2006-04-14 / Community

Stone Soup Saturdays At Gateway May 13

Roll up your sleeves, because Friends of Gateway (FoG) is holding their next Stone Soup Saturday on May 13.

FoG volunteers will gather at the Gateway Greenhouse for a day of environmental service to NYC's National Park.

Projects this month will include planting seedlings and caring for the grounds at Gateway Greenhouse Education Center at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

The day's events are designed to be family friendly. There will be enough to do so that adults with or without children can be part of the program.

FoG also has projects that need to be done which require special skills, so people with horticultural background, art skills, carpentry, plumbing, or electrical backgrounds are especially welcome.

At 3 p.m., after the day's work, FoG encourages volunteers to picnic at the park, and/or bring a dish to share.

Throughout American history, "barn raising" has been a way to soften pioneer life, build community and allow many hands to make easy fun work out of time consuming tasks. It is fitting that the approach be used to help grow a pioneering "urban" National Park. "Stone Soup" works in a similar way, turning sharing into a community event.

Gateway National Recreation Area was created 30 years ago with the transfer of mostly military land to the National Park Service. Although the National Park Service has done much to improve Gateway, the expected major infusion of federal funds to build the park never arrived. With this program, Friends of Gateway began a program to encourage New Yorkers to help improve their own park in the hopes of developing a community of volunteer stewards to make Gateway as much a stellar example of urban land restoration as Yosemite and Yellowstone are of rural land preservation. For more information on Stone Soup Saturday, call Friends of (212) 228-3126.

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