PPA Profiles: Eve Schwartz

January 2, 2014

Anyone who has attended nature programs at the Prospect Park Audubon Center has likely met Eve Schwartz, an educator with the Prospect Park Alliance. A Philadelphia native, Eve has worked at the Alliance since June of last year, and is part of the team that designs all of the educational programs and exhibits about the Park’s natural habitats. She is extremely fond of the center’s collection of live animals, particularly a Albino Black Rat Snake named Chester.

You obviously enjoy working at the Prospect Park Audubon Center. What is your favorite part of your job?
I grew up next to a nature center in Philadelphia. I love sharing my love of nature with new people, so the Alliance’s educational programs are very special to me. Every day I get to connect people with a world they rarely see.

What are some of the questions that people ask at the Audubon Center?
About 60 percent of the people ask about birding. It’s very big in Prospect Park. During the summer, a lot of people ask us about fishing, too.

Why do you think that Prospect Park is such a popular place for birding, especially in the winter?
People don’t think of New York City as being a warm place in the winter, but compared to Canada, where many of these birds originate, the Park is actually a very hospitable environment. Among the species that make the Park their home during the winter months are Juncos, Chipping Sparrows, American Pipits and, occasionally, a Pine Siskin.

Where is your favorite spot to birdwatch in Prospect Park?
To see a variety of species, I like the Lullwater Trail, which goes from the Boathouse up to Breeze Hill, and it is very scenic. I’m a big fan of waterfowl, and it’s the best place to see them. I also like to go to the Vale of Cashmere at the northeast corner of the Park to see the warblers.

What goes into creating educational programs and exhibits?
I consider the season and animals we’d like to highlight. The goal is to make people into human field guides. When people understand nature, they are more likely to protect it and share their knowledge.

Join Eve and the rest of the education team on January 20 at the Audubon Center for Martin Luther King Jr. Day programs.