Friends of East Rock Park (FERP) is proud to share the accomplishments of this year’s group of Youth@Work students.
2015 marks the seventh year FERP has run this program. The youth each worked 25 hours per week for 5 weeks and were paid minimum wage by Youth@Work, a public-private partnership of the City of New Haven and Workforce Alliance. FERP is grateful to Gwendolyn Busch and her team at Y@W for their support and administration of this excellent program which placed over 650 youths in positions this summer.
FERP is also grateful to two great Friends of East Rock Park: Susan Holahan and Roger Ibbotson. Susan (through the Tom Holahan Memorial Fund) and Roger generously contributed $1500 each to pay the youth’s supervisor, which for the second year in a row was FERP leader David Shimchick. We could not run this program if it were not for their financial support.
FERP is also grateful to Ranger Dan Barvir for his support of the program and for working directly with us on several occasions. Thanks also go out to Mayor Harp, Parks Director Rebecca Bombero, Deputy Director Christy Hass, Gary Dickinson, and Martin Torresquintero for their ongoing dedication to the maintenance and improvement of New Haven’s vast park system which consists of over 2,275 acres of park land and all the facilities located in 142 parks!!
Week 1 Accomplishments:
- LOTS of trash pickup in College Woods from the July 4th celebration
- Cleaned and mulched the front entry to College Woods at Orange and Cold Spring.
- MORE trash pickup along East Rock Park Road leading to Whitney Gate
- Mulched the new plantings at the East Rock Road Bridge.
- Cleaned the Whitney Gate Garden.
- Pulled invasive mugwort and mulched the Cold Spring Steps Garden.
- Swept the College Woods Playground and shoveled sand back to where it belongs.
- MORE trash pickup on the White Trail to Rice Field and the View Street Playground in Cedar Hill.
- Raked and removed weeds and vines from the View Street Playground.
Week 2 Accomplishments:
- Monday morning Trash pick-up!
- Cleaned the lone staircase leading up from the White Trail to English Drive and the steps at Colonial Spring.
- Cleared invasive knotweed at the end of Orange Street.
- Spread mulch where we will plant daffodils in the fall.
- Hiked to the Summit and up the spiral staircase to the top of the monument.
- Weeded and spread mulch over at the East Shore Park butterfly garden.
- Planted trees with Edgewood Y@W.
Week 3 Accomplishments:
- Did a complete trash pick-up loop: all of College Woods and East Rock Park Road to the Whitney Museum and back along the White Trail.
- Primed barrels for annual trash can painting project and practiced block lettering and drawing.
- Mulched a BIG pile on Cold Spring.
- Worked with Ranger Dan over at the half basketball court across from Rice Field. While he pruned the enormous Copper Beach we picked up all the cuttings.
- Mulched at the end of Orange Street with members of the Land Trust Y@W crew. Picked up trash at the Summit after hiking up.
- Painted and decorated the 5 trash barrels with Aicha!
Week 4 Accomplishments:
- Began the week with our first and only rainy day.
- Indoor research about New Haven’s extensive park system and its challenges.
- Visited the CT Agricultural Station on Huntington Street to learn from entomologist Gale Ridge and from Dr. Goudarz Molaei and his team at the Tick Testing Laboratory.
- Built raised vegetable beds with the Land Trust Y@W team at Casa Otonal on Greenwood Street.
- Cleaned Whitney Circle, the semi-circle overlooking the reservoir.
- CANOEING with Y@W Land Trust and Y@W Edgewood.
- Hauled MASSIVE amounts of trash from a steep hillside behind the Whitney Musuem with Y@W Edgewood.
- Removed weeds from the stone dust between the Ranger Station and the pavilion.
Great Power Tools Project! Great Teamwork! Great Mission! Great to work alongside former FERP leader, Justin Elicker, Executive Director of the New Haven Land Trust.
and THIS! That is quite a transformation!
had been thrown from Whitney Circle
Final Week’s Accomplishments:
- Shoveled and spread 5 tons of stone dust at the start of the White Trail on Orange Street.
- Weeded and mulched around the Copper Beach, River Birch, small trees, and fence at the half basketball court across from Rice Field.
- Shoveled and spread 5 more tons of stone dust where the trail meets Whitney Circle.
- Celebrated our 5 weeks of work with family and friends and shared photo boards of all our accomplishments.
It was another busy and productive summer for our Youth@Work stewards. Their dedication, cooperation, and willingness to work hard through the summer heat and aching muscles was remarkable. Joshua, Fatima, Bahaa, and Kay did more than earn a paycheck for five weeks. They made a difference.