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Christodora, Inc.

Christodora, Inc.
CROWDRISE : Aug 03, 2012
Tax ID: 13-5562192
BASED: New York, NY, United States


Christodora, Inc.

Our Mission

For over 100 years, Christodora has given low-income youth a first-hand experience in and appreciation for nature. Christodora's mission is to encourage the positive educational and developmental growth of New York City's youth through stimulating educational and challenging outdoor programs. Ultimately, we help to nurture the next generation of environmental stewards in diverse urban populations.

Christodora was founded in 1897 as a settlement house on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, providing health care, educational and job training programs, and other social services for poor immigrant families. Camping became a key part of our programs in 1908. In the 1960’s, Christodora chose to direct all its resources to outdoor experiential programs, eventually expanding its operations in 1981 to include the Manice Education Center in the northern Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts.


Today, Christodora is building on this legacy of helping at-risk New York City youth develop leadership, academic success and healthy living habits through hands-on experience of the natural world. We engage over 2,500 students each year in their public school classrooms, in urban ecology programs throughout the city, at our wilderness camp and with distinguished partner programs.


Most of our students meet federal poverty levels to qualify for free or reduced price lunch; almost half are from single- or no-parent households; ethnicity is almost completely Hispanic, African-American or multi-ethnic. 


Schools: The Christodora Winter Ecology Program (WEP) brings experiential learning to public middle-school classrooms, and serves as a gateway for further involvement in nature. Christodora educators conduct a customized seven-week environmental science curriculum in 80 classrooms, in 20 partner schools per year, largely in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.


Camp-- Manice Education Center: While our largest outreach is in the public schools, the heart of our programs, for generations, has been in wilderness immersion. Each year, approximately 950 students attend our Manice Education Center in a rugged corner of the Berkshire Mountains, leaving the city behind for this 120-acre facility that is surrounded by 14,000 acres of state parks. Stimulating outdoor adventures including hiking and canoeing, gardening, tending the chickens, and learning about nature fill the days. Most important are the values that we help the students incorporate into their daily lives: the “3 Rs” of risk, responsibility and respect; leave-no-trace; no-food waste; understanding group dynamics; deciding to be a leader and knowing what that entails. Students who show the greatest initiative each day are honored as “fire keepers,” contributing to an atmosphere of positivity and continual support.


Field trips: Selected classes from our Winter Ecology Program and other schools are invited for 3-day field trips to Manice. We host 22 trips in the spring and fall, and it is the first wilderness immersion for most of the 800 students served. These trips bring the classroom learning to life (while meeting core curriculum and next generation science standards) and, as with all Christodora programs, have a dual academic and leadership focus.


Summer Programs: The classroom and field trip programs motivate many students to engage more deeply during the summer. Manice’s four sessions for sixth through twelfth graders offer backpacking and canoeing expeditions, nature study and other challenges at increasing levels of accomplishment. With over half of the staff comprised of our former students, peer leadership and mentoring are important elements of the Manice experience.


Weekend Programs in Urban Ecology: Christodora’s weekend programs enable students to stay active and connected year-round and to use their knowledge of ecology to become agents of renewal within their communities.  Over 100 students convene on Saturday and Sunday mornings at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, ready to spend the day performing hands-on horticulture and restoration projects. They have been honored by Rep. Jose Serrano for their ongoing cleanup of a mile-long stretch of the Bronx River, and by the Bronx River Alliance as “Volunteers of the Year” for building trails and serving as canoe guides for the general public. Recently they worked as “citizen scientists” on a tree phenology project for the New York Botanical Garden.


Field research at Great Mountain Forest (GMF) Yale School of Forestry camp: Christodora has enjoyed a decade-long partnership with the Great Mountain Forest and its Yale School of Forestry camp. Students perform original field research, and make a formal presentation of their findings to the GMF faculty.


Partnerships for advanced learning opportunities: Through our endowed Elliman Scholars program, the most motivated and dedicated students can attend partner programs including National Outdoor Leadership Schools (NOLS), the Teton Science Center and the Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.


Tax ID: 13-5562192 •


Christodora NYC Half Marathon 2018

Christodora NYC Half Maratho…

Amount Raised:



58% Raised of $20,000 Goal

Christodora NYC Half Marathon 2017

Christodora NYC Half Maratho…

Amount Raised:



125% Raised of $10,000 Goal

Christodora NYC Half Marathon

Christodora NYC Half Marathon

Amount Raised: