Learning about climate resilience and community along the East Boston waterfront | The Trustees’ One Waterfront Initiative welcomes Boston students to new summer youth program
The One Waterfront team is excited to welcome seven Boston students to our new Waterfront Ambassadors summer youth employment program.
Over the course of a six-week period, the Ambassadors will work at several locations including Eastie Farm and the East Boston Greenway to learn about climate and waterfront issues affecting East Boston. Under the direction of Program Managers Aubrey and Ashley, they will also collaborate with partner organizations and meet local elected officials and staff from other open space- and harbor-focused non-profits to learn more about the important work being done in East Boston and across the city on waterfront issues including climate resilience and public access.
Check out this week’s Ambassadors diary for a wrap-up of what the group has accomplished and experienced so far:
The first official week of Waterfront Ambassadors programming began at Eastie Farm, a local nonprofit dedicated to promoting food access and community resilience. The group learned how to differentiate between weeds and plants before harvesting mulberries. Eastie Farm President Kannan Thiruvengadam, also a leader in the City’s Climate Ready Boston program, took the group through a mini taste test of many of the different herbs and plants, including the wood sorrel (also known as sourgrass) which was a big hit with the group. The Ambassadors learned about the importance of community gardens and why it is healthier and more environmentally conscious to purchase and eat locally grown produce. After helping to weed the plot the group harvested some collard greens to take to a local soup kitchen, along with the mulberries.
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On the Greenway the group tackled a heavily overgrown area next to the Caboose, turning what was a “jungle” into a freshly weeded dirt patch ready for growth. On Gove Street the Ambassadors met up with East Boston Greenway Coordinator Michelle Moon to help plant flowers in the planter boxes provided through a collaboration of Friends of East Boston Greenway (FoEBG) and Toole Engineering Company. This exercise marked the first time that any of the Ambassadors had planted flowers. They enjoyed how calming it felt to plant and what a difference the flowers made in enhancing the beauty of the plot.
The Ambassadors also completed some maintenance work at “Our Garden (Nuestro Jardin),” a second Eastie Farm site, where they jumped in with both feet for an afternoon of weeding, picking up trash, and sweeping. The team learned about caring for public spaces and setting a good example for others to help keep it clean. A resident stopped to thank them for their hard work as she walked by the site. The Ambassadors all commented on how much they enjoy working on the farm and seeing the progress being made.
The group also took a few breaks from their hard work throughout the week to make time for some camaraderie and team bonding activities—including a quick side trip to take advantage of free slurpee day at 7-Eleven—and an excursion to Peddocks Island in Boston Harbor for the “All Hands on Deck!” Stewardship Day, hosted by the National Park Service. There the group met with other youth stewardship groups including Green Ambassadors, Hill to Harbor Youth, Historias de Boston Youth Conservation Corps, National Parks of Boston Public History Interns, Save The Harbor/Save The Bay, and Stewards of the Future. Everyone was matched up with partners from different groups and had a chance to get to know each other and then work together to remove invasive species on the island while enjoying a beautiful summer day on the waterfront.
Next week the group will welcome a few more Ambassadors to join the team and look forward to sharing more “Ambassadors Diary” updates as the program continues through the summer!
To learn more about the One Waterfront Ambassadors program, visit: onewaterfront.thetrustees.org/ambassadors