YOUTH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL GRADUATION CEREMONY (NYC Parks- GreenThumb)
Another privilege I was granted during my time as a GreenThumb Intern was to be able to attend their Youth Leadership Council’s (YLC) Graduation Ceremony, held this year at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan. The YLC is made up of kids ages 14-21 who choose to be involved in a community garden’s staff over the summer, learning about things like sustainability, food insecurity, composting, gardening, and the myriad of other skills that come with learning to tend to a garden for the benefit of the community and the benefit of the environment. At the ceremony, several YLC particpants were able to speak to the room as a panel and share what YLC meant to them, and what they had learned and become passionate about in the process. Many other YLC participants sat in the audience, cheering on their friends as they presented, and eventually, many of the graduates spoke as part of a group-wide conversation on the future of urban gardening and eco-friendly living. I was honored to be able to attend and to see the YLC participants be celebrated as they deserved to be, and to see them be encouraged to speak up for what they believe in and be a part of a greater conversation. The event was so inspiring I decidedly photographed it in a sort of vintage manner, reminiscent of how these young people will someday be looked at as trailblazers of their time, giving off a wholesome, old-soul feeling of “be kind and make a difference”. I also focused heavily on getting up close shots of those who spoke, hoping to really give a spotlight to anybody and everybody who had the courage and the passion to speak up. I hope for this to be the first in a long line of my event photography opportunities.
OPEN GARDEN DAY (NYC Parks: GreenThumb)
A major focal point of my time as a Media and Events Intern at GreenThumb, the community gardens division of the New York City Parks and Recreation Department, was the preparation for and documentation of Open Garen Day. Open Garden Day was a coordinated day in which Community Gardens and their dedicated volunteer gardeners opened their garden gates for the public, allowing for citizens to participate in facilitated workshops and events ranging from herbal harvesting and tea making, to arts and crafts, to simple garden tours complete with fresh-picked produce for attendees to take home. I contributed by traveling to mutiple commnunity gardens and photographing them, stumbling across Rafael Omiz Solar in the process and being inspired by our conversation to write up a small piece on what makes these gardens so beautifully special. The photos and write-up were featured on GreenThumb’s facebook page, promoting Open Garden Day. Additionally, on the day of Open Garden Day, I took a ferry ride to Rockaway Youth Task Force’s Urban Farm to photograph their farmers market they had opened for the event. I came across an empty stand- they had sold right out of all their fresh produce before I could even make it in the early afternoon. I photographed their garden and wrote up a facebook post celebrating their achievements, which was also featured on GreenThumb’s facebook page. Additionally, they used a photo of mine from the Urban Farm and began using it as their cover photo. Please click the link’s attached to the photos of the Facebook posts to travel to GreenThumb’s Facebook page to see more!
PHOTOS IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE:
Java Street Community Garden
Rafael Omiz Solar and his Cherry Tomatoes, Keap Fourth Community Garden
Rockaway Youth Task Force Urban Farm