Barry Kogan manages Wave Hill’s Forest Project Summer Collaborative (FPSC), a six-week, paid summer internship for teens that has been working to improve the ecology of the Bronx since 1980.
It has been a hot but productive first week of Forest Project. The interns have been amazing at getting a handle on the work at their worksites. They began by removing second-year garlic mustard, fillling almost 40 garbage bags—and almost an entire dumpster—truly a monumental task in this week’s heat. It turns out this invasive weed was just on the verge of spreading its seeds, so we were lucky to be able to pull it out just in time. The interns have since moved on to a new target, porcelain berry vine. Super invasive, porcelain berry vine smothers trees by growing over their canopies and effectively shutting out sunlight. This vine is a major ecological threat and our interns are working hard to get a handle on the situation.
They also had their first class sessions at Lehman College this week. Eight have enrolled in the GIS course, and 17 in Environmental Science. I have been quite impressed with how they are handling the classroom challenge. They asked excellent questions and got some lively discussions going.
Today is our first end-of-the-week award ceremony of the summer. Among the many awards given out are Crew of the Week (decided by staff), and our first-ever interns choice award for best crew. Stay tuned for our fist intern blog update next week.
Check out the worksites map to get a feeling for the area each crew leader has chosen in the Herbert & Hyonja Abrons Woodland, a 1/2 mile trail that ambles along the wooded slopes below Wave Hill’s lawns and gardens.