GW Hudson Valley: Yonkers Teens Pave Way for River Park

November 20th, 2014 GW Hudson Valley: Yonkers Teens Pave Way for River Park

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.

GW Jacksonville Position Opening: Executive Director

November 19th, 2014

Groundwork Jacksonville in Florida is looking to hire its first Executive Director! Check out this exciting job opportunity here: GWJAX_ED Job Announc Nov 2014

GW Anacostia: Washington Post Op Ed from Dennis Chestnut

November 10th, 2014

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.

GW Hudson Valley: Yonkers Teens Accept Sustainability Award to Standing Ovation

November 7th, 2014 GW Hudson Valley: Yonkers Teens Accept Sustainability Award to Standing Ovation

For Immediate Release
November 4, 2014

Contact:Holly Malekian
holly@groundworkhv.org

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

Mark your Calendars: Parties in Lawrence MA, Jacksonville FL & Portland OR!

November 6th, 2014

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!

GW Denver: Vacant Land to Platte Farm Open Space

November 5th, 2014

This article looks at how Groundwork Denver, working with local City and non-profit partners and community members since 2006 was able to come up with a plan that would work for transforming a 5.5-acre unused, dumped on, polluted tract in Globeville (at 49th and Grant streets), to become the Platte Farm Open Space — and it’s been a long time coming.

GW Denver In the News: Testing for Source of E-coli in Bear Creek

November 5th, 2014

Read here about how regular water testing in Bear Creek has revealed E. coli bacteria levels up to 19 times higher than the state health limit, and how Groundwork Denver‘s work trying to trace the source of the pollution could be crucial in crafting a cleanup plan!

GWRVA: Green Team News from its First Year!

November 4th, 2014

Check out some of the exciting things happening at Groundwork RVA in its first year here!

GW Somerville: Partners with ArtPlace America on Urban Agriculture

November 4th, 2014 GW Somerville: Partners with ArtPlace America on Urban Agriculture

ArtPlace America recently awarded a $415,000 planning and implementation grant to the Somerville Arts Council for the development of the ArtFarm.

Building on Somerville’s historic concentration of artists and immigrants, this project will co-locate multiple creative uses, including farm- and food-related activity, as well as create a welcoming open space that serves as a new gateway to the community.

As a partner in this effort, Groundwork Somerville is excited to offer opportunities for community engagement as well as guide urban agriculture plans and goals for the 2.2 acre former waste transfer site.

GW Lawrence: Environmental Technical Training Program (ETTP) Success Stories

October 9th, 2014

Groundwork Lawrence, in partnership with the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board, organized a workforce training, Environmental Technical Training Program, as an intensive 5-Week, 40 hour per week course that balances classroom lecture and discussion with active hands on indoor and outdoor field exercise. Within the last year, this program graduated 47 adults.

The program included 9 highly sought after certifications and trainings including:

• ASBESTOS WORKER 32-Hour
• OSHA 40-HOUR HAZWOPER (Safe hazardous materials handling training)
• OSHA-10 HOUR (Construction safety training)
• CONFINED SPACE ENTRY TRAINING
• FALL PROTECTION
• LEAD WORKER 24-HOUR
• SUSTAINABLE SITES
• EROSION & SEDIMENTATION
• RECYCLING & SOLID WASTE

For the entry-level participant of the program, these trainings served as the start of a new career in a growing field. For the seasoned worker these trainings also provided critical certifications to enhance a resume and lead to new opportunities and advancement.

Contact Groundwork Lawrence to learn more about the program!

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