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  Groundwork Hudson Valley Newsletter            Summer/Fall 2013

Hello Friends, 
What a season it's been! Things are finally slowing down for us after a great summer full of farmer's markets, Green Team hikes, art workshops in the daylighting park and mini-hydroponic farms on the Barge. We finally have some time around here to reflect on all our projects and hope you will take some time to read a little bit about them as well. Be sure to check out the upcoming SWARM that the Saw Mill River Coalition is hosting on November 16th. As usual we couldn't have done all these amazing programs without the support of people like you!
Best regards,
The Groundwork Hudson Valley Staff:
Rick, Anne, Ann-Marie, Bob, Curt, Holly, Jennifer, Kathy, Latisha, Lynn, Myrna, Rhea, Sara and Vernon. And our Board: Brian, Jeff, Joan, Joe, Jon, Nina, Paula, Rob, and Wendy.

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Thanks to our sponsors this year: Domino Sugar, ConEdison, Westchester County Youth Bureau, City of Yonkers, EPA, United Way, Carvel, St. Faiths Foundation, New York State DEC, USDA, NPS, Hudson River Foundation, Westchester Community Foundation, Yonkers Public Schools, New York Power Authority, Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation, Chase.

In This Issue
Urban Garden Party
Groundwork in Yellowstone
Science Barge Season Highlights
Get Fresh Yonkers Farm Co-Op
Yonkers Youth in the Wild
The Short List: 5 More Exciting Groundw ork Projects
Whats Next for Groundwork?
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First Urban Garden Party is a Huge Success
Rick Magder, Executive Director of Groundwork Hudson Valley presents award to Lucy Waletzky, one of three honorees at the Urban Garden Party.

September 27th marked the debut benefit event for Groundwork Hudson Valley. Under a festive white tent on the back lawn of Philipse Manor Hall in Yonkers, New York, 230 people from South Orange; New Jersey; Bedford, New York; and points between sipped Green Garden Gimlets and nibbled butternut squash chips to the sounds of the talented Chris Vitarallo and his Pocket Trio. The event raised more than $100,000, thanks in part to lead sponsor ELQ Industries, builder of roads and bridges throughout the Hudson Valley.


Groundwork Staff Ann-Marie Mitroff and Holly Malekian pose with State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins
The Urban Garden Party was itself a true community collaboration. The ladies of the venerable Morsemere Garden Club of Yonkers designed all of the floral arrangements. Zuppa Restaurant in Yonkers catered the event, making creative use of fresh produce and herbs from Groundwork's community gardens and Science Barge greenhouse. Yonkers' own Sound Associates donated and set up the professional grade sound and video systems for the evening.  And Minuteman Press of Yonkers printed the invitations and journal.



The evening's honorees were three people whose work has had a distinct impact on the

community--Joseph Fleming, the chief engineer hired by the City of Yonkers to transform the Larkin Plaza parking lot into a model urban river park, now a gathering place for the people of Yonkers;  Lucy Rockefeller Waletzky, who has been a long-time champion of New York State

Guests enjoy the decorations and ambiance of Phillips Manor Hall.

 Parks and Historic sites like the Manor Hall and the Old Croton Aqueduct; and the Westchester Community Foundation, which promotes responsible philanthropy under the leadership of Executive Director Catherine Marsh, lending support to many deserving nonprofits in the process.


Many thanks to all who made this event possible and we look forward to many successful benefits in the future!



Back to Yellowstone We Go!
Groundwork Hudson Valley representatives pose in front of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, part of the group's two day "tour de Yellowstone". Left to Right: Sara Smith Sell, Leonardo Gobbato, Curt Collier, Nathan Martinez


After a wildly successful trip to Yellowstone in 2012, Yellowstone invited Groundwork USA back for the 2013 summer. Nine Groundwork trusts from all over the country participated in this event and Groundwork Hudson Valley was lucky enough to send two Green Team members, Leonardo Gobbato, a Junior at Saunders High,  and Nathan Martinez, a senior at Riverside High,  as well as the youth leader, Sara Smith Sell. The three worked hard all week on a variety of projects. Dressed in their Groundwork Green Corps uniforms, the young men worked on installing 400lb metal bear boxes, raking gravel off of a thermal area, trail maintenance and construction and chopping wood to build "bumper logs." "I think that everyone in their life needs to go to a national park like Yellowstone at least once in their life." Said Leonardo Gobbato, "when you are raised in a city you don't get to see what the landscape was like before the city was there. In Yellowstone you get to see untouched landscape and you realize that your city once looked that way too."

Nathan Martinez mixes concrete, which will be used to build the foundations for bear boxes.


Perhaps one of the most important experiences at Yellowstone was getting to know the other youth from around the country. "Meeting the other trusts was amazing. It was the best part. I loved it because we are all working together for the same cause even though we are spread all over." Said Nathan Martinez. The youth return to their own communities with a sense of beauty and a desire to share Yellowstone with their families and friends.



