Solar Youth BLOG
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November 16th, 2018
Beautifying Neighborhood Streams for Veterans' Day
This Veterans’ Day, in an effort to give back and beautify their community, Solar Youth’s Green Jobs interns organized a clean-up project of Winslow Augustine Park and the surrounding Wintergreen and Belden Brooks. The park, centrally located in the West Rock neighborhood, is a favorite hangout for many of our youth. They were excited for an opportunity to improve their green space and take ownership as Stewards.
We welcomed over 40 participants across all Solar Youth programs and from the community to clean up over 17 bags worth of litter, including two tires, lots of metal pipes and rebar, and a giant tarp!
It is important to us that our youth are empowered to lead every step of a Community Service Action Project to build skills and experience for lifelong success. Interns met in the weeks leading up to the event to plan a materials list, budget, and schedule. The team scouted the park to determine suitable areas with the most need and divided themselves into team leaders to guide groups during the clean-up. They also worked with graphic designer Susan McCaslin of Design Monsters (who have generously donated their time to design our Solar Jam invitations for years!) to create a flyer to invite volunteers and community members.
For the day of the event, the Green Jobs coordinated with New Haven Riverkeeper Peter Davis (see article about this New Haven gem HERE). Peter along with the New Haven Department of Parks, Recreation and Trees, provided gloves and bags and supported our youth with his expertise. Interns led four groups of youth spread around the park to remove litter from streams while exploring nature in areas previously overlooked.
Participants celebrated their hard work with a group photo showing the impact of the clean-up followed by a pizza party. Intern Jaylon Lloyd was impressed by the example set for younger Stewards by him and his colleagues: “We show them how they can one day do this, be higher than this, and be a leader.”
Beautification projects give our youth the satisfaction of seeing a tangible difference resulting from their actions. Our interns were given the opportunity to step up as youth leaders and set a positive example of contributing to their community.
We are thankful to all the volunteers and partners who made this day successful for all of our youth!