The Bronx Is Blossoming

Who has access to nature in the city? Who decides?

In the summer of 2018,CUP, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), partnered with Teaching Artist Hugo Rojas and public high school students from around the South Bronx to investigate these questions.

Students photographed the neighborhood, created stop-motion animations, stenciled the area with spray chalk. They conducted community surveys, interviewed key stakeholders, and used WCS’s, to create digital renderings of what nature in the Bronx could look like in the future.

The team used design and art to break down the information they gathered and collaborated with designer Kevin Cadena to create a website to teach others what they learned, sharing their visions for nature in the South Bronx!

Check out their final website, The Bronx is Blossoming, here!

See photos of the students in action here!

And for more on the project and students’ process, listen to a podcast produced by summer intern, Katie Lan, here!

What People Are Saying

“I learned that there’s way more to learn about nature than I thought!” - Tyreek Saunders, student

“The thing that I like the most about the project was learnging about how other people think about nature. Before I got into the program, I didn’t have like a specific viewpoint on how I thought of nature. But now, learning from others, I could have a different opinion, something that matters to the community.”  - Rayken Almonte, student

“I like being an interviewer. I like being in a position where I can…hear from a person whom you otherwise wouldn’t…[The interviews] gave you a sense of ’You’re doing this and you have a choice in this.’” - Blake Coniglio, student

Resources & Links

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) founded in 1895, saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. is a web applicaiton that enables the public to develop and share their own climate-resiliant designs for NYC based on rapid and realistic model assessments of carbon, water, biodiversity, population, and economics.

Bronx Lab School is a four-year open-enrollment college preparatory, small public high school within the New York City Department of Education. BLS is a community of learners that prepares students for success through meaningful work and authentic inquiry across the disciplines.

Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School is a small high school that stresses creative and intellectual development and political and social involvement in our society.

Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy International High School (KAPPA) is a small public high school in the Bronx dedicated to preparing its students for success in college. KAPPAoffers the International Baccalaureate program for all interested and on-track Juniors and Seniors.

Funding Support

This project was made possible by a grant awarded through the Mozilla Foundation’s Hive NYCInnovation Fund.

Special Thanks

Huong Dinh, Caroline Ellis, Katie Lan, Jeff Palladino, Jen Robinson, Emilio Vides-Curnen, Irina Vinnitskaya


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artist
  • Hugo Rojas
  • Teaching Artist Assistant
  • Katie Lan
  • Project Leads
  • Fielding Hong
  • Jenn Anne Williams
  • Project Support
  • Katie Lan
  • Designer
  • Kevin Cadena
  • Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Senior Conservation Ecologist
  • Eric Sanderson
  • Spatial Analyst and Developer
  • Kim Fisher
  • High School Partners
  • Bronx Lab School
  • Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School
  • KAPPA International High School
  • Students
  • Rayken Almonte
  • Ostin Bernardez
  • Michael Berrios
  • Blake Coniglio
  • Brianna Douglas
  • Nusrath Islam
  • Anyer Ogando
  • Fredelin Ortiz
  • Hector Peña
  • Luis Pinales
  • Tyreek Saunders