Forest Project Senior Crew Leader Bella Rabinovich is settling in for her fifth summer at Wave Hill. The Forest Project is a paid summer internship program for high school students.
Bella Rabinovich here, excited to tell you what we’ve been working hard on to make this summer the best one yet. I was a Forest Project Intern in 2010 and 2011 and Crew Leader in 2013 and 2014. Now I’m back for the summer as Forest Project Senior Crew Leader, working with Barry Kogan, the Senior Manager of Youth Programs and Woodland Initiatives, and Kristen MacFarlane, the Youth Programs Coordinator, and I’m so excited!
Barry, Kristen and I have been meeting with Wave Hill staff. One such meeting was with Wayne Morris, the Assistant Director of Horticulture. He gave us an informative tour of the Herbert and Hyonja Abrons Woodland, which helped me with my plant identification skills and general plant knowledge. Once the summer starts up, Forest Project crew leaders and interns will also get to meet with Wayne, as well as other knowledgeable Wave Hill staff, so that everyone gets a thorough understanding of plant identification.
Throughout my many summers here, I’ve seen the long-term processes of the classes becoming more dynamic and relevant. Every summer, the classes have become increasingly relevant to the work we are doing out in the field and more focused on forest ecology. This summer, we will be working with the College of Mount Saint Vincent and utilizing their labs for our GIS course. So another set of meetings we have been having has been with the professors for both the GIS course and the “Restoration of NYC’s Natural Areas” classes. The students taking the Restoration class will actually be exploring Wave Hill grounds during class time; the students who will be learning GIS will use their knowledge of NYC natural spaces as a lens. I think it’s safe to say that these classes are turning out to be the best ones we’ve had so far.
We’re also planning crew leader training and intern orientation. I’ve never realized how much goes into planning them! We have lots of fun and educational things planned for our crew leaders and interns—Wave Hill tours, meetings with experts, icebreakers, Mafia (of course), garlic mustard removal and so much more. Garlic mustard! It’s all over Wave Hill right now and I cannot wait to begin removing it before it starts to seed. Can you tell having it in our woodlands is stressing me out? I’m sure all of you who pulled out bag upon bag of it during your summers here can relate. It’s the invasive we all love to hate.
We’re getting ready for an amazing summer with a lot of wonderful people! We’ll be active on social media this summer, so if you haven’t already, you can follow Wave Hill on twitter and Facebook, well as our Instagram account (wavehillyouthprograms). I’ll be posting on the blog throughout the summer, so check back regularly to stay up-to-date.
Pictured here, from the top:
— Yours truly, settling in.
— Dendrology was the subject of this session Barry Kogan, left, had with Jonathan Rosenthal, who will be teaching the “Restoration” course this summer.
— Creating the summer schedule takes up serious time for Kristen and Barry.
— Garlic mustard flourishing at Wave Hill—at least until our interns get to work!