Bike & Build 2015: Coastal Drift Tour
On June 24th the CB&O team at NHS hosted 28 participants of the 2015 Coastal Drift bike tour, one of several programs organized by Bike & Build. This was the second team to come through
Haven this year, and third in the last two years.
Arrangements were made so that these groups of 18-25 year olds could spend a
day volunteering in our local communities, while discussing affordable housing
issues. This large group of volunteers spent time at four different sites, working
in a community garden and other green-spaces.
Stevens Street Community
Garden, five volunteers were led by two
VISTA members. They cleared overgrown weeds
from the back half of the lot, weeded through raised garden beds, planted tomato
plants and flowers, provided water, and turned compost piles. This group had
the chance to work alongside two young residents who live next door to the
garden making the day not only a productive one, but a fun one as well!
A second group of volunteers took to
West Division Street. There the group
cleared away litter and debris from the sidewalks, weeded through some of the
grassy spots, laid out mulch around bushes at the edge of a vacant lot,
provided water to plants in need, and worked with residents to help the
maintenance of a few front yard spaces. What a difference that was made once
the day was through!
Over on the Farmington Canal Trail in the Newhallville section, seven Bike & Build volunteers worked on the difficult task of removing three large tree stumps from the side of a garage. The wall of the garage currently hosts a weathered mural that will soon be replaced by one that has been designed by local artist, Kwadwo Adae. Kwadwo has been working closely with our
VISTA team to begin executing this
community art piece. In order to continue this effort, the stumps needed to be
removed for access. This task proved to be an incredible challenge- one stump
took nearly five hours to extract from the ground! Lucky for us, these Bike &
Build volunteers were up for the challenge. They worked with impressive energy
and dedication to get the job done. It was hard for us to believe they had just
travelled 180 miles on bike within the two days prior!
Lastly, our fourth group of volunteers contributed to two projects. In the morning they, too, had a chance to experience the Farmington Canal Greenway, helping to spruce it up for trail users. The team weeded, mulched trees, and displayed their creative design talents with some pleasing landscaping improvements along the sidewalk on