Last weekend on Sunday, I was given the opportunity to volunteer at Rockefeller State Park through the Center for Community Action and Research at Pace University.
There was a good amount of people who signed up to volunteer, all of who were women! When arriving at the park, we were instantly given a task. Snapping turtles were being found throughout the courtyard, and our job was to find any other straggling turtles that were around. Then, we went near the pond and freed the turtles into their natural habitat.
Our next activity for the day, was to clear a section of the park from an invasive species called Japanese silk grass. The goal was to remove the silk grass, in order to be able to begin digging holes for the trees we needed to plant. Digging the holes for the trees, was the most difficult part of the day. Seriously, I was struggling. The section we were digging had extremely hard soil that almost felt like rock. At one point, we hit actual rock and were unable to get past it, so we had to begin digging a new hole. It took some time, and a lot of hard work, but eventually we were able to successfully plant our tree.
We were approaching the end of our time at Rockefeller State Park, but we still had one more task to complete. The last task was to plant grass, which was way easier. When planting the grass, the holes did not have to be as deep, making the process go a lot smoother. This day was truly a workout for me. Prior to arriving at the park, I did not think I would be doing as much manual labor as we did.
This was probably the most physically active I was all week, actually who am I kidding? All month! Despite being caught off guard by the difficulty of our activities, I still enjoyed our time at Rockefeller State Park. It was nice to spend some time outdoors and be away from my phone for a while. It also felt rewarding to do something for the environment that is essential for all of us. In retrospect, I would volunteer at Rockefeller State Park again!