New Partners Caring for Your Parks

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

“It’s so nice to have an excuse to get out of the office and make a difference.”  is, without fail, one of the most common refrains we hear at our corporate volunteer events.  This spring brought two new corporate partnerships to NY4P, with new opportunities to make an impact in some of the Bronx’s highest-need and most heavily-used parks.

In April, we were joined by a group of Green Team volunteers from TIAA-CREF in St. Mary’s Park. We re-painted over a dozen park benches and removed massive amounts of leaves that had piled up around the fencing of the heavily-used baseball fields in the southern end of the park. The thirty volunteers who joined us that day were surprised to learn that the tasks we completed in a few hours’ time would have taken weeks for one person from NYC Parks to complete. Some of the volunteers even expressed that they had never realized they could participate in stewarding their parks, and that they were interested in getting involved in clean-up efforts in their own communities. One of the most meaningful outcomes for NY4P staff and volunteers is that shared sense of stewardship for parks across the city. 

In June, we partnered with Epsilon on a volunteer clean-up of Indian Lake in Crotona Park.  Joined by 15 volunteers, we tackled the debris and litter that had collected along the banks and in the reeds that line the lake. Maintenance of water bodies in parks provides a unique challenge for NYC Parks. We collected over twenty trash bags full of debris, which allowed the parks maintenance staff to attend to maintenance needs elsewhere in this large neighborhood park as they prepared for the busy first weekend of summer.  When large debris floated out of reach, an Epsilon staff member suggested we try using the pole of our extendable pruning saw to trap it. The extendable pole worked perfectly, and she exclaimed, “Never give me a challenge, because I will always find a way to solve it!” That sense of teamwork, dedication, giving, and yes, even problem solving, embodies what makes a park volunteer day so special.

To find out more about corporate volunteer opportunities with NY4P, visit our website, or contact our Director of Development, Jon Kornfeld.


TIAA-CREF at St. Mary's Park in the Bronx

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