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Kicking off Our 2021 Volunteer Season

The arrival of spring means the beginning of the Volunteer Program season in HRPK, and we can’t wait to welcome our green-loving community back into the field. The pandemic delayed the beginning of our 2020 season, and we’re looking forward to offering a full calendar of opportunities this year for green thumbs of all experience levels to get outside and give back to the Park, starting Saturday, April 10! 

HRPK Green Team Volunteers get ready to plant bulbs near the Tribeca Native Boardwalk.
HRPK Green Team Volunteers get ready to plant bulbs near the Tribeca Native Boardwalk.

Hudson River Park volunteers play a vital role in keeping the Park beautiful. By dedicating hours of work that would otherwise fall on Park staff, volunteers free up our team to take care of other projects they would not be able to attend to otherwise, keeping HRPK as safe, functional and picturesque as possible for the millions of people that use it every year. And as our staff can attest, volunteers bring an energy that reinvigorates us to accomplish and exceed our goals.

In turn, our volunteers get the chance — especially precious in NYC — to roll up their sleeves in a beloved outdoor green space and watch their hard work grow and blossom into a thriving resource everyone can enjoy. And the sense of community fostered by our Volunteer Program connects neighbors and nature lovers, and fosters stewardship for our shared backyard.

This spring, we’re particularly eager to get ahead of the weeds. Even when the City shut down last year, the weeds in the Park did not take a break. Areas that we know will need some extra TLC from our volunteers include the Habitat Garden and the Tribeca Native Boardwalk. We’re interested to see the impact early-season projects will have on Park landscapes, applying the lessons from our shortened season last year and continuing to learn as we watch the Park grow green again.

HRPK Volunteers Freddy E. and Danielle E. help trim back the Habitat Garden
Volunteers Freddy E. and Danielle E. help trim back the Habitat Garden.

We’ve also been working with the Park’s Horticulture staff to improve the bikeway buffer over the past few seasons. Some of the previously planted sections will begin to really fill out this year, and we look forward to making even more progress on the buffer beds with Volunteers in the section of the Park north of W 34 Street. 

Over the past year, we discovered that even in the most extraordinary circumstances, we have a community of loyal volunteers who are looking to help by any means possible. Facilitating virtual volunteering opportunities enabled Park supporters to give back in new ways. For instance, as the Park expanded the online resources available to our community, volunteers from Colgate-Palmolive helped us increase the accessibility of our River Project’s online educational materials by translating science lessons into multiple languages. We’re interested in continuing to explore the various ways our community can give back to the Park, and we hope that those who have joined us virtually in the past may be able to lend a hand in-person this year.

virtual volunteering colgate-Palmolive
Volunteers from Colgate-Palmolive and the team from Hudson River Park worked together virtually in 2020.

Interested in lending a hand in HRPK? The Hudson River Park Green Team is the easiest way to get involved, with Saturday dates throughout spring, summer and fall. You’ll join a group of enthusiastic community members improving their backyard. Capacity is capped to ensure safe social distancing, and no experience is necessary. For those with some availability on weekdays, there is always work to do at our Compost Facility at  W 33 Street. Learn more about our various volunteer opportunities here.

We are so grateful to be able to welcome volunteers back into the Park this year, and to our Volunteer Program Presenting Sponsor, Citi; Supporting Sponsors, Colgate-Palmolive and New York Cruise Lines and Snack Sponsors Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages and GoGo Squeez for enabling us to connect New Yorkers with their west side backyard. And a big thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers — we can’t wait to see you in the Park!