When I applied for [email protected] I knew exactly where I wanted to be placed over the summer, and it was the New Haven Land
Trust. My senior year in high school at the Sound I had the opportunity to build a bridge for the NHLT on the Long Wharf Nature Preserve with help from peers and staff. Building the bridge entailed of organizing, planning, and constructing a 16ft bridge along with railings. I learned to manage my time and plan ahead, essential skills one needs to become successful in the real world.
My first day of work, I met my supervisor Kate Lichti and co-workers. We went over general rules, paperwork and afterwards we went outside to examine the parking lot. We found various plants including native and invasive species such as the Tree of Heaven. Later on in the workweek we went to our first community garden on Steven’s Street and restored it to its functional state by pulling all the weeds from the beds, planting vegetable seeds, and watering the seeds. Our third day of work consisted of an educational tour of the Long Wharf Nature reserve and pulling the Black Swallow Wort, an invasive species that Monarch butterflies mistake for Milkweed so they unintentionally lay their eggs on them, ending their life cycle. On our last day of the workweek, we created community garden signs for ones that did not have them, and it must have been the heat that got to me because I misspelled community garden! Overall, the week was exciting and being in the different work areas showed me just how much the Land Trust participates in the community.
Before: Overgrown bed at Stevens Street Garden.
After: Bed planted with tomatoes, bell peppers, and hot peppers.