Youth Conservation restores Glenville Green

GYCP teens recently spread mulch at Glenville Green. From left, George Ribushofski, Dylan Ehret and Marclem Nascimento all helped out with the effort.

GYCP teens recently spread mulch at Glenville Green. From left, George Ribushofski, Dylan Ehret and Marclem Nascimento all helped out with the effort.

Twenty-eight members of the Greenwich Youth Conservation Program (GYCP) recently worked to help redesign an area of the Glenville Green next to the Greenwich American Legion post.

These local 14- to 15-year-olds are making a difference in the Greenwich landscape while they get valuable first-job experience. The teens worked to grade the land, remove invasive vines, plant shrubs and repaint picnic tables.

“This space wasn’t conducive to public use. Now people will be able to come over and have lunch or relax here,” explained Bruce Spaman, the superintendent of the Parks & Trees Division of the Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation, which runs the GYCP along with the Department of Social Services.

Since June 23, 112 Greenwich 14- and 15-year-olds have participated in two-week work sessions. The teens must apply and interview for a spot with the GYCP. In addition to doing conservation work, the teens hear presentations from professionals during their afternoon breaks on important teen topics such as cyberbullying, standing up to peer pressure and community resources such as Kids in Crisis.

“It’s a really well-rounded program, and the kids can use this experience to create future success,” GYCP supervisor and graduate Dinora Hernandez said.

Sponsors and private donors make it possible for each teen to receive a $225 stipend for their work.

In addition to The Resource Foundation, Fire House Deli, Garden Catering, McArdle’s Florist and Garden Center, and Whole Foods of Greenwich also sponsor the program. There are also many private donors; 2014 marks the GYCP’s 36th year of “Teens Working for A Greener Greenwich.”

“People need to know about the good things these teens are doing in Greenwich,” Roy Simpson, chairman of The Resource Foundation Inc., said. “Look at their strong work ethic.”

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