green Lakes new Education Center, which will teach children about the aquatic life living in the park.
© 2018 Ryan Clarke

The new center is part of a $6 million renovation initiative started by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Governor and the New York State legislature approved the funding to revitalize parks and recreation centers across the state.

“It’s a really big commitment that New York State has to connecting kids to parks,” said Green Lakes Environmental Education Manager Kate Mulverhill.

Mulverhill believes that the center is helping local students learn more about the environment, agriculture, and biology in a new interesting way. Green Lakes staff has begun field trip programs which teach children about the wildlife in the park, including different species of fish and birds. However, she believes the center will do more than educate local children.

“A lot of students don’t have the opportunity to learn from a natural setting, and now children can come and learn in a new way,” Mulverhill said.

According to Mulverhill, millions of people come to visit Green Lakes each year and more are on their way. With the new influx of tourists, Mulverhill says that the surrounding areas might be affected as well.

“I think the new center definitely has an impact on the local economy, people come all year long and are spending even more now,” Mulverhill said.

Reported by

Ryan Clarke

Ryan Clarke is a junior studying both Broadcast & Digital Journalism and Political Science at Syracuse University. Clarke is a researcher and content creator for Cincinnati-based football analytics company ProFootballFocus. In addition, he is also a color commentator for CNYStream, along with a writer/reporter for both WAER and CitrusTV. In the past, Clarke has interned for local news organizations - along with Fox News in NYC.

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