The New York Wildlife 2024 project celebrates the rich and diverse wildlife inhabiting urban New York and New York State. The project raises awareness of over 100 species, including vulnerable species, and raises funds for local conservation organisations.

Led by artist and Drawing for the Planet founder and CEO Jane Lee McCracken, children from Riverdale Country School and P.S. 49 The Willis Avenue School were invited to learn about and create ballpoint pen drawings of local wildlife in workshops delivered by Jane and project ambassador Kaitlyn Helf between February 27 and March 1, 2024. As part of the project Jane will create a composite artwork featuring the children’s drawings. Drawing for the Planet (DftP) will present printed murals of the artwork to both schools in summer, 2024. DftP has donated project funds to the following local conservation organizations:

The children’s drawings will also be featured on this page. A selection of drawings will illustrate species information — as in DftP’s Laguna Marine Wildlife 2023 project page. During the workshops children learned about local species, the biodiversity crisis, why wildlife is important to humans and our planet, and simple key actions we can all take to save Earth’s remaining wildlife.

The New York Wildlife project aims to:

  • Raise awareness of local species including vulnerable species’, and the importance of protecting wildlife and its habitats in New York.
  • Create an artistic and educational legacy for the drawings of a generation of young New Yorkers.
  • Encourage love, compassion, and respect for individual species; the growth of collective responsibility towards nature and conservation, both locally and globally; give children, communities, and wildlife a voice.
  • Donate to local conservation organizations to support their vital work rehabilitating and protecting wildlife and habitats.

Jane created the New York Wildlife project in 2024 following an enquiry from Kaitlyn Helf offering to support DftP. Kaitlyn was invited to become project ambassador and has assisted with research and the planning and execution of the workshops. Jane and Kaitlyn were delighted to work with art teachers Ms. Sophia Spector, Riverdale, and Ms. Erica Jones, P.S.49 The Willis Avenue School. The project is part of DftP’s global environmental education and art project program.

Jane said:

“I was overjoyed to be back in New York, a city I deeply admire, to lead the New York Wildlife project and work with our dedicated Project Ambassador, Kaitlyn Helf, and young artists from such inspirational schools. I can’t wait to make an artwork featuring their drawings which will help raise awareness of the unexpected richness and variety of the wildlife New Yorkers are fortunate to have as neighbours.

Through this environmental education and drawing project which provides the opportunity of self-expression, I hope to generate individual compassion towards animals and the environment while encouraging collective responsibility to further cherish and conserve the planet’s remaining wildlife for future generations: if we care we want to conserve.

Heartfelt thanks to our kind donors who have generously funded this project, and enabled DftP to donate to four incredible New York conservation organizations.”

Kaitlyn said:

"I am thrilled to be part of the team, as DftP represents a unique intersection of my interests. Raising awareness about the importance of preserving animals in the wild and cities is essential.”



We are a global art and environmental education charity with drawing, one of the oldest forms of communication, at its core. Founded by artist Jane Lee McCracken, to share her passions for drawing and wildlife, we partner with international wildlife charity Born Free, conservationists, artists, educators and cultural institutions. Through our art, education, exhibition and conservation fundraising projects we give children, communities and wildlife a voice. Watch our video and visit us at:

Support our global projects, help protect wildlife and give the gift of art and wildlife by donating or becoming a member here:


Shh it's a Tiger! 2013 Biro drawing © Jane Lee McCracken

Jane Lee McCracken constructs intricate, multi-layered Biro drawings, sculptures, installations as well as product designs. Her work represents the beauty of life and its brutal realities, exploring the loss to both humans and animals caused by human destructiveness. She is the founder and CEO of Drawing for the Planet global art, environmental education and conservation charity. 

Over the last decade, she has raised funds for conservation organisations through her art and delivered drawing and environmental education workshops to thousands of people across the world. In 2019 she founded the Where Did All the Animals Go? project in partnership with Born Free and in 2021 Drawing for the Planet. Explore Jane's art:



The Wild Bird Fund is New York City's only wildlife rehabilitation and education center, providing medical care to injured, sick and orphaned wildlife with the goal of releasing them back to the wild. The clinic treats more than 10,000 patients a year from 180 species. Patients include red-tailed hawks and peregrine falcons, as well as gulls, ducks, geese, songbirds and pigeons. Squirrels, opossums and turtles too. It also provides wildlife education programs to schools and organizations throughout the city. Visit the Wild Bird Fund here: 


Our mission is to provide compassionate, quality care to urban wildlife in need, with a special focus on wild mammals, and to provide public education programs that foster peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife. Visit Urban Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitation here: