Sept. 18, 2019. By Shane O’Brien
An environmental education center is slated to open at the new Hunters Point Library this fall after almost $1 million was secured in funding by the Queens Public Library.
QPL announced that the funds will be distributed over the course of three years to operate and run the center.
The new Hunters Point Library is set to open to the public for the first time on Tuesday, Sept. 24 after years of delays. The education center will open sometime after the official opening of the library, although no specific date has been confirmed.
There will be no designated room for the new center. Instead, the entire library will act as the center with expert staff and scheduled workshops.
The center will offer environmental STEM workshops and classes to children, teens and adults alike. Visitors can use interactive charts to learn about topics such as trees, plants, marine life, pollution, recycling, climate change and more.
The center will be modelled after the Child’s Library Discovery Center at the Jamaica Pubic Library.
QPL President Dennis Walcott said that the education center was a first for Queens and that it will teach community members about the natural surroundings of Hunters Point and Long Island City.
“With STEM programs for children, teens and adults, the center will add an exciting new learning dimension to Hunters Point Library,” Walcott said.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation provided funding for the education center and Regional Director Steve Zahn said that teaching communities about the local environment was crucial.
“Investing in environmental education is critical for providing communities with the tools and information needed to understand what is going on in their backyards, the city, and the world.”
The center will also be used to educate teachers, New York City museum professionals and librarians so they can teach about environmental issues elsewhere.