In March, students from Goodwin College’s Women Invested in Securing an Education (WISE) and Men of Vision in Education (MOVE) programs collaborated with Connecticut River Academy (CTRA) students to volunteer with Keney Park’s Sustainability Project (KPSP). The project is a partnership that includes the City of Hartford, Hands on Hartford, Friends of Keney Park, Inc., Knox Parks, Our Piece of the Pie, Aquastone Graphics, Public Access Television, the Board of Education, and DEEP. KPSP is a multi-phase project educating youth and other community members on the importance of sustainability practices, creating jobs, and preparing the next generation of city workers and environmental stewards.
Through the assistance of AmeriCorps VISTA coordinator Kelsey Woodford and Student Service associate Travis Samuels, 15 WISE, MOVE, and CTRA students were able to volunteer with KPSP. Students had the opportunity to paint the park’s greenhouse and build raised garden beds. The event was a wonderful experience for the students and provided a great opportunity to serve. Samantha Aroste, a first-year WISE student, said, “It was actually really fun. It’s cool to see how much progress we made with painting the greenhouse as well as having fun with each other.”
According to the director and event coordinator for the Family Day Foundation Inc., Herb Virgo, the park will continue to need support. With 963 acres to maintain, “Keney Park Sustainability Project is a partnership. Our goal is to have a farmers market as well as archery available to the public,” he explained. WISE, MOVE, and CTRA students are looking to continue their volunteer efforts throughout the year.