Last Updated: 2/2/16

The January 8, 2016 deadline has passed. enews_signup_buttonPlease consider applying for the next round of funding.

Next deadline is FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2016 BY 5PM

Welcome to Your Watershed!

Walk along the top of a dam for sweeping views of blue reservoirs. Hike through well-managed forests on trails and roads engineered to reduce water pollution. Meet the farmers who grow your vegetables, produce your milk, and protect the source of your drinking water. Catch glimpses of white-tailed deer, red squirrels, and eagles roaming the New York City watershed’s wild areas.

The most powerful way to learn about NYC’s remarkable water supply system is to experience it in person. WAC supports groups that want to understand first-hand how landowners, communities and mother nature work together to provide NYC with some of the best drinking water on the planet.

Discover how well-managed forests and farms protect water quality and support local economies. Understand your role in the world-famous partnership between upstate and downstate communities that keeps your water clean with minimum filtration.

Watershed Forestry Bus Tour Program

The Watershed Forestry Bus Tour Program funds groups that want to experience their water supply system in person. Any organization, community group or 4th-12th grade classroom in New York City or the upstate watershed regions (Catskill/Delaware and Croton) is eligible to apply for up to $3,000 in funding to participate in one of five Bus Tour Options described below. Student groups younger than 4th grade may be considered for funding if specific watershed and forestry learning outcomes are part of the proposed tour.

Please note that partial grant funding is often awarded and is intended primarily to help pay for the transportation costs associated with a bus tour. Two rounds of grant funding are awarded each year with application deadlines in early January and early August.

How to Apply

Please download the application form below. The first page includes a program overview and information about eligibility and submission requirements. The last page of the application document contains the Administrative Support Form, which must be submitted as part of your completed application. You may also download the Administrative Support Form separately below.

To help you craft a strong application, check out the Sample Application link below and visit our Teacher Resources webpage for background information and excellent teaching resources on NYC watershed forestry topics.



NOTE: 4 of the 5 Bus Tour Options are currently available for the 1/8/16 deadline. Option 3: Green Connections Program is only available for the August deadline.

Choose from one of five exciting Bus Tour Options. Each option offers a high-quality learning experience with competent partner organizations and includes a guided visit to a NYC-DEP drinking water reservoir.



Discover the NYC watershed at one of four Environmental Education Centers. Tours include a guided visit to a NYC-DEP drinking water reservoir. Choose from among the centers’ watershed forestry-themed courses listed below. Explore on-site Model Forests at Clearpool Education Center and Frost Valley YMCA, which are living classrooms that demonstrate sustainable forestry practices for water quality protection. Click on the links below for more information about each EEC’s courses.

East of Hudson
Clearpool Education Center & Model Forest
Course options: Watershed Connections, Stream Study, Water Conservation, Forest Ecology, Introduction to Forestry, Maple Sugaring
Taconic Outdoor Education Center
Course options: Forest Ecology, Aquatic Ecology, Soil Ecology, Environmental Issues (Water Use), Energy Flow (Water Cycle)
Teatown Lake Reservation
Course options: Watershed Education, Trees are Terrific, Field and Forest, Maple Sugaring

West of Hudson
Frost Valley YMCA & Model Forest
Course options: Watersheds and Wilderness, Freshwater Ecology, Forest Ecology, Maple Sugaring, Ice Cutting


Trout in the Classroom participants visit Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Westchester County in April/May to release their trout into the Cross River that flows directly into the nearby Cross River Reservoir and supplies drinking water to NYC. Trout Unlimited and WAC educators lead forestry, water quality and watershed activities that highlight the connection between healthy forests, trout habitat and clean drinking water. Tours include a guided visit to the Cross River Reservoir for groups traveling in 1-2 buses. Visit the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation website for more information.






NOTE: Green Connections is currently NOT available for the 1/8/16 deadline.

Green Connections is a year-long program available to 4-8th grade teachers who have attended the Watershed Forestry Institute for Teachers. Green Connections explores the environmental and cultural dimensions of the NYC watershed by supporting partnerships between upstate and downstate classrooms. Partner classrooms complete: 1) The 10-lesson Green Connections curriculum; 2) Three rounds of correspondence between student buddies; 3) Two joint Bus Tours, one to an upstate watershed location and one to NYC. Partner teachers submit separate applications. Total combined grant requests for a partnership may not exceed $5,000






Be an active steward of your watershed! Help improve water quality by planting trees along tributaries (streams) that flow into NYC drinking water reservoirs. Trees for Tribs tree planting tours are one-day tours that take place during late April/early May in the Croton watershed. In addition to planting trees, WAC educators lead forestry, water quality and watershed activities. Tours include a guided visit to the Cross River Reservoir. Student groups must be 6th grade or higher. Maximum number of participants, including chaperones, is 50, or the capacity of one bus. Visit the WAC Trees for Tribs website for more information.







Witness the source of your drinking water and explore how well-managed forests protect water quality and support local economies in the NYC watershed. We strongly recommend visiting a WAC Model Forest (read more here) and NYC-DEP drinking water reservoir. Other environmental or cultural sites may be included depending on group interests and goals. Visit the Catskills Watershed Corporation’s Field Trip Ideas webpage for a list of great destinations throughout the watershed.






For more information on planning a Bus Tour to see watershed forests at work, contact us at education@nycwatershed.org.

No time to visit? Check out our Virtual Farm and Forest Tours.