Sustainable Parks Corner: Green Pledge Revisited
Name: Rosemary Paul
Position: Deputy Chief of Recreation
Pledge: “To create an army of Green Teens to remove litter, collect recyclables, and set a cool trend to take care of our parklands”
Why did you choose this as your pledge?
We have so many teenagers in our Recreation Centers who care about the green spaces and NYC Parks is in need of stewards.
What have you done to follow through on your green pledge?
I worked with various internal departments such as Operations, MillionTreesNYC, Computer Resource Center, City Parks Foundation, Capital Projects, and Horticulture to create a youth stewardship program called, Green Teens. This program was designed to engage young people to become stewards of parklands and recreation centers. The Green Teens learn how they can make a “green” positive impact in their local neighborhood parks and recreation centers by removing litter, collecting recyclables, watering trees, attending sustainability workshops and most importantly creatively encouraging the public not to litter. We have enrolled Recreation Center members, Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) participants, and teen volunteers through the NYC Service website.
What specific challenges have you faced in following through with your pledge?
Coordinating this effort on a citywide scale has been a challenge due to scheduling conflicts and supervision.
Has this pledge made you more conscious of your actions elsewhere?
Absolutely! I have no problem sticking my gloved hands in any bin to make things right! I have found that when I lead by example it makes it easier for the next person to follow.
Did You Know?
Rosemary's Green Teens volunteered heroically at Winter Jam by helping collect over 100 pounds of compostable material, four bags of metal, glass and plastic recyclables, and 28 bags of cardboard.
Temperatures in the low teens did not stop droves of people from coming out to ski, snowboard and snowshoe at Central Park's Winter Jam late last month. The frigid weather also failed to hinder the recycling team. The first major Parks event of the year provided another sustainability first; composting at Winter Jam. Building off the success of fall’s PumpkinFest and MillionTreesNYC events, composting bins were rolled out to collect any food waste and soiled paper products, like coffee cups and napkins. Six Green Teens from Queens, along with dedicated Parks volunteer Bob Din, were instrumental in the event's success. The Teens moved about and collected compost and recyclables from citizens and vendors, while Parks staff acted as recycling outreach and education monitors behind the clearstream waste bins. The compost was picked up by Build It Green! Compost and will be processed into material and returned to the Parks Department.
Want to recycle at your event? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
QUOTATION OF THE DAY
“There are big ships and small ships. But the best ship of all is friendship.”