Javier Ochoa Reyes, 22, a program coordinator at Groundwork Richmond has been selected for a ‘local conservation hero’ award for his work recruiting local at-risk youth to work on transforming the Richmond Greenway. Read the story here. Congratulations, Javier!
Read here about GW Cincininnati’s work on the Mill Creek Greenway and the successful completion of yet another phase of the greenway. The planned 15-mile green corridor, which starts at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Carthage and will eventually reach the Ohio River Trail in Lower Price Hill, will help clean up one of the region’s most notoriously polluted corridors.
Please see attachments for details about this exciting position based in Las Cruces, NM: GWDA Americorp VISTA Flyer
by Sara Sell Smith, GWHV
Groundwork Hudson Valley is pleased to announce the completion of a new Saw Mill River park across the street from the 95 Walsh Road Municipal Housing residence in Yonkers, New York . The park, which includes a flagstone walkway, will give Walsh Road residents, mostly lower income seniors, safe access to the Saw Mill River, a place to enjoy nature, and a quiet, shady area with benches, chairs, and tables for games and cards. This project is part of Groundwork’s continuing efforts to restore the Saw Mill River and improve access to the river for the communities around it. The design, done by a senior at Saunders Trade and Technical High School, was completed after extensive input from Walsh Road residents, who shared ideas, concerns and solutions with Groundwork Staff at several tenants meetings during the spring of 2014.
Groundwork’s youth Green Team began construction of the park in July and finished a mere 1.5 months later in the beginning of August. The Green Team is comprised of students from Yonkers public high schools employed by Groundwork over the summer to learn construction, conservation, and leadership. The teens leveled the site, dug out the walkway, applied and smoothed sand and gravel, laid and sealed pavers, cut stones for trim, planted shrubs and flowers, and cleared invasive vines and debris from the river. Beyond the value of the park itself and the skills that the youth learned, the project provided a space for youth and seniors to come together around the improvement of their own community. They proved to each other that someone else does care about the Saw Mill River, its neighbors and its future.
A Washington Post Op Ed from Dennis Chestnut, Executive Director of GW Anacostia, offering ideas with concrete plans for the new Mayor of Washington DC, Muriel Bowser, for revitalizing the Anacostia neighborhoods of Wards 7 & 8.
For Immediate Release
November 4, 2014
By Hilary Johnson
Most of us will never know what it feels like to receive a standing ovation from more than 600 people, but that’s just what happened recently to some young people from Groundwork Hudson Valley when their organization received an award from the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck on the evening of October 24.
The Yonkers teens spoke to a capacity crowd at the opening ceremony for the annual Where We Go From Here conference, organized by the educational and retreat center, which included such notables as CNN commentator and green-jobs pioneer Van Jones, the evening’s keynote speaker, and Indian anti-GMO crusader Vandana Shiva.
The four teens — Joshua de los Santos, aged 17, Elijah Washington, 14, Samantha Robinson, 17, and Anderson de Aza, 15 — spoke about the work they do at Groundwork and what the organization, a nonprofit which revitalizes neglected communities through an array of on-the-ground environmental projects, has meant to them. When they finished, the crowd leapt to their feet with thunderous and sustained applause, recalled Curt Collier, deputy director for Groundwork Hudson Valley.
“It was great to see how the audience deeply appreciated them,” he said. “They were the center of attention, and it was terrific for them to have the opportunity to see so many other people who are energized about the environment.”
During their tenure as seasonal Green Team employees and volunteers at Groundwork this year, the young people have built a riverside “pocket” park in Yonkers for elderly municipal housing residents, restored hiking trails at Bear Mountain State Park and Shenandoah National Park, built local community gardens, and helped run Groundwork’s farmers’ market in Yonkers. Several of them also traveled to places like Chicago and Yellowstone National Park to work on environmental initiatives and represent Groundwork, which receives funding from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service.
“We are so thankful to the Green Team youth for taking such active and important roles in their communities,” noted Robert “Skip” Backus, chief executive officer at Omega and visionary behind the Omega Center for Sustainable Living.
The four were selected to represent Groundwork Hudson Valley as they received the $10,000 Leadership in Sustainable Education Award from the Omega Institute. Also speaking that evening for Groundwork were Collier and Science Barge Education Director Jennifer Sloan, who shared her passion for teaching school children how growing fresh food off-the-grid, using only solar and wind power and rain water irrigation, offers hope for future generations.
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Hilary Johnson is a Mount Vernon-based freelance writer who also volunteers for Groundwork Hudson Valley.
Here’s the press release from the Omega Institute: OMEGA AWARD GROUNDWORK HUDSON VALLEY 2014 Press Release_ForImmediateRelease
Groundwork Lawrence has its annual fundraiser and celebration scheduled for Thursday, November 13th, from 6-9:30pm! Check it out if you are in the area – promises to be a great party for a great community!
Groundwork Jacksonville is having its launch party on Thursday November 20th – details TBA! The Mayor of the City of Jacksonville, Alvin Brown, will be attending, and so will GWUSA ED, Steve Burrington (and possibly even Doug Evans from NPS!).
Groundwork Portland has its annual party planned for Tuesday, December 9th, 6-9pm, at El Centro Milagro-425 SE 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97214. Another great party, if you are in the Portland area!