200+ SCA Volunteers Discover Manhattan's National Park Sites
In celebration of National Trails Day and in support of the Find Your Park campaign, SCA brought together over 200 volunteers in New York City for a Find Your Park Day of Service at General Grant National Memorial.
The Memorial — familiarly known as Grant’s Tomb — is perched above the Hudson River on Manhattan’s West Side, easily accessible by subway. But relatively few New Yorkers have visited President Grant’s final resting place. “People walk right by and don’t realize that this is actually a national park,” said District Ranger Liam Strain.
For National Trails Day, SCA brought hundreds of New Yorkers out to recognize their local national park site. Working with NPS and the Riverside Park Conservancy, SCA volunteers from all five boroughs pitched in to restore the Memorial and the surrounding green spaces of Riverside Park.
Volunteers repainted rusted railings along park paths, yanked mugwort and other invasive species growing through pavers and fences, laid mulch to protect new tree seedlings, and dug out rampaging euonymous shrubs to make way for new native plantings.
“The Conservancy has been waiting to get to some of these projects for a long time,” said Vice President for Park Operations Lynda Tower. “We are thrilled that we finally had enough hands at one time to get the job done!”
Robert Abugel, serving as an SCA intern with the National Park Service on Staten Island, came out to help on his day off. “In my SCA internship I actually work in the Oﬃce of Business Services,” he pointed out, pausing from the task of digging out a stubborn root to brush at a streak of mud across his cheek. “I work with contracts and concessions. So this is a little different. But I love that you can do all kinds of things with the National Park Service. I love meeting new people and telling them, ‘That’s right, I work for the Park Service. In New York City!’”
Jane Chan, an alum of Columbia University, attended daily classes just a few blocks away from General Grant National Memorial, but never visited. But after the day’s service work was done, she stayed on site with her mom and sister to take a tour of the tomb. “I can’t believe this amazing place was right here the whole time!” she said.
Special thanks to American Express, the National Parks of New York Harbor, the Riverside Park Conservancy, and all of our community partners who joined us for service:
Baruch College, Brearley School, Bronx Community College, Brooklyn Latin School, Business of Sports School, City-As-School High School, City College of New York, Columbia University, DREAMS/YouthBuild AmeriCorps, Hackettstown High School, Harvest Collegiate High School, CSI High School for International Studies, High School for Language and Diplomacy, Hunter College High School, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Kingsborough Community College, LaGuardia Community College, LaGuardia High School, Lehman College, Manhattan College, Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School, Montclair State University, Morgan Stanley, MUFG/Union Bank, Park East High School, Thacher School, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY University at Albany, William Cullen Bryant High School, YMCA
See more photos from the event on SCA’s NYC Facebook page.
Stay tuned at www.thesca.org/events for updates on SCA’s next Find Your Park Day of Service in NYC on September 10th on Governors Island.