Every Tuesday in June, July and August, the Human Impacts Institute (HII) has led the Tree Care Tuesday program. Every week in June we cared for trees around HII’s headquarters near Rodney St and S 3rd St. We had help from students at the Brooklyn Harbor School, who were all very eager to learn about planting, weeding, watering and mulching. A group from Brooklyn Day Habilitation center also came out to join us and learn these skills. Both groups helped us plant native species and spread an enormous mulch pile onto the trees lining the streets for blocks in every direction.
In July, we migrated to East River State Park, where we have been working for the past 7 weeks. A new group from Gateway Day Habilitation joined us here, helping to collect trash, weed, and mulch all of the trees in the park. In addition to trees, plants and grassy areas, the park has a nice beach on the East River waterfront. Unfortunately the sand and rocks were covered in trash and the plants were overgrown with weeds, and so the last week of July a group of energetic teens took charge of cleaning up the beach. They came from Temple of Understanding, a UN Summer Internship program for high school students.
In August we have worked with both Day Hab and Gateway doing tree care and beach cleanup. It’s great to see them working with their hands and trying new things, and to hear that they can’t wait to see us next time! Volunteers of all ages enjoy themselves every week, even on the hottest days, and the interns and I make sure that everyone learns something new about tree care and the parks each time.
August 23rd was our last volunteering event, and we closed out the summer with a fishing clinic led by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Everyone enjoyed some ice cream on the waterfront before we volunteer recognition ceremony. All of our amazing volunteers received a Tree Care Tuesday certificate to recognize their hard work this summer. A big thank you to all who participated!