Beczak Environmental Education Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating people about the ecology, history and culture of the Hudson River.
Founded in 1989, Beczak traces its roots back to the 1970s, when Yonkers resident Joe Beczak and a handful of other local Hudson River enthusiasts volunteered to offer canoeing lessons to local Boy Scouts.
The “Beczak” name and organization were incorporated on February 1, 1989. The program has evolved considerably since then. While canoe lessons are no longer part of the curriculum, children and adults throughout the region have benefited from Beczak’s extensive offering of indoor and outdoor interactive educational experiences.
In 2004, Beczak opened a new 3,800-square-foot riverfront interpretive center. With a sandy beach and its own tidal marsh just steps away from the building, Beczak provides the community with an indoor and outdoor classroom where young and old alike can “touch the river” and learn about the natural world.
In June 2013, Beczak announced an affiliation with Sarah Lawrence College to establish the Sarah Lawrence College Center for the Urban River at Beczak (CURB).
This partnership will enhance and grow our educational outreach to local schools and community groups. Currently, CURB conducts more than 300 separate experiential educational programs annually for 5,000+ children. These numbers are expected to grow steadily in the years ahead.
Beczak has come a long way from a handful of volunteers teaching children how to canoe. But it has never strayed from its focus: educating people about their natural environment, which ensures a connection which will benefit them – and their communities – for generations to come.