GWHV letterhead

Groundwork Hudson Valley Newsletter                                      June-July 2010
Our AmeriCorps Team working with community garden members.
Hello Everyone,
June has flown by and been full of great community projects. Please take a moment to read about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities and to find out what we've been up to! This newsletter is a long one, but you can use the items under "In This Issue" to navigate! We hope you are staying cool during this summer heat.
The Groundwork Hudson Valley Staff: Rick, Ann-Marie, Vernon, Anne, Curt, Emily, Rhea, Gwen, Lynn, Lucy, Michael, Bob, and Meg
In This Issue
Reminder: We've Moved!
Summer Green Team 2010 Begins
Green Team Youth Quoted in Wall Street Journal
AmeriCorps Team Spends 6 Weeks w/ GW HV!
Dry Stonewall Masonry Job Training Program Completed
Goldman Sachs Community Team Works Completes Huge Rain Garden
Science Barge in Japanese News
Floating Sculpture & Columbia Aquaponics Exhibit 2010
More School Gardens at School 29
Science Barge Weekend Workshops for Children Begin!
Come Enjoy The Science Barge in The Summer!
Groundwork Hudson Valley and The Science Barge on Governor's Island
2nd Annual Yonkers National Night Out
Citi Bank Volunteers to Clean Up the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail in Yonkers
Open Volunteer Hours on The Science Barge
Looking for an Intern!
Start a Clean-Up Team
Start a Clean-Up Team
Start a Clean-Up Team
Quick Links
Read about our upcoming volunteer opportunities if you want to get involved. For more information, contact our Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, Emily Eder.
Want to volunteer but don't have time? Please take a moment to donate to our organization. Any amount is helpful and greatly appreciated!

Groundwork News
Reminder: We've Moved!
old officePlease change our address in your records if you have not already. This June we relocated to a larger space two blocks away from the old office! We are now located at:

22 Main St., 2nd Floor
Yonkers, NY 10701

Our phone, fax, and e-mail remain the same!

Groundwork's Summer Green Team 2010 Begins!
new groupWe are very excited about the beginning of our 2010 Summer Green Team.  With our 16 summer interns, we launched the Green Team program on June 27 with a trip to the Appalachian Mountain Club's Highland Center in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.  Along with the Groundwork Lawrence Green, our teens got an in-depth introduction to the Appalachian Mountain Club's White Mountain Trail operations, and participated in the Appalachian Trail Youth Leadership Summit. The summit brought our youth together with adult trail crew leaders to brainstorm about ways to promote stewardship of the nation's public lands -- both urban and "back country" -- and create inter-generational partnerships around conservation. The youth provided insightful feedback and formed valuable relationships with these adults. 

After a couple of days at the lodge, the crew "geared up" with top-of-line hiking equipment supplied by the Highland Center and embarked on a challenging hike of over three miles uphill to the beautiful Greenleaf Lodge, located 4,200 feet above sea level, just below the summit of Mt. Lafayette. Some of the youth continued to hike the extra mile up to the summit to experience the delicate and unique habitat of the Alpine Zone. After an overnight stay at Greenleaf, the group hiked back down to the Highland Center where they completed their week of training in public land conservation, youth leadership, and trailwork

GT New Hampshire
fundamentals and helped with service projects along the trail.

Now the Green Team is back in Yonkers and will be working through the end of August to build two new community gardens; help older residents with routine maintenance, landscaping, and repairs; kick-off an anti-trash campaign in Yonkers; complete a drainage project along the Old Aqueduct Trail; build a rain garden; and engage in various other community projects. Keep your eyes out for the kids in green!

For more pictures click here.
Green Team's Ashley Perez is Quoted in The Wall Street Journal!

