Day 2 of Selma March

March 23rd, 2015 Day 2 of Selma March

Photographed here is Groundwork Milwaukee Youth Program Director, Antoine Carter, walking over the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge on the second day of the NPS “Walking Classroom”. On this day in 1965, civil rights activists including Dr. Martin Luther King and Reverend Frederick Reese, began their successful Selma to Montgomery March.

On the second day of the National Park Service’s “Walking Classroom”, participants all over the country gathered for the first leg of the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March. Starting off at the Brown Chapel AME Church, walkers had the opportunity to listen to a sermon by Reverend Frederick Reese, who also preached just before the successful march in 1965. Other speakers included the mayor of Selma and Ms. Joanne Bland who lived through the movement and now still reside in the city. The procession was led by a local youth drumline, the mayor and Park Service rangers. Later, the march stopped at a tent city and heard from the daughter of a landowner who let many marchers live on his land after they lost their homes at that time. The Groundwork group continues to be empowered by the history and the knowledge of the civil rights activists who have shared their stories, as well as the physical act of marching over the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Groundwork Youth in Selma Commemorating Civil Rights March

March 20th, 2015 Groundwork Youth in Selma Commemorating Civil Rights March

Pictured here is Dominique Skinner, Youth Program Director at GW Anacostia, on Day 1 – preparing for NPS’s Walking Classroom. A Groundwork-RTCA contingent is headed down to Selma, AL to participate in an educational 5-day walk of the historic 50th-anniversary Selma March. (Photo credit: Rani Jacobson)

Representatives from Groundwork Trusts around the country and the National Park Service are heading down to Hayneville, Alabama to participate in a “Walking Classroom” commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery. Over the course of five days, participants will be learning about the march, talking about civil rights and race. Groundwork’s contingent is on the road and is already talking about some of the key issues they face in their daily lives. They are looking forward to getting to Alabama after their 20-hour drive and starting their journey. “We’ve never done something like this before so we are excited to see what is in store,” says Pamela Segura, an Americorps VISTA from Groundwork Hudson-Valley.

Also pictured is the entire Groundwork-NPS/RTCA crew, finally in Selma and ready for the historic March to begin! Montgomery 2015

GWUSA Youth Leader Training in Texas makes the news

March 11th, 2015

Read all about it here, on MassTransit mag!

More from Rani @ GW Lawrence!

March 11th, 2015

Learning about GW Lawrence, their exciting programs and particularly their extensive social media presence has been a fun and informative experience for Rani – read about it here: Rani J Blog2 GW Lawrence

NPS/GWUSA Fellow Rani Jacobson Goes ‘Syrupping’ with GW Somerville

February 24th, 2015

NPS/Groundwork USA Fellow Rani Jacobson, based in Boston, met up with the Groundwork Somerville crew to go tapping for Maple Syrup! Read about Rani and her fun experience with the Somerville Green Team in her blog post here: Rani J GW Somerville Blog 1

Rani will be working with Groundwork USA and the network on building our social media presence by blogging and writing about Trust projects and experiences across the network for Groundwork USA, along with some other exciting projects for both NPS and GWUSA. Welcome, Rani!

Groundwork Youth Leaders Launch (ioby) Campaign to Fund Training in Texas!

January 28th, 2015 Groundwork Youth Leaders Launch (ioby) Campaign to Fund Training in Texas!

Check out this appeal from our Groundwork Youth Leaders across the country:

“We’ve been helping to design a week-long Training for Groundwork Youth Leaders this March in Harper, Texas.

Groundwork works to train urban youth in trail building and construction and helps them build a relationship with nature. This work is incredibly important and rewarding to us and we want to do the best that we can do at this job. That’s why we’ve decided to create this training opportunity. Currently there are grants and contracts that we are unable to receive because we as youth leaders do not have all the skills to complete the projects. If we can increase our own trail building knowledge/leadership skills/construction ability, we will be better able to educate and train the youth and better able to secure funding for our programs.

Presently we have no grants and very little funding to get us to Texas, hire the professionals to teach us new skills or pay for our accommodations during the training. We are asking for your support to send us to this training through our fundraising campaign here.

We have already raised some funds, and are excited to get this project funded and happening! By helping us, you will be a part of our mission to change places and change lives too.”

Meet GWUSA’s new Manager of Land & Water Programs!

January 27th, 2015 Meet GWUSA's new Manager of Land & Water Programs!

