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 a military parade ground, a cemetery, and a marsh. The park sits on unceded Lenape land.

Staff

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, Co-founding Director

Georgia is an urban and community forester and has field experience in Boston, Oakland, and NYC. Her passion is investigating people-plant relationships, and she has two articles about this inter-species interaction. She also writes about urban birds with bylines at Audubon.com and Popsci.com. She co-founded Washington Square Park Eco Projects to map the trees in the park. The initiative’s mission has expanded to biodiversity monitoring, education, and advocacy. Georgia’s bird awareness has grown because of her involvement with Eco Projects, and she spends as much time looking for birds as she does gazing at trees. She is a graduate of Wesleyan, the Yale School of the Environment, and UC Berkeley.

Partners

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 taxidermy to encouraging us to seek the educational 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 our former co-founder Cathryn Swan.

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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