400 Volunteers Kick Off a New Partnership for Public Lands
This past Saturday SCA joined forces with American Express to celebrate Earth Day by bringing more than 400 volunteers to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. This day of service marked the first of 18 national events SCA and American Express will host over the next 18 months in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial.
In New York City, hundreds of students and community members came together from all five boroughs to restore Van Cortlandt’s forests and wetlands. In the woods along the park’s cross-country trail, volunteers freed trees from invasive bittersweet vine and planted new seedlings to restore gaps in the canopy. In the wetlands, participants waded in to dig up invasive porcelainberry and phragmites and plant native wetland species in their place.
By the end of the day, volunteers had cleared invasive species from four acres of the park and planted over 200 new native trees. “This was the first time I ever planted a tree!” announced 12-year-old Kywayne Farquaharson, attending with the youth group buildOn. For many participants, it was also their first time visiting park lands in the Bronx. “My students are so excited about service,” said Professor Mark Wagner of Worcester State University in Massachusetts. “So we decided to take a bus down together so they could all participate. This was a great chance for them to see the green side of New York City and realize that it’s not all just buildings and pavement.”
Big thanks to our sponsor American Express and to Friends of Van Cortlandt Park for hosting this kickoff event. And thanks to the more than 60 schools and local organizations who pitched in for Earth Day service!
See more photos from SCA’s Earth Day event at Van Cortlandt Park.
See video from the New York City event here.
See the Earth Day Honor Roll of schools and organizations that participated.
Stay tuned for details on the next event at www.thesca.org/events.