Barry Kogan manages Wave Hill’s Forest Project Summer Collaborative (FPSC), a six-week, paid summer internship for teens. The oldest urban woodland conservation program for youth in the United States, the FPSC has been working to improve the ecology of the Bronx since 1980.
It is that time of year again. We are in the middle of crew leader training, the exciting first part of the summer. I’ve been really pleased to have former crew leader Greg Haber return to Wave Hill, this time as coordinator of the Forest Project Summer Project. Last week and this, Greg and I have been working with our four crew leaders, one of whom is returning for a second year in this capacity. This is a time for crew leaders to learn about woodland restoration, discussing all the different aspects of the program, and the exciting challenges of working with teenagers. We also cleaned out the tool shed, and we’ve been working on a skit to perform for the interns about tool safety and appropriate work behavior. By the end of their orientation next week, crew leaders will be required to hand in a detailed site proposal for this summer’s field work.
Besides the time that Greg and I have spent with the crew leaders, other Wave Hill staff have played a major role during training: Wave Hill Environmental Educators Corinne Flax and Pauli Evanson provided a tour of the gardens; Director of Education Debra Epstein offered a Field Guide training. Horticultural Interpreter Charlie Day helped the crew leaders identify what grows in the gardens, and Director of Horticulture Scott Canning and Assistant Director of Horticulture Brian McGowan were available for consulting about the sites where crew leaders will be working.
Highlights so far: A field trip to Pelham Bay Park to work with Parks Department staff in the woodlands there—with lunch at legendary Louie & Ernie’s Pizza; an ice-breaker “mafia game” with our Education Department staff and a role-playing exercise we use to prepare crew leaders for handling challenging situations.
The 2012 interns start next week. They begin their orientation on June 28.Look for entries from crew leaders and interns once work gets underway.