Youth@Work 2016 Week 2

Welcome Back!


This week the crew did a lot of hard work, in a lot of HOT and HUMID weather. Take a look!


Monday, July 11th

   We started the week off by returning to the knotweed site we cleared in week 1. To slow the growth of more knotweed, we mulched the area we had pulled.



 Hopefully this area will stay clear, and it will be ready for all the beautiful flowers that will be planted there in the fall!


Looking good!


After finishing up there, we moved on to tackle more knotweed…



Everything looks better with a fresh layer of mulch!

Tuesday, July 12th

On Tuesday, the crew had the awesome opportunity to work with Friends of East Rock member, David Budries. He invited us to his beautiful back yard, and showed how to make swallow boxes!


David was nice enough to cut all of our pieces before we got there, so we just had to measure, and mark up our wood.20160712_09202620160712_092253

We definitely learned the importance of ‘measure twice, cut once’


This was the first time woodworking for some on our team, and some have had experience before, but everyone learned something new.



David gave us a great tutorial on how to use a power drill. We learned that it was important to let the drill do most of the work, and not to apply too much pressure–but just enough!



These swallow boxes will be installed by the Y@W crew this summer around Rice Field.


They put their initials on their box, so they could tell which one was theirs when they walk by it in the future!

Thank you so much David! We had a great time!


After our bird houses were built, we headed back to the park to continue our work.

We had some more mulching to do behind the Ranger station. We lined the drain against the wall with stone dust to protect the building, and filled in the rest with mulch.




Wedneaday, July 13th

Canoeing down the Mill River!!


A big THANK YOU to the New Haven Parks and Rec department for setting us up for canoeing with the Friends of Edgewood Park Y@W crew.

It was great to meet another group of kids doing a lot of the same great (and hard) work we have been doing.



Canoeing was a great way to spend the morning, but then it was back to work!

There has been a tree on the White trail that’s roots have been becoming more and move uncovered, creating a tripping hazard for hikers and runners.


Along with help from David Shimchick, the Y@W crew filled wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow with crushed stone in order to level it all out!


This was a tough job! Believe me when I say, those rocks we not light!

But after a lot of teamwork, and water breaks, we finished the job!


Now the trail is safe for all!

Thursday, July 14th 

We started this day at the ERP outlook. It is a beautiful spot to sit and observe nature, but it was a little over grown.



The trails leading down to the river was covered with leaves and debris.


And there were many leaves and weeds that needed to be cleared by the outlook.


So we got to work!


We put down a new layer of mulch, as well as a new layer of crushed stone under the benches.


We raked and swept both trails, and cut back any branched that were hanging into the walking paths.


And here is the finished product! The outlook is clean and clear.

To finish out the morning, we used stone dust to fill in holes that appear in the park paths when rain water erodes them.




In the afternoon, we had an awesome opportunity to meet with the city of New Haven’s landscape architect Dave Moser! He met us in the ranger station after lunch, and share with us his journey from graduating high school, to finally arriving at the career he has now! For the 2 in-coming seniors on our team, this was helpful information. They will be applying to school and making these decisions for themselves soon. It is always helpful to hear successful people tell you that it is a tricky time for everyone!

He also shared with us all the projects he had worked on in East Rock Park, we were amazed to see how many different projects he did! Now every time we walk through the College Woods entrance, we remember that someone planned that out very meticulously, and that we met the guy who did it! We would like to thank Dave again for taking time to talk with us!

Friday, July 15th 

Friday was the HOTTEST day of the program so far. 92 degrees and humid! We finished moving some gravel on the White trail and did a trash sweep of College Woods, but then we retreated to air conditioning!

We went to the British Art Museum!


We used the information Dave Moser had shared with us on Thursday about all the different aspects of designing a greenspace, and we observed some planned landscapes we saw in the gallery.

We spent time looking at each planned landscape, and took notes about what we noticed they each included. We were going to use this information to plan out our own greenspace, so we made sure to noticed the parts of the landscape we wanted to include in our own.

Things we noticed:

Water features, fishing access, surrounded by nature, animals, formal gardens and hedging, tree lines, and many of the planned landscapes we saw were surrounded by high walls.

We headed back to the park for lunch, and then we began our designs.

It was really cool to see the different plans we each came up with.

Kay’s design was really focused on nature, and having a place to people to feel like they were totally surrounded by nature. She also included a really large ranger station, so visitors had a place to learn about the greenspace.

Carlos’s design was very inspire by some of the formal English gardens we saw at the gallery. He included hedges surrounding a large water fountain and a large ranger station as well, but this had the design on a large castle!

Rocco’s design was very much a city park like East Rock. Dog park, community gardens and plenty of trees!

My design was pretty similar to Rocco’s. I wanted a community garden, play structures, an urban oasis, and…a swimming hole! Great for a day like Friday.


And then we ended the day in the only way you can on a hot summer Friday afternoon…with ICE CREAM!



See you next week!

About ferpyouth

FERP (Friends of East Rock Park) is a community and environmental advocacy group based in New Haven, Connecticut. We encourage neighbors to meet each other, celebrate the environment and become stewards of the park. We build connections by hosting social events and work days, and supporting other neighborhood efforts. FERP collaborates with Youth@Work to hire six interns and a supervisor for 5 weeks to help maintain the park and to become educated in the perks of stewardship and community involvement.

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