Yonkers Trash

On Friday, July 19th, The Wall Street Journal ran an article in its Metropolis section about the City of Yonkers' decision to scale back trash collection from twice to once a week.  The new policy is having devastating effects on Yonkers' streets. The Wall Street Journal contacted Groundwork to connect them to community members to interview. Trash has been a big concern of the Green Team, and an anti-trash campaign is underway. We knew that Green Team youth could speak passionately about the negative impacts that trash has on their community. They reached out to Ashley Perez, one of the youth leading the Anti-Trash Green Team initiative.  She voiced her disappointment with decision but followed up with the hope that a decrease in trash pick-up might encourage people to think more about the waste they generate. Click here to read the article.
Americorps Team Spends 6 Weeks with Groundwork Hudson Valley!

americorps mattress movingGroundwork would like to issue a big "thank you" to the Americorps Badger IV crew!
For the past 6 weeks, a group of 9 AmeriCorps  members have been working hard in Yonkers and surrounding communities with Groundwork Hudson Valley. They completed a tremendous amount of work, building community gardens and rain gardens, helping on The Science Barge, clearing invasive vines along the Saw Mill River, volunteering at St. Christopher's Inc. in Dobbs Ferry, and much more! Click here for a press release written by Lily Dover, a member of AmeriCorps.

Groundwork Dry Stonewall Masonry Job Training Program is Completed

stone wallReminiscent of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)-- a public works program created during the Depression as part of the New Deal -- President Obama's stimulus package funded Groundwork's seven-week, paid job-training project with the National Park Service and the Dry Stone Conservancy.

Through this program, twelve previously unemployed young men rebuilt 1,300 feet of a historic stone wall at The Home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, now a National Historic Park site and received a Dry Stone Mason Certificate from the Conservancy. The Conservancy offers the only nationally certified program in this field. The team worked with Conservancy's instructor, Neil Rippingale, a Master dry stonewall mason. This effort had clear echoes of the CCC, which was conducted largely in and around national and state parks and forests.

These young adults also completed an intensive organic landscape training through Groundwork with support from Yonkers Community Action Plan (YCAP) also supported by stimulus dollars. If you need work done in your yard or garden, business or residential, call Groundwork at 914-375-2151 to contact these program participants!
Goldman Sachs Community Team Works Completes Huge Rain Garden gsachs 2010
On Friday, June 4th, a team of 25 volunteers from Goldman Sachs built, from scratch, a 900 square foot rain garden at the Farragut Avenue parking lot for the South County Trailway in Hastings. The garden will act as a buffer between the impermeable pavement of the parking lot and the Saw Mill River, protecting the river from polluted runoff. In 90 degree weather, with extreme humidity, the dedicated group dug up the sod, built a berm, planted 25 roses bushes, 15 blueberries bushes, 50 boneset, 50 New York Asters, and 25 marsh ferns, and also erected a gate around the garden. This is the third year in a row that a group from Goldman Sachs chose Groundwork's Saw Mill River Coalition as a partner for their annual Community Team Works (CTW) program.

The Science Barge Is Seen Around The Globe!

Japanese on The Science BargeIn the spring, the Barge was visited by a  Brazilian film crew, and  this June the Japanese paid us a visit. The Science Barge will be featured in TV Asahi's 1-hour special on green/eco activities in New York City and will air this October in Japan! TV Asahi is one of the largest broadcasting channels in Japan and has a satellite office in New York City.

Along with the Science Barge, the crew filmed Central Park, Bryant Park, Battery Park, community gardens in Lower East Side, 'Habana Outpost' (eco-eatery in Brooklyn), a rooftop farm in Queens, the Green Market in Union Square, Highline park and more.

reporters: Mr. Kazuki Kosakai and Ms. Chisato Kaiho
camera:Mr. Takamitsu Muroi
sound: Ms. Noriko Shirasawa
director:Ms. Miharu Suenaga

Floating Sculpture & Columbia Aquaponics Exhibit 2010!

fish sculptureEveryone had a great time at this year's Floating Sculpture event. We were so pleased with the increased participation from last year and blown away by the artwork produced by local artists from Westchester Community College Center for the Arts, Riverdrifters Fine Art Works, The Blue Door Artist Association, and by the innovative aquaponic systems designed and built by Columbia University's Urban Landscape Lab! Many of the artists used recycled materials and made work that emphasized themes of conservation and preservation of our planet's waters and the creatures that call it home.

