To many, New York City it is the best city in the world with its non-stop pace, horizon-widening opportunities, world-class schools.

But amid the bustle, the pavement, and all those skyscrapers, New Yorkers increasingly long for more contact with nature outside of their beloved oasis of Central Park.

The yearning to establish a calmer than Manhattan educational setting is what led to the creation of the New York Harbor School. Founded in 2003, the private school has since become an educational refuge for city students seeking to learn traditional subjects in a natural setting.

“The natural world is the best place to grow and learn as a young person,” explains the school’s founder, Murray Fisher. Accessible only by ferry, the school offers courses to complement its waterfront location, including marine biology, boat maintenance, and even scuba.

After founding the school, Fisher noticed the highly polluted waters of New York Harbor. To help alleviate the problem, Fisher implemented the BOP: Billion Oyster Project, aiming to plant 1 billion oysters in New York Harbor, incorporating the project into classes at the school. Oysters naturally clear water, making way for clean water and natural wildlife to return to the ecosystem. In the process, students are able to learn about aquasystems, wildlife, biology, and more while thriving in a calm and natural school environment.

To learn more about experiential learning at the New York Harbor School, listen to our Upgraded by Hobsons podcast:

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