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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Arrowcreek Park, Reno, Nevada, USA

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Arrowcreek Park, Reno, Nevada, USA
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mjones



Registered: December 2010
Posts: 1
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This past summer I noticed that one of the major needs in my community is a safe, fun, and clean place for families and kids to go, such as parks. This need is often not addressed because parks are not considered a necessity and fall victim to budget cuts or neglect. Therefore, parks become dirty, the play structures become outdated and faded, and plants become overgrown. After discovering a park near my house exemplifying this neglect and under-utilization, I created the first part of my project: revitalizing Arrowcreek Park in Reno, Nevada.
In order to implement this portion of the project, I first contacted the local county parks department to receive the guidance of a park ranger. I met with a ranger and we agreed upon a few large tasks that would be beneficial to the park. These tasks were: painting a total of 12 benches and picnic tables, planting 25 colorful and hardy plants, making five stepping stones, and clearing the equestrian trail of overgrown shrubs and weeds. I received donations of paint and plants from local companies upon my request. Over the course of two days and 12 hours, a few volunteers and I used our muscle to complete these tasks, with the end result being a beautiful and invigorated park.
My interest in sustainability and the environment was the driving force behind the second part of my project: an educational forum on sustainability featuring various eco-friendly organizations and activities promoting the environment. After pondering for some time ideas that could unite the renovated park and my interest in ‘green’ things, I decided that hosting a forum at the park upon completion of the revitalization would not only promote the park itself, but promote the environment, which were my two chief purposes of the project.
Implementation of this event was no small feat, but armed with passion and sunscreen I was very much successful in educating others about the environment. My vision for the day wasn’t just a few agencies that grudgingly spent their Saturday sitting at a local park waiting as no one came. Rather, I wanted to organize many companies from the community to come together professionally to inform people about each person’s duty to be a steward of the Earth. So, I began by contacting many organizations within my community that either practiced environmentally-conscious habits or that promoted the environment. After about a month of back-and-forth communication, ten organizations agreed to participate in my eco-day forum, one of which was bringing a full-sized home wind turbine. I could not have been more excited to have that on display the day of my project. The organizations that participated in the festival ranged from local food advocates to eco-friendly cleaning services to educational programs for kids. They had interactive displays, such as the home wind turbine, and combined fun and knowledge into one. In addition to the organizations, I demonstrated crafts that utilized recycled materials, for example, an herb pot made from a used yogurt carton.
Being successful meant not only having a grand vision, but actualizing the vision as well, which translated into getting publicity on the local news, gaining approval from the Parks County Commissioner Board, and managing fiscal matters.
With all the blood and sweat that went into my project came great rewards, one of which was the significant impact on the community. Surrounding neighborhoods benefited from my project and gained a beautiful park. Community members also gained knowledge on sustainability and the environment. The eco-day that I hosted brought awareness to the people that attended, teaching them how to properly recycle, reduce energy and water consumption, and compost. This education is vital to the environmental well-being of the community, and will indeed help to prevent excess pollution and degradation of the community’s physical surroundings.
My environmental project, in addition to impacting the environment and the community, also greatly impacted me. I have always been a fairly reticent person, a listener, claiming talkative people would have no one to talk to if it weren’t for the listeners. Although my rationalization might hold some truth, I realized that it would be difficult if not impossible to do any good in society if all I was capable of doing was listening. Through my project, I discovered I have a burning desire to be a contributing member of society and in order to do so I must be dedicated to working hard, confidently, and actively to achieve these ends. I also realized that I am completely capable of being that hardworking, confident, and active person I strive to be, as evidenced by the accomplishments of my project. I now aspire to become an environmental engineer focused on sustainability and the environment.
At the end of my project, my goals materialized and passions emerged on those sweltering July days when I proudly and successfully engaged many members of the community regarding a green lifestyle, thanks to a beautified park, my determination, and some ice-cold lemonade.
Date: December 19, 2010 Views: 8155 File size: 17.8kb, 59.0kb : 604 x 453
Hours Volunteered: 40
Volunteers: 8
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 5 to 76
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