Silver Garden, Melissa Guevara
Melissa's sculpture
Congratulations to Melissa Guevera, the winner of our "viewer's choice award" at the 2010 Floating Sculpture Exhibit! Aside from being an artist capable of transforming aluminum cans into a beautiful bouquet of flowers and floating lily pads, she is a students at Gorton High School, a dedicated volunteer and former intern on The Science Barge, and now a member of our 2010 summer Green Team!

Click here for more photos of the artists' work!
More School Gardens at School 29!

This past spring, Groundwork's Job Training crew built several additional raised bed garden boxes in School 29's courtyard to bring the joy of planting, harvesting, and (most importantly) eating fresh healthy fruits and vegetables to multiple elementary school classes!

Groundwork staff worked with 4 classes of wonderful students to plant tomatoes, radishes, beets, basil, chard, lettuce, and more. The Special Ed class planted an herb garden, learning about different smells, tastes, and textures.

In the picture to the left, two students from the a Special Ed. class have fun harvesting radishes. Once all of the radishes, lettuce, basil, and parsley was harvested, the class worked together to make a salad school 29 saladand a vinaigrette dressing. The teachers were completely stunned when the students gobbled it up and asked for seconds! When we connect kids to the food that they eat, and they grow and care for vegetables themselves, even the pickiest of eaters is likely to try new foods (and enjoy it!).

Upcoming Events
Science Barge Weekend Workshops for Children Begin!

TerrariumThe Science Barge offers activities for children 5-10 in renewable energy, nutrition, carbon footprint, resource conservation, and the Hudson River Estuary. Parents can get a tour of the Barge and enjoy the view while kids do fun hands-on activities!
Join us every Sunday, starting July 11th, from 2:00 to 3:30 as we build, explore, experiment, and eat!  Registration recommended. Call 914-375-2151

$5 per child ($3 for Yonkers residents) 1/2 off for families with 3 children or more!

July 18th - What a Watery World
Learn about the water cycle and our role in it. Build a terrarium (mini greenhouse) to take home, and make a cloud in a bottle.

The Science Barge is floating on the Hudson River at 99 Dock St. Yonkers, NY just North of the Yonkers Pier.
Come Enjoy The Science Barge in The Summer!

Vine CropsThe Science Barge is in full bloom and open for public tours Saturdays and Sundays from 12-6pm.

$3 suggested donation. Children 10 and under are free!

Come learn how we grow tons of fresh fruits and vegetables hydroponically (no soil) using only collected rainwater, and renewable energy. The Science Barge is a prototype rooftop farm and vision of sustainable urban agriculture that could help bring fresh food to cities with little or no negative environmental impact. You might even get to taste a delicious farm-fresh tomato!

The Science Barge is floating on the Hudson River at 99 Dock St. Yonkers, NY just North of the Yonkers Pier.
Look for Groundwork Hudson Valley and The Science Barge on Governor's Island for the 2010 City of Water Day!
Governor's IslandOn Saturday, July 24th Groundwork Hudson Valley will have a booth at the annual City of Water Day on beautiful  Governor's Island. Come say hello, do a Science Barge activity and enjoy a FREE day of entertainment, education & adventure celebrating
the potential of our waterfront!

From the upper Hudson to Raritan Bay, we are a City of Water-yet too many of us are cut off from this tremendous resource. Help revitalize the waterfront with a festival for the entire family.

2nd Annual Yonkers National Night Out August 3rd 6-10pm

National Night OutCome out and join your neighbors, Mayor Phil Amicone, Yonkers Police Department, Steppin' Up, The Groundwork Green Team, and other community organizations in an evening of fun, games, entertainment, contests, prizes. Gather information on promoting safe and healthy communities, as well as community resources and services.

Each Yonkers Police Department precinct, in conjunction with community agencies and businesses, will host the event at these locations:
1st Precinct: Andrus Park- Central Park Ave. next to Will Library
2nd Precinct: Coyne Park- 777 McLean Ave. and Old Jerome Ave.
3rd Precinct: Lincoln Park- S. Broadway and McLean Ave.
4th Precict: War Memorial Field- Copcutt Lane off Nepperhan Ave

The Green Team will be at War Memorial Field leading a fun anti-trash activity.

