The Daily Plant : Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Goldman-Sachs Volunteers Shore-Up The Bronx Riviera
At the height of a typical New York City "3H" week – hazy, hot, and humid – as crowds of sunbathers and breeze-seekers streamed into the picnic areas and sandy shores of Orchard Beach, they quickly noticed the hundred-plus people in red t-shirts busy sweating it up along the promenade.
Scores of volunteers from Goldman-Sachs hit the beach on July 31, making the Bronx the destination for their 2007 annual community service outing. The corporate-sponsored event, organized by New York Cares, brought 380 young men and women to Pelham Bay Park as part of their new employee indoctrination. Goldman-Sachs’ objective – to combine a team-building exercise with constructive community service – had positive outcomes, as the group helped upgrade areas along the promenade and clean the shores and trails in nearby natural areas.
The team spirit was matched with a $10,000 donation of supplies that included approximately 1,000 feet of new wooden railing, 76 gallons of paint, numerous bench slats, and all the paint supplies, garbage bags, grabbers, and gloves that you could ask for.
To prepare for a smooth workday, Bronx Shops crews got all the wood pre-installed and readied to prime and paint. Led by Technical Services Supervisor Steve Yanolatos and Painter Supervisor Steve Saccomanno, the volunteers worked alongside Parks staff. They sanded and primed over 700 square feet, and painted nearly ¼-mile of railing from beach sections 10 to 12. In addition, 2,460 square feet of cement wall and 35 benches were scraped and painted.
"The volunteers brought an amazing amount of energy to the park," said Pelham Bay Park Administrator K.C. Sahl. "We very much appreciate all that they were able to accomplish, and are grateful for the enthusiasm and support from throughout Bronx Parks for this project."
In the forests and on the shores of nearby Hunter Island and Rodman’s Neck, the volunteers cleared invasive weeds like multiflora rose, mile-a-minute weed, day lily, and mugwort. They walked almost ½-mile of trails and salt marsh where they cleaned up litter and large debris. Over 250 bags of weeds and litter were collected, and a 3-cubic-yard truck was filled with washed-up debris.
None of this would have been possible without the organizing force of New York Cares, who first approached Parks last spring with the potential project. Events Manager Tara Cook and other key staff members worked closely with Parks to track supply needs, arrange volunteers, and choose key projects that would both interest the volunteers and get the most work accomplished in the shortest amount of time. All totaled, the Goldman-Sachs employees logged an impressive 910 hours of community service.
The team effort was supported by numerous Parks staff including Manager Shawn Cargil, Supervisor Phil Koenig, Seasonal Supervisor Kevin Lonergan, and beach staff Kevin Jenkins, Manny Lopez, and Felix Rodriguez; Urban Park Rangers Mara Pendergrass, Marc Sanchez, Holly Brown and Kathy Vazquez; Pelham Bay Park Wildlife Manager David Künstler, and Natural Resources Group staff led by Forest Crew Team Leader Rich Love and Project Manager Daniella Zanin-Pereira.
Written by Marianne O’Hea Anderson
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"If you really do put a small value upon yourself,
rest assured that the world will not raise your price."