*Today is the last day of uptown summer. After 20 amazing days, the ‘Youth Change Makers’ worked so hard getting down to the nitty gritty of environmental justice in our community. They have been raising environmental awareness by creating maps, painting trashcans, and making Hudson River pollution signs. The youth also learned how to create edible landscapes, make instruments out of junk, and learned the benefits of eating nutritious meals.
*This Morning at Ingalls ave boat launch we installed our water pollution awareness signs. We dug 3 feet holes to secure the post for our signs and filled the holes with cement. During our dig, we noticed a funny smell coming form the dirt that smelled like burning rubber.
10 years ago Ingalls ave boat launch was next to what was Jack’s Junk Yard. The owner of the scrap yard used to dump oil from the motors into the soil and the soil lit on fire burning tons of rubber tires. The fire department could not extinguish the fire so they barricaded the fire and it burned for a week. That explains why the dirt still smells like that to this day!
-Brandon Ballengee and Sinici, Youth Change Maker, put on water waders and stood in the Hudson at the boat launch and caught fish with a seine fishing net. They put the tiny fish in large plastic containers. They even caught a leech.
-Lunch with Councilmen: Dean Bodnar said “The worst things a young person can experience is being off from school with nothing to do!” Jim Gordon recognizes that this group is special because they can “filter through the noise and see what’s on the other side”. His advice is to continue doing this and spread the word to keep moving it forward. The Youth Change Makers ask the councilmen questions about how we, ourselves, can help the community. What kind of engagement can we do that will assist the greater need of the community? All we have to do to help is to simply ask.
-Last act: such an honor to end the rigorous 5 week session with U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko. We have been starting a campaign from youth voices in this neighborhood to clean it up. “We are the ones living here and seeing whats going on but we can’t do anything about it without your help”- Veronica
“Get loud and crank it up, make good trouble. Truth rises to the top. It takes boldness and leadership. Think globally and act locally. You can do this by constructive dialogue, raising awareness, and offer a challenge in a polite way. Communicate with social grace by writing to us.”-Paul Tonko