If you have any questions, want to participate or be a sponsor, please call Vernon Brinkley at 914-375-2151 or e-mail
Volunteer Opportunities
Citi Bank Volunteers to Clean Up the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail in Yonkers
OCA Hollows
On Saturday, July 24th up to 70 volunteers from Citi Bank, along with Groundwork Hudson Valley's Youth Green Team will volunteer picking up trash and removing invasive vines from the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail where it runs through Yonkers.

We are grateful for this volunteer effort and look forward to getting a ton of work done. If you live in the area and are interested in lending a hand, there's plenty of work to be done.Together we can help to improve this beautiful National Historic Landmark and make it an asset to Yonkers residents.
For more information please call Groundwork at 914-375-2151
Open Volunteer Hours on The Science Barge Painting the Barge
  • Thursday Evenings 6pm-8pm 
  • Saturdays 12-6pm
  • Sunday Maintenance 10am-12pm (Painting, planting, etc.)
Every week during the hours listed above, Bob Walters the Director of the Science Barge will be on board coordinating volunteer projects. Come any time during those hours and stay as long as you are able. For more information call 914-375-2151 or e-mail

Looking for an Intern!

 Barge at NightGroundwork is happy to have recently hired Meg Slavin to work with us on fund-raising and outreach. She is looking for an outgoing and motivated volunteer intern who is interested in getting experience with event organization, fundraising, and outreach. She is planning a couple of large, fun events on The Science Barge and could use some assistance.

The events are scheduled for August 1st and October 1st, so the ideal candidate would be available starting this summer to work a few hours a week through the fall, however we are happy to consider you if you can't make the full commitment! Please contact with your resume and a brief cover letter if you are interested.
Start a Clean-Up Team!

BioBlitz Talking TurtleThe Great Saw Mill River Clean-Up was a great success this May. The 250 volunteers that came out did a great job of removing trash from the Saw Mill River, but we need your continued help!

Contact Emily Eder at 914-375-2151 or e-mail if you, your business, your school, or your community group would like to form a River Steward team and adopt a section of the South County Trailway, a local street in the watershed, or any area along the Saw Mill River! We can help you plan and supply needed materials! Let's think global and act local by turning the Saw Mill Watershed into a trash-free zone.
Participate In Our Folks! Have Your Yard or Home Repaired!

our folks diane piersonOur Summer Green Team will be running the Our Folks Program this summer. If you are an older adult living in Yonkers and could use help with you garden, yard, or home, please contact us! Our team of youth has been trained to do these jobs and would love to visit you and help out!

We are scheduling home visits for Monday, July 26th and Wednesday July 28th. If you sign up with us, tell us what your needs/wants are, we will send a group of 5 youth 14-17 years old with a Groundwork supervisor. We have a small supply budget for mulch, plants, paint, etc. and will bring our own tools! Groundwork staff will do a brief site assessment ahead of time if necessary.

An equally important part of this program, is bringing different generations in our community together to get to know each other so if you sign up, be ready to do some chatting and share stories and possibly lunch with the team.

Contact Emily Eder at 914-375-2151 or e-mail if you are interested.
Groundwork USA Looking for National Services Director in Yonkers, NY

GW USA MapGroundwork USA is seeking a dynamic individual to be its first National Services Director. Must be a highly organized, detail oriented entrepreneur with strong administrative, writing, communication, and finance/budgeting skills.  Successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to adhere strictly to deadlines while managing multiple projects and have experience in business management and/or organizational development. They will be a self starter with a collaborative spirit.  Experience with grants management is a plus. Knowledge of community development, volunteer stewardship and environmental restoration is helpful but not required.  A solid work and/or academic history with BA/BS is required.  MPA/MPP/MBA is a plus. Click here to download full job posting.

Contact Rick Magder at 914-375-2151 or e-mail if you are interested.
Groundwork newsletters written by Emily Eder.
Groundwork Hudson Valley 22 Main St. 2nd Floor, Yonkers, NY 10701