Hello, my name is Sherika Glasgow and I am a rising sophomore at Mather High School. I am a member of the New York City Branching Out field team. With this program I have worked at different places and or work sites but in particular, this week, my field team members and I have worked on Ellis Island which holds both cultural and historical resources on its land. This makes the park so important because its soil is literally rich in both history and organic fertilizer. Plus whatever other fertilizer was used in it. This park is not only supported by but also embedded with the stories of thousands of immigrants that have come here to the United States of America. Flooding through the doors of the immigration system at Ellis Island looking for a new place to call “home”. Ellis Island, along with other National Parks are also very much supported by the hundreds of tourist that pass by to visit daily. So I think it’s safe to say that Ellis Island won’t be going anywhere, and not just because it’s an Island and can’t just pack up and move. So, with that being said, first impressions and appearances are very important. When visitors ride in on the Ferry to an island, just like any other places, the first thing we notice is the landscape. We notice the features surrounding us. Its human nature. Even more so on an island with so much important historical background. People will take every little thing into detail from small scale items to vegetation to large structures. So, it is very important to keep all of those things up to date otherwise, people would just think, “ If they work here and don’t even care for the park, then, why should we?”. Those thoughts are not an option.
On our first day of work on Ellis Island, my field team members and I got to work on turf restoration and grass rejuvenation on island two. First we went through the landscape grounds and found all of the places where grass failed to grow because either the soil was too compacted or because only weeds would grow there. This wasn’t hard because you would go from looking at beautiful green grass to looking at blotches of dirt. So what we did in those areas was first aerate the soil with the soil aerator in areas that was too compacted to allow the soil and plants that would be growing there room to breathe and move around freely. After doing that, we went over the soil with the hand cultivator witch doubled in helping us spread out the soil and remove unwanted weeds that was jumbled up into one spot. We then used the ‘seeder slicer’, an awesome gas powered machine to plant and insert grass seeds into the soil. Since there was only one seeder slicer, while we each took turns using the machine, others went to the areas with no grass and used the method of ‘ feeding the chickens ‘ to evenly spread out more grass seed by the handful. I then used the fertilizer spreader to spread organic fertilizer all over the areas where grass seeds were planted. This would allow the grass and soil to grow better and stronger. And lastly, my field team members and I laid down the law with some terresoar. A material that would soak up whatever excess water the ground didn’t take then slowly release it back into the earths surface. The best thing about this thing other than its helping the vegetation?? It’s RECYCLED. The product just stays there and does its job over and over again.
During this week, we also worked on inventory in the day lily garden. A garden filled with beautiful day lilies donated to Ellis Island. Inventory helped the park out because the park had a large variety of lilies but did not know what type of lilies they had specifically. It was our job to help them get a better idea of what they had and to help them find out. It is in a future plan that the park transplant these beautiful lilies to other areas of the island as well. Our inventory would make that job easier. So we layed out a grid creating