This week, we commend the important work being done by our POP Weatherization Crew and recap a hugely successful MillionTrees Spring Planting Day.
POP Weatherization Crew
On April 24, the Parks Weatherization Crew assisted NRG in setting up 10,000 trees and shrubs at Conference House Park, Page Avenue Beach, and Wolfe's Pond Park on Staten Island. Led by Deputy Chief Jim Cafaro and Parks Supervisor Angelo Figueroa and coordinated by Tech Services analyst Kate Boland and Administrative Assistant Crystal Thompson, 5-Boro Technical Services has been running the POP Weatherization Program for the past four years. Each year the program starts with an intensive course of study, including principles of building science, maintenance, math concepts, energy auditing techniques, and project management skills culminating in a Buildings Performance Institute (BPI) Certification. The crew tackles various projects during its six month duration. Projects include green roof installations, Comfort Station weatherizing and energy upgrading, HVAC maintenance, building insulation, preparing the pools for opening day, and snow removal. The Weatherization Program has been an overwhelming success, and the program continues to benefit Parks and its POP participants in gaining marketable skills. The amazing work of the POP Weatherization Crew would not be possible without Parks Supervisor Angelo Figueroa, who directly supervises the program. In the weeks before the weatherization classes starts, he interviews prospective trainees and sets up the classroom syllabus. After the training, he brings the trainees out to comfort stations to install the items as they have learned. He has a very challenging job because the trainees are performing very technical projects and they must learn the correct way to do the work. For fill-in work, he trains them on even more technical items like sports coating, safety surface repairs, and handball courts.
MillionTreesNYC Spring Planting Day
On Saturday, April 28, more than 400 volunteers at Conference House Park in Staten Island planted 7,500 trees and 2,250 shrubs at the MillionTreesNYC Spring Planting Day. Other parks hosting planting events that day were: Clearview Park, Crocheron Park, and Powell’s Cove in Queens; Wolfe’s Pond Park in Staten Island; and Pelham Bay Park and Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Volunteers were recruited to plant trees through MillionTreesNYC and with the help of NYC Service. Participating corporate volunteer groups included Bloomberg LP, Con Edison and Random House Publishing. In addition, over 155 volunteers from the Mayor’s Office and 100 volunteers from the Department of Youth and Community Development’s Young Men’s Initiative pitched in, with 1,600 more volunteers participating citywide. MillionTreesNYC Spring Planting Day was supported by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and NYC Service which delivered food and supplies citywide throughout the day, and Equinox Fitness Clubs, which provided instructors who led a Shape Up NYC stretching program before the planting event. Volunteers took nature walks guided by the Urban Park Rangers, tours of the Conference House Museum, and Parks’ recreation staff was on hand to sign people up for recreation center memberships. Over the course of the day, 20,000 trees were planted citywide. Thank you to everyone who made the day such an overwhelming success.
Cheri Brunault joined NYC Parks in 2007 as a grant-funded seasonal on the Natural Resources Group field crew. She has since then stewarded 80 acres of restoration at Conference House Park on Staten Island, conquering immense vinelands, acres of knotweed, and a multitude of deer, and planting many thousands of live stakes and bare root seedlings in order to reinvigorate the native forest. She has spent countless hours to ensure the long-term success of the restoration work, including cultivating a corps of stewards in this far-flung park (the southernmost tip of New York state!) Her attention to detail, and dedication to restoration on Staten Island will be greatly appreciated as she moves into full-time work supervising invasive removal contracts on the island through PlaNYC. Her restoration efforts in Conference House Park culminated with the planting of 7,500 trees and shrubs with volunteers, making this a very appropriate moment to applaud her hard work.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion,
for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.”
(1872 – 1970)