About 120 ninth-grade students from Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in Forest Hills, rallied at the shuttered Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center on Thursday in an effort to raise awareness on how the ongoing federal government shutdown is impacting their education, school and communities as a whole.
Students presented their solutions to environmental issues on Jan. 17 and advocated for the opening of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center — located at 175-10 Cross Bay Blvd. — where they’re unable to complete their fieldwork investigations, due to the government shutdown.
The students acknowledged the hardworking rangers at the refuge — and other national parks — who aren’t being paid, saying, “They’ve done so much for the bay such as cleaning it up, and making sure people have a good time.”
Together they chanted, “Don’t shut down my education…whose parks…our parks!” as they concluded with their final message: “Speak your mind, reach out, make your voice heard, after all power comes with unity.”
Each year, ninth-grade students in Living Environment class work with the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which is part of the National Parks System, to study ecological systems and human impact in a real-world setting. At the conclusion of every semester, students present their findings at the Visitors Center as part of their final presentation of learning.