We’re pleased to announce that Tangier Barnes has recently joined our growing GWUSA team. She’s our new Manager of Land and Water Programs and will be working with the Urban Waters Learning Network and also working on Groundwork USA’s brownfields technical assistance program.

Since 2009, Tangier has been Director of Community Planning at Groundwork Denver. Her accomplishments in that role have been extraordinary. She has spearheaded the Platte Farm Open Space project, an extremely complex brownfields redevelopment project. She has also, among other things, led Key Connections, a project to create better connections between low-income neighborhoods and their waterways; collaborated on equitable transit-oriented development; and written a guide to best practices in low-cost, community-based improvements to the built environment. She brings extraordinary skill in connecting residents, local government and diverse stakeholders to effect positive change.

We are excited to have Tangier on board here at GWUSA!

Mickey Fearn joins the Groundwork USA board

December 29th, 2014

We are honored to announce the appointment of Mickey Fearn to the Groundwork USA Board!

Mr. Fearn, currently Professor of Practice at North Carolina State University’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, is the former Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance at the National Park Service (NPS), where he worked tirelessly to increase the participation of currently underrepresented groups in our parks.

Mickey Fearn has been a public servant for over 43 years. Before joining NPS, he served the City of Seattle, Washington, where he created and directed a summer youth program for Seattle Parks and Recreation aimed at connecting urban youth to the natural world while promoting personal responsibility and healthy lifestyles. While in Seattle, Mr. Fearn held positions as the manager of the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative, director of the City’s Innovation Project and director of Seattle’s Neighborhood Leadership Program. He also served as a Washington State Parks and Recreation commissioner for 12 years. Prior to his work in Seattle, Mr. Fearn worked for the Governor of California, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Mayor of Oakland, California.

At NCSU, in addition to teaching classes, Mickey Fearn works with the College of Natural Resources’ (CNR’s) Community for Diversity in Natural Resources to address its challenges regarding diversity and inclusion and engaging in cross-campus diversity activities. He is also working with local government and non-profits to engage communities of color in ecology and environmental activities, and connecting federal agencies to the important research and work that CNR is doing.

Mickey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation and Park Administration at California State University, and his Master of Science degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from the University of Oregon.

Groundwork Somerville Goes to Groundwork Northern Ireland

December 2nd, 2014 Groundwork Somerville Goes to Groundwork Northern Ireland

by Chris Mancini, Executive Director of Groundwork Somerville

From November 8-18 this year, I traveled first to Dublin and then to Belfast to experience the “rule of law” in all its forms as a part of an exchange program hosted by Boston College’s Irish Institute. This was the second part of an exchange, which began when we hosted Ciaran Shannon of Groundwork Northern Ireland for 3 weeks back in May.

From meeting with political leaders at the Dáil (parliament) one day, to touring a community policing station and sitting in with a pro bono legal nonprofit the next, we were given an inside look at how the Republic of Ireland keeps itself running. Two big differences we noticed were that there are four major political parties (FOUR!) and the fact that the police guard take an active role in diverting potential offenders out of the legal system, rather than simply enforcing and arresting and leaving it up to the courts.

But the heart of my trip lay up north in Belfast. Spending two days with Ciaran and Groundwork Northern Ireland led to some sobering realizations about the work we do here in Massachusetts, as well as the great potential we have to effect change. On the face of things, Groundwork Somerville and Groundwork Northern Ireland are performing some very similar jobs creating green spaces in urban areas, engaging community in public processes and creating jobs and training opportunities for youth. However, Groundwork Northern Ireland is performing this work in a city that until just 10 years ago (or even less) was regularly rocked by extreme violence. To this day, some groups are still trying to destabilize the peace that has been created, and which Groundwork Northern Ireland strives every day to preserve and increase. Ciaran and his colleagues target “interfaces”, or streets and locations at the juncture of Loyalist and Nationalist neighborhoods, to do their work, which includes building community gardens (allotments), taking down “Peace Walls” and bringing Catholics and Protestants together to talk about their hopes for the future.

Read the whole post here.

Job Opening: NPS hiring AmeriCorps Fellow to work with GWUSA!

November 11th, 2014

This NPS-RTCA AmeriCorps Fellow will be located in the NPS office in downtown Boston, MA, starting in January 2015 for year, and will spend about 75% of his/her time working on a range of cool projects for Groundwork USA. Please check out this job description for details here: NPS-RTCA AmeriCorps Fellow 2015 (with Groundwork USA) – Boston MA