Thursday, July 19, 2018

What's Going on this Week?

Women's Empowerment Mural 

On Wednesday (July 11), REI treated volunteers at the mural to free ice cream. NHS provided water and worked with Kwadwo to prepare the mural for the event. A group of children from the Keefe Community Center in Hamden painted at the wall, ate ice cream, and picked up stickers and temporary tattoos from the NHS.

Kwadwo will be at the mural every day from  from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and on Saturdays 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Stop by the mural at 400 Goodrich St on the Farmington Canal trail to help out!

West River Water Festival

The festival attracted over 150 residents and offered attendees free canoe rides, lunch, a magic show, and educational activities about the West River Watershed. The New Haven Fire Department also partially opened a fire hydrant, creating a sprinkler for kids.

The festival serves to educate residents about the West River, which runs directly through the West River Memorial Park, and the significance of the West River Watershed. Some families came to the festival from their homes across the street, unware that a river cut through their neighborhood park.

16 organizations hosted interactive activities that dovetailed to explain the ecological importance of the watershed and what residents could do to protect the watershed.  At the NHS table, children guided marbles through a rain drop journey to visualize the role of rain gardens in storm water management and pollution control. To the right of the rain drop journey, parents could sign up for free rain barrels with Frank Panzarella from the Bio-Regional Group. Our Summer VISTA Haley painted more than 50 faces at her table. At the West River Watershed Coalition booth, kids tested the pH and oxygen level of water drawn from the portion of the river in the park. Cyril the Sorcerer’s magic routine provoked children to think about how water is polluted and how our waterways can be maintained. The Sawtelles provided live music.
There were also tables from New Haven Museum, Connecticut Fund for the Environment - Save the Sound, The Menunkatuck Audobon Society, Science Haven, Quinnipiac River Advocates, The New Haven Health Department, New Haven Bird Club, Regional Water Authority, Connecticut Stands with Standing Rock, and the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. 

Community Gardens and Greenspaces

14 volunteers from Bike and Build pulled knotweed, collected trash, and cleared trails at Sherman Forest on Tuesday (July 10). They also cleared a new trail head that faces Sherman Avenue and connects to the existing trail in order to make the trail more visible and accessible. 

On Monday (July 16), volunteers from the Choate Summer Volunteer Corps collected trash at Sherman Forest before coming to NHS for a presentation by Adam and Kathy explaining the importance of removing trash from the West River Watershed. 

At the Learning Corridor, Doreen and Haley continued to work on the gardening beds and the urban oasis. Newhallville Ambassadors came to the site three times. On Wednesday (July 11), the ambassadors worked on beautifying the space and planting a new pumpkin patch. On Friday (July 13), they performed greenspace maintenance. New Haven cycling advocate Paul Hammer taught a lesson on bicycle safety. After the lesson, the ambassadors rode down the Farmington Canal Trail with bikes from the Learning Corridor. On Monday (July 16), children from the Harris and Tucker school and the Newhallville neighborhood laid mulch with the ambassadors. After gardening maintenance, Haley and the ambassadors played active games with the children.

Haley has contacted over 94 New Haven residents about their interest and expertise in gardening and she is following up on the initial survey.Contact here by following this link.

What we are reading this week…

In Women’sEmpowerment Served A La Mode, Lucy Gellman covers the Wednesday (July 11) volunteering event at the Women’s Empowerment Mural.

Read about the challenge to define affordable housing in New Haven and how the Affordable Housing Task force is reckoning with it in this article in the New Haven Independent.

YES! Magazine explored the challenge of providing affordable housing to all Americans in their most recent issue. It covers co-ops, community land trusts, multi-generational homes, and indigenous home design principles. Read the entire edition online here.

Want to get involved in any of these projects? Sign up to volunteer here

This Report written by Yale Public Service Fellow Will Taft

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