January 16, 2013, Rockland County, NY – Keep Rockland Beautiful is pleased to announce that they have been awarded a $15,000 grant from the First Niagara Foundation. This generous donation will go towards supporting Earth B.E.A.T (Basic Environmental AwarenessTraining) and Rockland P.L.U.S. (Planning Land Use with Students), two educational programs for students throughout the county.
Earth B.E.A.T. is a unique program that fosters a greater appreciation for local environment and inspires youth to become responsible caretakers of the earth. Students gain insight into their intimate connection to the web of life and become empowered with simple steps they can take to preserve natural resources.
The first Earth B.E.A.T. of 2013 is at the Rockland Jewish Community Campus (RJCC) in West Nyack on January 22. Sixth and seventh grade students from Rockland County Religious Schools will come together to celebrate Tu B’shvat and learn more about the environment. Students will rotate through four interactive Eco-stations.
“Earth B.E.A.T. is a great program that teaches children about respecting our environment through engaging activities,” said Sonia Cairo, Executive Director, Keep Rockland Beautiful. “It is important to get the younger generations involved with thinking about our surrounding communities’ economic, social and environmental needs to ensure a healthy, sustainable future.”
Rockland P.L.U.S. is an annual land use charrette activity that has engaged over 650 high school students, teachers, and professional mentors from the fields of planning, architecture, law, real estate development, affordable housing and environmental science and advocacy.
Students from Spring Valley, Clarkstown South, Tappan Zee and Nanuet High Schools gathered at Rockland Community College in December 2012 to share their exciting visions for redevelopment with peers and over 20 professionals from the fields of planning, engineering, farming and environmental science, among others. After presenting their plans and receiving feedback from their mentors, mixed groups of students from each of the participating high schools worked together to map out a plan for the redevelopment of a common site - the Rockland Psychiatric Center in Orangetown, an area currently being considered for redevelopment by the Town.
“Rockland County’s younger generations have the ability to create long-lasting change for our communities,” said Sara Tucker, First Vice President, Regional Team Leader, Hudson Valley Business Banking for First Niagara. “First Niagara is happy to support this wonderful program.”
As one of the largest banks in the region, First Niagara now has nearly 430 branches in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and 26 branches in the Hudson Valley, including Blauvelt, New City, Nyack, Pearl River, Spring Valley, Stony Point, Suffern and Tappan.
About First Niagara
First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank with nearly 430 branches, approximately $38 billion in assets, $29 billion in deposits, and approximately 6,000 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.firstniagara.com.