Volunteer At Rockefeller State Park Reflection
When asked to work on an event this semester I already knew what I wanted to do. Helping persevere the environment is very important to me. Climate change affects every aspect of the natural environment and we need to protect the Earth as much as we can. Wildlife is struggling to survive and it is because of human activities that destroy the ecosystem and increase extinction. Initially, my plan was to plant trees, but after reaching out to Rockefeller State Park we decided to cut down invasive vines and plants due to their needs. Invasive species negatively impact the plant community by reducing the quality and quantity of the wildlife habitat. It is important to preserve what we already have rather than planting something that will die due to lack of maintenance.
The Center partnered up with Rockefeller State Park. The day was pretty humid and hot but all 12 volunteers got straight to work. The Rockefeller staff were very impressed by how fast we were working. The volunteers had fun and they were happy to help the environment even though they were not familiar with the labor. Olivia Hawkins, a Pace film major, claimed she had “never natured this hard before.” She was from the city and for her to say this made me really excited. The main reason behind this project was to help the environment, but it was also to get people out of their comfort zones and to become aligned with nature. We were connecting with different species of the world. We worked with plants, humans, and we even saw a bunch of cute dogs.
This was also a learning experience for everyone. Some students had never seen or even heard of invasive species. Some had never seen poison ivy before. I was one of those students. Learning about the environment is vital for all of us, as it provides resources and necessities for us to survive. It is the foundation of all civilization and it sustains our economies. The Center is all about civic engagement, which is working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, values, skills and motivation to make that difference. Taking care of the earth affects us emotionally and mentally in a positive way. After working for about an hour and a half we felt like we did a good deed and we felt good within ourselves. The group was happy to connect with nature, learn, and meet new people. I was very happy with the turnout and the positive feedback from everyone. In the future I plan on making this an annual event because I feel that this is important for many people to experience.
This post was written by CCAR Student Staff Member Shaniya Francis