June 5 was the start of our annual NeighborWorks Week! This nationwide event promotes community engagement, togetherness, and volunteerism.
For NeighborWorks Week we focused on beautifying the NHS campus in order to make it a more welcoming space for visitors. We worked with Turnbridge volunteers to install a rain garden, which uses rain runoff from the roof and gutters to naturally water native plants. The garden is a beautiful focal point of our new patio space. There, staff will be able to hold socially distant meetings.
With the help of volunteers from Redemption House, we cleaned and weeded our demonstration garden, where we hold our landscaping and gardening classes. A more defined path was created for people to easily enter, and space was cleared for more plants.
A major, community-based project we began this NeighborWorks Week is the DeTrashed initiative. We asked people to clean up around their houses and other favorite places and take a picture of the litter they collected. They then posted this photo to the reddit thread /r/Detrashed, an international initiative to clean up litter and pollution.
Robin Ladouceur, our HomeOwnership Center Coordinator, participated in a canoe cleanup of Beaver Pond. She was joined by the West River Watershed Coalition, Friends of Beaver Pond Park, Gather New Haven, New Haven Parks, CPEN, and Menunkatuck. Everyone kept hydrated to beat the heat, which was in the 90s, and collected around 8 bags of trash. This is extremely important for the ecosystem in the area, as storm drains regularly carry trash into Beaver Pond.
Efforts to detrash and beautify New Haven are becoming more common and it’s our hope that together we can continue to care for our neighborhoods and green spaces.