Art and Science Sundays on the Barge

Isr'a Abdo leading an art workshop on the Science Barge

 This year's Art and Science Sunday's on the Science Barge had a fantastic following. "We got kids who came from as far away as Brooklyn!" said Bob Walters. Bob, in charge of all the science workshops this summer, kept the kids engaged with workshops like Blue Crab Blitz and take home mini-hydroponic farms. His counterpart this summer was a young woman and past Green Team member, Isr'a Abdo. A Senor at Yonkers High, Isr'a planned and taught all of the art workshops. These included mosaic making, eel puppets and Japanese fish sock kites.  

Bob Walters teaches children how to build a take home hydroponic system.
Barge visitors show off the bouquets they made.




Get Fresh Yonkers in Full Bloom
Farm Team's Jeleah Millington helps at the Farmers Market

This summer, Yonkers got down and dirty with urban agriculture through Groundwork's new program Get Fresh Yonkers. Made possible by a grant from the USDA, Get Fresh Yonkers provides an opportunity for residents to learn the possibilities of urban vegetable gardening and have increased access to local, farm-fresh food. The expanded farmers market in the "daylighted" Van der Donck Park, community-supported agriculture (CSA), a farm co-op, community garden 

The 4-H Club at Public School 29

network, and programs for all ages are just some of what this multifaceted initiative has to offer.


A large piece of Get Fresh Yonkers is the Farm Co-op, in which 32 Yonkers residents act as "citizen farmers," tending to the needs of community gardens throughout Yonkers. As a pay off for their hard work, the citizen farmers receive a weekly CSA share of veggies at a reduced price. The Farm Team, a group of local high school students hired by Groundwork, help with garden maintenance and work at the farmers market. In Addition, Groundwork started a 4-H club at PS 29 working with a fourth grade class. 


The Get Fresh Yonkers Farmers Market operates in downtown Yonkers every Saturday from June through October. Much of the fresh produce available is grown right in Yonkers at the Science Barge, Philipse Manor Hall Garden, and PS 29.  Additional vegetables are provided through

 partnerships with Mead Orchards, Migliorelli Farms and Ryder Farms located in the Hudson Valley. Read more about the co-op here


Yonkers Youth Take on the Wilderness

The Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards enjoy white water rafting on their day off. 

Always looking for the next adventure, Groundwork's Green Team took their famous camping trips to the next level this year. The Team of 10 youth hiked 20 miles on the Appalachian Trail. Starting in Maryland, the crew ended their hike in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. The next stop was the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC), run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The tired teens enjoyed their first "real" food in three days and a great night of sleep. The sleep was much needed because the next day they gave a presentation about their experiences on the Appalachian Trail to an auditorium of 60 school teachers. Selected as a model youth program , Groundwork's Green Team was proud to represent Yonkers to the professionals at NCTC. Read more about the Green Team's Trip here.

The Green Team crosses the bridge from Maryland into Harper's Ferry, West Virginia


Many Green Teamers return to the Green Team year after year. This year many Green Team veterans participated in the Wilderness Stewards Program. Run through a partnership with the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS), eleven Yonkers youth spent up to six weeks building trails in the Southern Appalachians. Their past participation in Green Team provided the gateway experience for these youth into the world of trail crews and wilderness. 



Five more fun projects from Groundwork This Season:
1. Green Drinks on the Barge
We hosted "Green Drinks" on the Science Barge this summer. Green Drinks is a networking event focused on green jobs.  Learn more about Green Drinks Westchester here.
2. Lost Rivers Shows at Yofi Fest
"Lost Rivers" was featured at the Yofi Festival in downtown Yonkers. The documentary also showed at the Jacob Burns Theater in Pleasantville.  Additonally, Ann-Marie Mitroff traveled to Brazil with the film to participate in a panel at Ecofalante, a festival featuring environmental films.
3. Science Barge 2013 Volunteer Party 
Science Barge volunteers receive their award from Bob Walters.

4. City of Yonkers and Groundwork Announce New Greenway Project. 
At a press conference on October 28, 2013, Rick Magder, Groudwork's Executive Director, stands next to Mayor Spano as he announces the new plan for a greenway running along the old Putnam Rail line. This project is being conducted in partnership with the City of Yonkers, Groundwork and the EPA, and it is funded through an EPA Area Wide Brownfields planning grant, received by Groundwork this year. 

5. Daylighting Hosts Art and Science Workshops for Children 
Groundwork hosted a wide variety of art workshops in the daylighted park over the summer, and we will offer science workshops in the fall. Local artists engaged children in art while youth docents gave tours of the park and conducted science workshops. 

What's Next for Groundwork?
Join the Saw Mill River Coalition and their partners in an invasive vine cutting on November 16th. Learn more about the Swarm here
Groundwork in the News

Groundwork Videos 
Groundwork Hudson Valley -  Get Fresh Yonkers Farm Co-Op by Farm Team member Jeleah Millington
Groundwork Hudson Valley - Get Fresh Yonkers Farm Co-Op by Farm Team member Jeleah Millington

GOOD: The Science Barge--Bringing Sustainable Ag to Cities
GOOD: The Science Barge--Bringing Sustainable Ag to Cities