Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Steph's Last Day! Again?

Today is officially my last day at Hester Street Collaborative, so I will sum up my experiences here. I discovered HSC through the Summer Youth Employment Program at CPC last summer. Alex, our supervisor, assigned us (the interns) three different projects: build a work table, find ways to improve the playground at Sara D. Roosevelt Park, and help reconstruct the P.S. 134 community garden. While doing such hard work on our projects, I learned how to use many tools in the workshop and some design programs on the computer. By the end of August 2006, we finished the table, gathered plenty of research/data on SDR Park, and began work on the garden. I had such a great time working at HSC that I wanted to come back during the school year as a volunteer.

In September, Jennifer and I came back to see Annie with some recruits. Our first project was to continue the research on SDR Park. We extended that research to other parks around the city, allowing us to compare them to SDR. Instead of doing boring data charts like we did that past summer, Fiona came up with the brilliant idea of filming the parks and creating a documentary. By the end of November, our project was complete and presented to the New York City Parks Department. That didn’t leave me feeling as accomplished as building a table, but it came very close.

During the next five months or so, we mastered the art of silk screening (thanks to Dylan) and made t-shirts to fundraise for the P.S. 134 garden. Using Winnie’s design of “cartoony” vegetables, we made over $300. When Spring came around, it was time to go back to work at the garden. There was a lot of cleaning up to do. Since then, the garden has taken an entirely new form. Some of the plant beds were rearranged; new plants were growing; and a new, bigger shed was built. (Actually, two new sheds were built since last summer, but a second one was built because we needed a bigger shed.)

At the beginning of this summer, new interns from SYEP and LaGuardia began working here. They learned how to silkscreen like pros in a matter of days! …Well, maybe weeks. They worked on the design camp and individual research projects (see previous posts). Now, everyone’s gone =(. This has been an awesome fourteen months at Hester Street Collaborative. I hope all the other interns had as great a time as I did, if not better. Enjoy the rest of the summer, everyone!

- Steph

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