Greenwich teens provide pond views and walking path at Glenville Green

Twenty-eight teens from the Greenwich Youth Conservation Program (GYCP) showed visitors the results of their hard work at the Glenville Green on Friday, July 17 — they have removed the invasive vines and overgrowth that have kept the mill pond hidden from view and made the walking path impassable.

The area had become so overgrown that many people didn’t realize what was behind the trees and vines. “It’s wonderful to see the mill pond and walking path again,” said Frank Smurlo, Jr., a lifelong Greenwich resident who grew up in Glenville and remembers walking on the path often many years ago. “People will be able to enjoy this special place again.”

The Greenwich Youth Conservation Program, a unique public-private partnership, provides 112 local 14-15 year olds a unique opportunity to earn and learn over the summer. The program is run by the Greenwich Departments of Social Services and Parks and Recreation. Teens must apply and interview for a spot with the GYCP, and there are always far more applicants than available spots. During two-week work sessions, the teens remove invasive vegetation and plant trees, shrubs and flowers at the beaches and many parks throughout town. In the afternoons, speakers share their expertise on topics including local environmental issues, job skills and community resources. Participants receive what is likely their first paycheck for their work from funds provided by private donors and sponsors.

The teamwork and skills GYCP teens learn can serve them for a lifetime. A prime example of this is GYCP graduate (I forget her first & last name), who now in her twenties is a program supervisor. “It’s a really well-rounded program, and the kids can use this experience to create future success,” she said. “It’s exciting to see how much the program has grown.”

The Resource Foundation provides major funding for the GYCP. Other sponsors include Fire House Deli, Garden Catering and Whole Foods of Greenwich. There are also many private donors.

2015 marks the GYCP’s 37th year of “Teens Working for a Greener Greenwich.”

The GYCP is a non-profit public-private partnership of the Greenwich Department of Social Services and Parks and Recreation, Greenwich Green & Clean and private donors, all committed to developing the potential of young Greenwich teens. For more information, contact Christina Nappi, Program Director, at 203-622-7792 or [email protected]

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