Washington, DC was not hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and all of us WLP students had no issues during the storm. However, many people in New York and New Jersey were faced with extreme conditions that damaged their homes and parks. This past weekend I decided to take a bus to Queens, New York and help clean up areas devastated by Sandy. I left Washington, DC at 3:30 AM and arrived in Manhattan around 8 that morning. The city was more than I expected with people jammed throughout trying to get from place to place. Once I escaped the mayhem and arrived at Forest Park in Queens I met with the NYC Parks Department and was placed in a group of other volunteers who were assigned to clear the park’s paths of fallen debris. I was specifically responsible for cutting up fallen trees and then placing them in a compressor that turned the fallen timber into mulch that would later be placed throughout the park. In the pictures shown in the post you can see a lot of the damage done by the storm as well as the compactor we used to turn the debris into mulch.
The trip to NYC was very fulfilling and I plan on volunteering again at the end of the semester. The local people I was able to work with showed me how much their community meant to them and inspired me to give back to my own community.