Readying for Winter…and Spring! :)

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Diana, Miyeon, and EJ at work on the second shed.

HarborLAB volunteers had an amazingly productive Sunday, and had lots of fun in the process! Our goals were to winterize our Newtown Creek waterfront site and prepare it for transformation into the GreenLaunch in the spring. It sure felt like spring already!

We assembled a second shed and platform, repaired “The Jenni” tandem Folbot kayak for use by Baruch College environmental science classes (named for our late friend and CUNY alumna, Jenni Jenkins), set up planters and protected fruit trees from root freeze with vinyl and bags of cocoa shells, gathered seeds (especially pokeberry, goldenrod, and milkweed) for habitat and shoreline stabilization, and protected public boats from UV degradation with tarps. We donated many bricks to Build it Green, delivering them by van. Our bricks, which are molded with holes, are being built sideways into walls in South Africa to allow air circulation.

Many thanks to Patricia Erickson, who directed the day’s work as HarborLAB’s facilities manager and chair of the GreenLaunch committee. A special acknowledgment to Shawn and Miyeon Cornell, who were married just this month and shared this special time with us as stellar volunteers. They are CUNY students, as is Diana Arias, another fantastic volunteer who threw herself into the work (we met her through the great Baruch College ECO Club). Rounding out the crew were Irene McLoughlin, Alessandro Byther (daring Alpinist of bricks and plastic heights), Jenna Nugent, Davis Janowski, Erik Baard, and EJ Lee (HarborLAB operations manager and a CUNY alumna).

Great thanks also to Schuman Properties for our launch and to Citizens Committee for NYC for the initial GreenLaunch project grant.  Much gratitude also to Folbot, Lamar Outdoors, Dorothy Morehead for our supplies.

Memorial Day Volunteer Paddling Orientation.

HarborLAB paddling past the skyline in a panorama by Manny Steier.

HarborLAB paddling past the skyline in a panorama by Manny Steier.

HarborLAB had a fantastic volunteer and CUNY student paddling orientation on Memorial Day, which included launch site evaluations. We have much work to do and are grateful to those who’ve already helped us achieve so much. The kayaks are great, and the weather was perfect for a little Roosevelt Island circumnavigation. Rounding the Four Freedoms monument seemed to be a fitting commemoration of the honored fallen, who committed themselves to our freedoms of speech and worship, and to freeing us from want and fear.

HarborLAB is especially grateful to TF Cornerstone (growing neighborhood development in background) for being its first top-tier sponsor!


HarborLAB is especially grateful to TF Cornerstone (growing neighborhood development in background) for being its first top-tier sponsor! Photo by EJ Lee.

Photo by EJ Lee.

Photo by EJ Lee

We’re busy scheduling service days throughout the region. Stay tuned for summer programming for the general public!