“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss. 

It’s May and we can see the grass growing, flowers blooming, and trees filling out their leaves. Unfortunately,  we can also see the trash that litters our parks and roadways and the briars that have started to crowd out the native plants. To combat this, Parks and Trails of New York joined forces with the Department of Environmental Conservation and other agencies for #ILoveMyParkDay.”  Some of our supported individuals joined the more than 5,000 volunteers to beautify and celebrate New York’s amazing state parks, historic sites, and public lands through park cleanup, trail and wildlife habitat restoration, gardening, and more.

One of our supported individuals, Gary, and his staff member Joe shared their experiences cleaning up the Bennington Battlefield Park in Hoosick. They preregistered online a few days before the scheduled date and on the appointed day, they excitedly headed over to the Bennington Park pavilion. Once there, they each received a red tee shirt indicating their status as official volunteers, which Gary really loved. Then they were given the choice of painting items, planting flowers, or completing trail clean up, and they chose to do the trail clean up. A park representative explained all that was involved in that task, showing them how to remove invasive species and cut down plants to widen the trail. Then they got to work completing a full mile of maintenance and beautification. Afterward, they returned to the pavilion where they mingled with other volunteers and enjoyed some refreshments.

Gary and Joe were both so energized by their efforts that they took a drive to view sights in Bennington Vermont. They celebrated their accomplishments with a nice lunch and then visited a farm. Gary loved communing with the chickens, cows, llamas, pigs, and more.  They ended their adventure with a visit to the Big Moose Deli & Country Store in Hoosick, which Gary loved – especially when the owner gave him a free soda!

Both eco-warriors had an amazing day and said that they would like to do it again!