The Daily Plant : Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Summer Interns Pitch In For Day Of Service
In late July, 41 interns from the Parks Department descended upon Orchard Beach in the Bronx for a day of service, taking time out of their busy daily schedules to volunteer for the City and one of its most historic and prized venues. The event, sponsored in partnership with NYC Service, began with a morning of service and concluded with an afternoon of exploration with Urban Park Rangers.
Interns from Commissioner Benepe’s office, under the leadership of Christina Dookwah, Assistant to the Commissioner; Leslie Nusblatt, the Parks Internship Coordinator who also organizes a weekly lecture series for interns; and Pelham Bay Park/Orchard Beach Administrator Marianne Anderson; divided the 41 interns and a few extra volunteers into three groups, each tasked with a different responsibility around the historic beach. While one group pulled trash from the shallows of the shoreline, another hedged and weeded overgrown shrubs and gardened areas as a third group painted the ships rail that lines either side of the vast promenade surrounding the man-made beach.
Jesus Sanchez, one of the Commissioner’s interns, led the shoreline cleanup group, which removed 21 garbage bags worth of refuse and debris from the area around Twin Island. According to Sanchez, the fishermen benefitting from the cleanup praised the thorough effort. In just two hours, Sanchez and his group of fellow interns removed copious trash from the water and rocky areas near it.
Astrid Barreras oversaw the weeding, pruning and mulching of the areas around the playground and parking lot at the beach. Braving the bugs and poison ivy, the landscaping team beautified a high-traffic area, helping to support the hardworking Orchard Beach crew. The staff also appreciated the work of the ships rail painting team, which touched up a quarter-mile stretch of the classic lining of the seemingly endless promenade.
In the afternoon, Orchard Beach Park Rangers led tours for the volunteers around Twin Island and the Orchard Beach Nature Center, highlighting some of the flora, like Mugwort plants; and fauna, like Fiddler crabs, not to mention a Harp seal that arrived at the beach one summer but refused to ever leave. For many of the volunteers, the day marked their first trips to one of Robert Moses’ masterpieces, which remains a testament to the overwhelming legacy of growth during the former commissioner’s tenure. All told, it was a day filled with service and learning, and a bit of time outside the office; welcome treats during the summer’s brightest days.
Submitted by Addison DiSesa
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“Worries go down better with soup than without.”
- Summer Interns Pitch In For Day Of Service
- Restoring the Orchard Beach Shoreline
- Army Corps Awards $10.6 Million Contract for Shoreline Protection at Orchard Beach