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We are an initiative of Local Nature Lab, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Our mission is to monitor biodiversity, to provide environmental education and community science programs, and to advocate for the ecological health of Washington Square Park.

The Park

Washington Square Park is a 9.75 acre public park managed and operated by the NYC Parks and Recreation Department. The past lives of the parkland include, in reverse chronological order, a military parade ground, a cemetery for the poor and indigent, and a floodplain forest. The park is on unceded Lenape land.


Loyan Beausoleil, Bird Program Manager

Loyan Beausoleil is an educator and a fine artist. She holds a BFA from the University of Oregon and an M.S.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education. She is currently pursuing an MSc in Biology from Miami University. Loyan is currently conducting research on Chimney Swifts, which are a NYC urban bird. She coordinated a NYC Swift Night out, a citizen science project, in September of 2019, and is developing Chimney Swift educational materials to be used with the Explore Birds program. Loyan also holds the New York State Children’s Program Administrator credential. She presented an early childhood science curriculum at the 2017 Conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Loyan served on the Teachers Advisory Board of the Wildlife Conservation Society from 2018 to 2019.

Georgia Silvera Seamans, Director

Georgia lives and breathes city trees–with field experience in New Haven, Boston, Oakland, and NYC, and a dissertation about urban forestry policy in Northern California cities. Georgia’s research has been published in Urban Forestry & Urban Greening and Arboriculture & Urban Forestry. She also writes about trees with bylines in City Trees and about birds with articles at Popular Science and Audubon.


Our work is made possible through our collaborations. Thank you to all the individuals, collectives, and organizations that have lent your expertise and provided us with a multiplicity of resources. We would like to call out four groups of people specially. One, our heartfelt appreciation to Street Lab for co-designing Explore Birds and being an all-around cheerleader of our work. Two, a special thanks to Paul Sweet and Peter Capainolo of the American Museum of Natural History for supporting the development of our bird specimen education collection; from mentoring us in taxidermy to encouraging us to seek our education and exhibit permits. Three, we still talk about the phenomenal Feminist Bird Club walk in the park in October 2018; thank you to Molly Adams and her team for helping us share the magic of birding in the park. And four, we are forever grateful to Heather Wolf for being a great go-to bird guide and for introducing us to the concept of patch birding. And a special thanks to Cathryn Swan who joined Georgia in fundraising for the WSP Eco Map.

Founding Funders

Marcia M., Jeffrey Rathgeber, Anna Ruth Pickett, Robert and Colette, Sandra Mole, Havelock, Kimberly Kenney, Katherine Keltner and Douglas Gauthier, A.S. Evans, Ruth R., Kim P., Elizabeth Seamans, Spaid Patras family, Courtney Costello, Carolyn S., Carol F., Jee, Silvera Family, E and J, George S., Oren, Terry B., Robert S., and anonymous donors

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