A mix of fifteen 11th and 12th graders traveled to Staten Island on Saturday to work with Rebuilding Together NYC to help refresh a community garden and food pantry delivery space. Commemorating the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, StreetSquash students joined with a group from St. Ann’s School (Brooklyn, NY), to weed, lay down mulch and soil, prepare beds for planting, remove dilapidated platforms and create new delivery docks, and more. We used a variety of tools, including weeders, shovels, rakes, hoes, spades, pocket knives and hammer staplers.
While some students jumped right in, others took a bit of time to overcome their fears of dirtying their sneakers (two students ultimately used their resourcefulness to procure plastic bags to put on over their shoes). Once the initial concern over the mess wore off, everyone was working diligently for the entirety of the time; no task proved too large or too small for the group, from sorting rocks to lugging bags of soil.
Highlights included playing basketball during lunch; one of the field coordinators sporadically shouting, “STREETSQUUAAAASH!!!!!”; and Cheyenne ’17 hauling bags of cement from point A to B in an effort to prove that girls are just as strong as guys.
After returning to Manhattan, we dropped off the vans, and found that we had leftover sandwiches, waters, and cookies. Continuing the feeling of good citizenship, the students suggested that they hand out the extras to people we passed who might benefit, and they successfully fed almost 10 people during the walk.
To use Jay-ril’s words, “this turned out to be a pretty great day.”
–Katie, Senior Squash Director