About Us

Mission

To prepare youth in East Harlem and beyond to lead healthy lives and shape their environment through outdoor education, play, exploration, and community engagement.

Vision

Youth Transforming The World Starting In Their Own Backyards

Why Concrete Safaris?

Young people do not play outdoors as often as they once did. Three barriers preventing children and youth in East Harlem from playing outside on a regular basis are fear of perceived or real violence and a lack of supervision and supplies with which to play.

Youth learn, play, explore, and engage community outdoors in East Harlem where there are...

High-quality or skilled supervision

Adults in the home often work more than one job and may not be available to take the child outside. Older youth and adults may not have the skills to ride a bike, garden, or play sports, and therefore cannot teach their children. Older youth and adults may have a physical condition that limits their physical activity. Older youth may not be able to be seen outdoors in certain areas as a result of crew (or gang) activity and a threat to their safety, and therefore may not take the child outside. Physical education may not be offered at the child's school. Recess may not provide a child with play time. Child care staff in schools or out-of-school time programs may not be interested in the outdoors and as a result may not take children outdoors.

Outdoor play supplies

A family may not have money to purchase supplies, or space in the home to store supplies.

Safe(r) Spaces

There may be a fear of actual or perceived violence on the blocks near or around a child's home preventing caregivers from wanting to allow the child to play outdoors.

Access to outdoor play experiences in early childhood:

Increases the likelihood of the child growing up to become an active individual who cares about his or her health and environment

Can help kids to stop taking ADD medications with just 30 minutes of walking in nature, which has the same impact as a dose of a leading ADD drug

How We Serve

Theory of Change

We provide youth with outdoor experiences to build soft and hard leadership skills so that they can transform public spaces into safer spaces where they teach the community soft and hard skills and become greater assets to their community and beyond.

Community Health Interventions

The Theory of Change is applied through 4 Key Programs:

Direct Services For & By Children and Youth

City Surfers

Outdoor Leadership Academy

Built Environment Change

Green Exercise Days

JungleGym

Partners

IMG_3307

After school & Summer Programs + Schools
Amber Charter School, The Association to Benefit Children, Children's Aid Society, Columbia University, The Ella Baker School, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Lower Lab, Marymount School of New York, Mosaic Charter School, New York City College of Technology, New York University, Northeastern University, Police Athletic League, Public Schools 7, 38, 50, 57, 72, 83, 96, 101, 102, 115M, 182, and 198, The Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, Trevor Day School, and Union Settlement Association.

concrete-safaris-we-win-event-8-1-19_48465167977_o

Government
Community Board 11, FDNY, Harlem Community Development Corporation, Manhattan Borough President's Office, Materials For the Arts, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, NYC Department of Transportation, NYC Department of Youth & Community Development, NYC Housing Authority, NYC Human Resources Administration, NYC Parks, NYPD, NYS Department of Agriculture, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, New York County Office of the District Attorney, Office of Council Member Diana Ayala, and Office of NYS Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez.

IMG_2801

Foundations
Anonymous, All Stars Helping Kids Fund, America the Beautiful Fund, American Heart Association, Awesome Foundation, The Captain Planet Foundation, City Parks Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, First Cornerstone Foundation, Fund for Public Health in NYC, The General Mills Foundation, Hyde & Watson Foundation, The Levitt Foundation, Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Mattel Children's Foundation, The Merck Family Fund, The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, Norcross Wildlife Foundation, NYC Venture Philanthropy Fund, New York State Health Foundation, NYS Agricultural Society, Open Space Institute, Outdoor Nation, and The Pinkerton Foundation.

IMG_1784

Community-Based Organizations
Appalachian Mountain Club's Youth Opportunities Program, Citizens Committee for New York City, Community Resource Exchange, El Barrio's Operation Fightback, Futures and Options, Getting Out & Staying Out, GrowNYC, Harlem Community Development Corporation, Harlem RBI, Harvest Home Farmer's Market, Lawyers Alliance for NY, Lower East Side Ecology Center, Mentoring Partnership for NY, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Museum of the City of New York, National Gardening Association, New York Cares, New York Common Pantry, Partnerships for Parks, Transportation Alternatives, YMCA, YouthBridge-NY, and ZogSports.

IMG_2247

Corporations
Alcoa Foundation, AlpInvest Partners, AOL, Bartlett Tree Experts, BlackRock, Boston Consulting Group, CHALK, CIT Group, Computer Associates, Deloitte & Touche, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs Community TeamWorks, Goodwin Procter, Green Apple Music & Arts Festival, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Hardware NY, HSBC, HQ Capital Real Estate, Interpublic Group, J.P. Morgan, JRM Construction, Kipling, McDermott Will & Emery, Merrell, Minnelli Construction, Morgan Stanley, Morrison & Foerster, Nautica, Nickelodeon, The North Face Explore Fund, Novus, Oath, Paragon Sports, Patagonia, Petsky-Prunier, PMK-BNC, PMS Construction Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Rabin Martin, Ralph Lauren, Ryobi, SCOR Reinsurance Co., Thompson Hine, Thomson Reuters, Tiago Holdings, Timberland, Verizon Media, and VF Corp.