Saturday, November 3, 2012


Snuggler and I headed uptown today, to the northernmost part of Manhattan, to help clean up a park affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Our team had about 50 volunteers, and was assigned to rake and bag the debris from the salt marsh that overflowed. We filled 300 bags in two hours.

That's Snuggler in the red and white coat
It was good work. The debris was 3" to 6" thick, and it was nice to work with people you'd never met. There was a natural rhythm to it, where one person shoveled debris into a bag while the other held it, and then we reversed roles. All that bending over is a bit hard on the back.

The low white building in the distance is the nature center where my kids have taken classes in the past. It flooded badly; the dock floated away and is now somewhere on the Upper West Side.

I'd guess 200+ people turned out to help at this one park. There were similar cleanups at other parks. I couldn't help but think how long it would take a handful of Parks Department employees to clean up what we were able to clean in two hours.

Meanwhile, this is what our park up the street looks like:

Photo: FORT TRYON PARK WILL REMAIN CLOSED due to fallen trees and hanging limbs. Thank you for your offers of volunteer help.  Once tree hazards are removed and the park reopens, there will be ample opportunities for volunteering.  You can support the storm clean up and park restoration efforts by making a donation at

It's closed to the public until the heavy-duty work can be done, and it's safe to enter.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to know you and your family survived. You are right that working together is what is needed and you are teaching your children that it is important to go join a group such as this even when their own home was safe.