Mary Rose Robbins, Wave Hill’s High School Programs Coordinator—a new, 14-month position—is herself a former Forest Project crew leader. She reports here on preparations for the inauguration of the 33rd season of Forest Project Summer Collaborative. The Forest Project interns started their six-week work commitment on July 1. Once the Project is well underway, we’ll be checking in with her supervisor, Forest Project Manager Barry Kogan, as well.
Over the past few weeks, the Forest Project Staff has been preparing for the interns to arrive. For two weeks, crew leaders were trained to work in forest restoration and the exciting challenges of working with teenagers. They also did handy tasks, such as clean the tool shed and make our new space in the Ecology building a lovely home for Forest Project. Pictured here are this year’s four crew leaders: starting second from left, Bella Rabinovich, Digser Abreu, Ashleigh Pettus and Erika Inamagua. On the far left is Clara Pregitzer. A Forester with the City of New York Parks & Recreation Natural Resources Group, she is a WERM Mentor (see below for more about WERM). Here she was working with the crew leaders on data collection. They also got a chance to visit Pelham Bay park and pull invasive weeds with the Parks department. That was after they enjoyed some delicious pizza and cannolis with our Director of Education, Debra Epstein, and Wave Hill Educator Elizabeth Bradley.
Yesterday, June 27th, was the first day of Forest Project orientation. Returning and new interns spent the morning getting to know one another and listening to our guest speaker, Bill Young. Bill Young spoke to the forest project interns about his work in sustainable and ecological landscaping and its benefits and uses. (Mr. Young is a recognized leader in the environmental field with more than 25 years of experience as a project manager, designer, and wetland specialist. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Design.)
The interns spent the afternoon hiking in Wave Hill’s Herbert and Hyonja Abrons Woodland, learning about the different kinds of field work and research they will conduct over the next six weeks. If yesterday was any indication, it is going to be a great summer!
Forest Project will be sharing the Woodlands area and the Ecology Building with its sibling program, Woodland Ecology Mentorship Research (WERM). Wave Hill’s second paid opportunity for high school students, WERM is a new, 14-month program that enables motivated New York City students to take two, free college courses and conduct important field research with working scientists. WERM got underway this week as well. Stay tuned for more!