The Natural Classroom, launched in 2001 by NYC Parks, transforms Marine Park and the Salt Marsh into outdoor classrooms. Urban Park Rangers use the plants and animals of the salt marsh as object lessons in a variety of subjects; including ecology, botany, and ornithology. Children also learn about the city's cultural history through lessons highlighting the development and expansion of parks. When the outdoor lessons end, Urban Park Rangers offer supplemental educational materials that allow teachers to bring the day's experience back to their classrooms. The Natural Classroom including activities and lessons learned in the field will prepare the students to meet federal, state and city learning standards. Nine distinct programs are available for students in grades K-8, and programs can be customized to fit specific needs of other age groups. If you are a teacher who is interested in bringing a class group to the SMNC, call 866-NYC-HAWK for more information.