Randalls Island Park Alliance

In Volunteers we trust

In What's in Bloom on January 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm

by Phyllis Odessey

2011
791 volunteers

2312 volunteer hours
52,992 plants,trees, bulbs planted by volunteers

2011 was a record-breaking year for horticulture volunteers on Randall’s Island.  Students and adults helped us plant, mulch, compost, divide, weed and harvest seed.  With close to 500 acres, the only way to accomplish our goals are with volunteers.  Creating new gardens, maintaining existing gardens and  beautifying various parts of the island takes more than just our devoted crew of horticulturists.

Our volunteers are extremely important to us and every year when the weather prevents us from going outside (which is rare) the horticulture crew under the guidance of Eunyoung Sebazco, Horticulture Manager, we put together a thank you gift for volunteers.
We cut bamboo, glue one end, add wildflower seeds harvested from our meadows, seal the top with tissue paper and add ribbon.    This little package contains:
Aquilegia Canadensis
Asclepias incarnate
Aster novae-angliae
Chamaecrista fasciculate
Eupatorium maculatum
Gallardia pulchella
Coreopsis lanceolata
Liatris spciata
Heliopsis helianthoides
Lupinus perennia
Monarda fistulosa
Oenothera biennis
Penstemon digitalis
Rudbeckia hirta & triloba

We always tell people to spread the seed outside, not in a window box.  However, two years ago,  we received a note from the Commissioner of Parks asking us to identify one of the flowers that had sprouted from this very container in his window box.  We identified the flower, but it was not on the contents of the seed packet.  As is usual in gardening, there are always surprises.  Seeds come from those planted, the wind, the birds.  A volunteer is a delightful surprise.

If you are interested in volunteering as a group or individual on Randall’s Island, please contact:  phyllis.odessey@parks.nyc.gov

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