Just before Christmas WE Design, run by Winston Ely and Tricia Martin, organized a couple work days to create a play area in the rear courtyard of a domestic abuse shelter in Harlem. I recieved a call to volunteers via the New York Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects newsletter and decided to offer my time and skills. Winston headed up the team of volunteers along with a couple professional carpenters from Keane Landscaping out in Long Island. The play equipment was donated by NatureExplore, which interestingly is a collaborative program of the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation. I mostly assembled playground equipment and outdoor storage pieces. My favorite was the marimba (which is basically a wooden xylophone).
I couldn’t return for the second day of the volunteer effort but we got a lot of the assembly done on day one and judging by the pictures sent to me the rest of the volunteers did a bang up job on the send day as well. Thanks to everyone at WE Design and NYASLA for a fun and worthwile day in the field as we helped give the children in this shelter a wonderful Christmas present. I look forward to future volunteer opportunities.