Awww, you make us blush.

Community feedback and media coverage of our work


Why Kids Love Our Programs

Concrete Safaris helped me improve to eat healthy and do exercise. It helped my family to eat healthy and go outside.
-Boy, Age 12, 5th grade


Parents Rave About The Quality of Healthy Experiential Education


It's better than the medicine, getting these kids outside, it's better than the medicine. It’s really working.
-Parent of a City Surfer diagnosed with ADHD whose symptoms had reduced since joining after school

Thank you everyone for this opportunity [the end-of-semester camping trip] you have given my daughter. Great memories and showing her she to face her fears and go the distance. Priceless! I really love you guys!
-Robert Cruz, Destiny's Father

My children get to explore and learn about helping their environment.
-Setan Doucoure, Mother of 4 City Surfers

Concrete Safaris' value to Heaven is very Educational, Respectful, Entertaining as well as Big Fun.
-Michael Brisco, Heaven's Father


Teachers & Parent Coordinators Want Students At Our Field Trips & Field Days
Field day was great! The students had a wonderful time. They were excited to have organized play time with their classmates and teacher. The students were encouraging each other through each section especially the obstacles. Kindergarten was excited to be included. I praise Christopher for having the patience of a saint and the energy to match my most excited students! The teachers and students looked to him for guidance, approval and celebration. It was a tall order for a tall man but he met the challenge inch by inch... it was great to see!
-Nora Montero, Parent Coordinator, PS 155

Thank you for having us. The kids loved the experience and I plan on letting other teachers know about your program. I look forward to visiting again next school year!
-Mr. Alvarez, PS 146

Event & Volunteer Managers Love Our Organized, Easy & Fun Partner Packages

THANK YOU for letting us come and be a part of [the children’s] day! We did have a great time and think the work you all are doing there is amazing. We really value our partnership with Concrete Safaris and love that it's so easy for AOLers to get involved. 
-Trista Myers, Event Manager, AOL

Concrete Safaris is one of my favorite Project Partners out of all the projects I have ever team led with New York Cares.  
-Monica White, Team Leader

The group had an awesome time and we will  for sure be back again- everything was so well organized and much appreciated!
-
Lauren MacCallum, Events Coordinator, The Boston Consulting Group
Community Partners Praise Link Between Research & Program Delivery

Concrete Safaris highlights how existing open space, in this case NYCHA grounds, can be optimally used to provide fun and educational programs for inner city children right in their backyard. Mac has worked tirelessly to get this program off the ground building needed relationships with the community, schools, and NYCHA and then orchestrating large scale community events with a handful of staff and volunteers.

In our ongoing research at Mount Sinai on the built environment and its’ role in childhood obesity, we found that the majority of early school aged children in our longitudinal study did not participate in any structured physical activity programs. Concrete Safaris is exactly the intervention needed to remedy this dire situation. The organization is optimizing the built environment by making it more accessible to kids, providing trained staff educated in environmental science, and increasing safety by involving community members at various events throughout the year.

Children in Concrete Safaris log thousands of hours of outdoor play and calorie expenditure. Staff are also introducing children to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, which aids in food acceptance. These are two issues that are often difficult to meaningfully address at well child clinical visits. I cannot say enough good things about what Concrete Safaris is doing for East Harlem children and how critical its efforts are with respect to the primary prevention of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Concrete Safaris' work has directly benefitted countless children, the schools, and the community at large and can help inform pediatric primary care prevention efforts moving forward.

Maida P. Galvez, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Preventative Medicine and Pediatrics
Region 2 PEHSU Director
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


Politicians Value Community Investment in Nutrition & Lifestyle Programs

We thank Concrete Safaris for ... empowering children living in and around East Harlem's public housing developments. Your hands on approach to nutritional education has been a great service to our community and young people have a better understanding of where food comes from as well has how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

-Matthew S. Washington, Chairman, Community Board 11

Concrete Safaris has been a critical partner to us, particularly on Youthbucks and other initiatives focusing on the nutritional and physical health of East Harlem’s children.... I personally want to thank Concrete Safaris for their efforts to ensure that East Harlem residents have access to high-quality, outdoor play and education in Manhattan’s neighborhoods and parks.
-Manhattan Borough Scott M. Stringer, now New York City Comptroller

I have watched Concrete Safaris grow over the past five years and have supported this organization from its early stages. As Chair of the City Council’s Parks & Recreation Committee, I commend Concrete Safaris for creating an event that gets my constituents out into the parks for an entire weekend. I echo the sentiments of Community Board 11’s unanimous approval, and am in full support of Concrete Safaris’ JungleGym. 
-District 8 Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, now Speaker of the New York City Council


Media Coverage

On Health, de Blasio Focuses on Health and Inequality, Page A20, The New York Times: October 16, 2017.
Overcoming All Kinds of Obstacles: Concrete Safaris teaches children about fitness, while young adults acquire job skills, Sunday Metropolitan section, Page 2, The New York Times: August 13, 2017.
Concrete Safaris’ JungleGym 2017 | OPEN Friday | August 4th, 2017, BronxNet.org: August 4, 2017
40 Under 40: The Rising Stars in New York City Food Policy (Class of 2017): May 2017.
In East Harlem, Kids Go On 'Concrete Safaris,' Voices of NY: April 2017.
DA Vance Invests $58 Million In Youth And Families To Prevent Crime: February 27, 2017.

Health Department's Center for Health Equity Announces East Harlem Community Walking Trail: November 19, 2016.

Health Department Awards $225,000 to Nine Organizations for Community Activation Projects in East Harlem: June 11, 2016.
Learn from a Leader: How to Build a Community Garden in a Public Housing Complex, IOBY Blog: August 4, 2015.

Mac Levine Named First Female To Solo SUP The Hudson River, SUP The Mag: June 24, 2014.
Sharon Levine attempts first solo female paddleboard down Hudson, amNewYork: June 5, 2014.

Greening the Concrete Jungle: Gorman Prize winner promotes urban environmental health, Columbia Public Health Magazine, Page 45, October 2013.
One Nurse's Review of JungleGym 2013, HealthCetera - CHMP's Blog, Center for Health Media & Policy at Hunter College (CHMP), October 11, 2013.
Assisted Housing Management Insider: Take 10 Steps to Create a Successful Community Garden for Residents: September 26, 2013
New Yorkers for Parks Newsletter, March 4, 2013
Ampleen: Interview with Concrete Safaris -- An Inner-City Kids Program that Promotes Healthy Living in a Green Way!, Nov. 20, 2012
New York Daily News: Nature program gets East Harlem students involved in the outdoors, October 23, 2012
Impacto Latin News: Programas Comunitarios de Manhattan Reciben Ayuda de Coca Cola, October 2012
STREETSBLOG.ORG: Strong Majority Supports Protected Bike Lanes at East Harlem Hearing, December 7, 2011
El Diario: Safaris de Concreto en pleno Nueva York, Noviembre 2011
Mount Sinai School of Medicine's Communities IMPACT Diabetes Center Presents "You've Got The Power"
Citizens Committee for NYC's New York City Is My Neighborhood Campaign, March 2011 
NYC Department of Education: In Our Schools Today
The New York Times: July 22, 2009
Mattel Children's Foundation: January 9, 2009
The Good Fight on Sundance Channel