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Bette Midler And NYRP Celebrate Opening Of NYC Nature Classroom

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“Just remember in the winter, far beneath the biter snow, lies a seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose.” 

One of my favorite lines from one of my favorite songs sung by one of my favorite performers….. Ladies and gentlemen: The one and only…. Bette Midler!

On Monday May 18th, 2009 Ms. Midler helped celebrate the opening of New York City’s first certified nature explore classroom with New York Restoration Project’s (NYRP) newly designed The Home Depot Foundation Community Garden in East Harlem.

The best part? Midler was joined by 20 of the most adorable students you’ve ever seen from East Harlem’s PS 155!

After being introduced to the students as “our force of nature” by Drew Becher, executive director of the NYRP, Midler gave her two cents (hey, it’s her project, we’ll let her give as much as she wants!)…. “I’m from Hawaii…. You know who else is from Hawaii? President Obama, a true forward thinking guy and we’re crazy about him.” In her speech Midler also stated “children and nature make a perfect marriage…. a perfect couple.”

In addition to playtime, NRYP will use the space to host classes from the award-winning “Nature in My Neighborhood curriculum.” I had the pleasure of sitting down with NYRP chief education officer, Akiima Price (who Midler hailed as “the greatest educator I have ever met!”). I asked Ms Price about the benefits of bringing urban children and nature together. Her response: “Kids need options. These parks and programs help break the cycles. It’s nothing for some of these kids to think about going to jail.”

Another perk of the park? Mr. Bechner showed me how they use solar and wind power for the activities and maintenance of the garden… including movies for the community beginning in June!

Until then, what excites the kids most about the new Home Depot Community Garden? As Ms. Midler pointed out: “You can get your hands dirty and no one is going to yell at you!”

Now that’s something to sing about!

Check out more pictures from the event below.

Monica McCarthy is the newest member of the Ecorazzi team and the founder of BeeGoodNow.com — a website that puts the spotlight on women who are being good by doing good for the greater good.  Monica lives in New York City and we think she’s neat.

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