About Us


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


Youth Transforming The World Starting In Their Own Backyards

Why Concrete Safaris?

Children do not play outdoors as often as they once did. Three barriers preventing children in East Harlem from playing outside on a regular basis 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

30 minutes walking in nature has the same impact as a dose of a leading ADD medication

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

We apply our Theory of Change through these 4 Key Programs:

Direct Services For & By Children and Youth

City Surfers

Outdoor Leadership Academy

Built Environment Change

Green Exercise Days


Here are three ways you can help:



After school & Summer Programs + Schools
Key Partners: PS 83, 182, and Union Settlement Association. Additional partners: 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, New York City College of Technology, New York University, Police Athletic League, Public Schools 7, 38, 50, 57, 72, 96, 101, 102, and 198, and The Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center.


Community Board 11, FDNY, Manhattan Borough President's Office, Materials For the Arts, NYC Department of Health, NYC Department of Transportation, NYC Department of Youth, NYC Housing Authority, NYC Parks, NYPD, NYS Department of Ag, NYS Office of the District Attorney, Office of Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Office of Senator Jose M. Serrano, Police Auxiliary.


Anonymous, All Stars Helping Kids Fund, America the Beautiful Fund, American Heart Association, Awesome Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, The General Mills Foundation, The Levitt Foundation, Mattel Children's Foundation, The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, Norcross Wildlife Foundation, NYC Venture Philanthropy Fund, Open Space Institute, Outdoor Nation, and The Pinkerton Foundation.


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, Harlem River Park Task Force, 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.


Alcoa Foundation, AlpInvest Partners, AOL, Bartlett Tree Experts, Boston Consulting Group, CHALK, CIT, Computer Associates, Deloitte & Touche, Goldman Sachs Community TeamWorks, Goodwin Procter, Green Apple Music & Arts Festival, Hardware NY, Interpublic Group, J.P. Morgan, Kipling, McDermott Will & Emery, Merrell, Minnelli Construction, Morrison & Foerster, Nautica, Nickelodeon, The North Face Explore Fund, Paragon Sports, Patagonia, PMK-BNC, PMS Construction Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Rabin Martin, Ralph Lauren, Ryobi, Thompson Hine, Tiago Holdings, Timberland.