Community Garden Rejuvenation in Charlestown
Coordinators Elinor Mason and Olivia Green say: We worked with an organization called “Love your Block” to clear out a large community garden that suffered from vandalism and illegal dumping. Many of the plots had been shuttered up with makeshift fences that had rendered them unusable. Tearing those fences down was not easy but was also surprisingly satisfying. We filled an entire dumpster with trash and debris! Over 100 local gardeners still use the garden plots, so we were happy to make the garden more safe and functional. Consistent with our seven (!) past Communityler days in Boston, the rain (mostly) held off all morning!
Also, this year was incredibly special because two of our dear friends and CommuniTyler veterans, Matt & Dana, got engaged after volunteering! We celebrated with them long into the evening.
Planting 30 Trees in Columbia Cemetery
Coordinator Mallory Combs says: We had a fantastic time planting trees in the local cemetery for CommuniTyler Boulder. Although the weather wasn’t great (there was a flash flood watch) and they canceled the volunteering event for everyone except for CommuniTyler, we had great turn-out, high spirit and made lots of new friends! We also learned a lot about trees we had never heard of, which was cool. The City of Boulder is working hard to diversify the trees throughout town to prevent disease.
It’s amazing to see all the wonderful events going on around North America. I love how much CommuniTyler has expanded and how many new friends everyone gets to make each year.
Maintenance of hiking trails on the Foothills Trails in South Carolina
Coordinator Bill Farley
Making pet toys at the Anti-Cruelty Society
Coordinators Jamie Lyons, Amanda Tarpey and Euhbin Song
Removed invasive species and performed habitat restoration at Somme Woods
Coordinators Audrey DeBruine and Gui Vendemiatti say: CommuniTyler Evanston happened last Saturday! What did we do, you might ask? Lots of garlic mustard pullin’, trail settin’, and buckthorn loppin’. It was a really awesome time! We had a good turnout despite the predicted thunderstorms we were supposed to have in Chicago but didn’t until the afternoon. It was certainly hard work and people seemed to enjoy it a lot. The Cook County Forest Preserve people seemed really grateful for our work, and we were happy to be in Somme Woods for the 7th year in a row.
For the pregame, we watched the movie Ty’s List on the night before the event. For the postgame, we made some cornbread, chili, and beer and hosted the attendees at our home. Ty’s spirit of service and havin’ fun lives on!
Gardening at Fountain Rock Park in Walkersville, MD
Coordinator Pat Brown says: Sorry to say the Frederick event was a rain-out. The park was closed due to heavy and continuing rain all week. We are looking at options for a make-up date in coordination with park staff. Our event was to coincide with the park’s spring volunteer cleanup day so we will hopefully be able to do the same for the make-up.
In the meantime, what did I do today that was fun? I saw a hummingbird flitting around the native honeysuckle in my backyard!
Beach Clean Up and a Celebration of Souls & Spirits
Coordinator Rachel Saul says: We had an epic two-day one-night CommuniTyler on the northwest tip of O’ahu (Ka’ena Point and Yokohoma Bay, also called Keawaula Beach) that evolved into a quality camping trip in addition to our beach clean-up event. This part of O’ahu is a very spiritual place, with Hawaiian legends describing it as a place where the souls we have lost jump into the next world. This spiritual energy is tangible.
We cleaned the beach of trash, fishing nets and plastics as we watched the surfers enjoying the waves. Then we watched the sunset and, hours later, the crescent moon set—big and yellow under a sky full of stars. We shared stories around the campfire about Tyler and other special people in our lives we have lost, people in our lives who have impacted us and live on through our daily thoughts and actions.
We made lots of new friends throughout the day and night, and we all feel immensely grateful to be part of this island community, which depends on sustainability and cooperation amongst all of its inhabitants.
Mill Valley, CA
Weeding, soil-prep and planting at Homeward Bound, to support the homeless shelter
Coordinators Kurt and Robin Lorenzi say: We started the day with our traditional breakfast of pancakes, which Ty loved. Then we met up with many old friends and quite a few new ones at Homeward Bound of Marin. This was our 7thyear working in the garden, which provides food for the homeless and supports a Culinary Training Center. At the center, they teach culinary skills that help homeless people find jobs and establish full independence. This year, we had 48 hearty, enthusiastic participants that pulled weeds, prepared planting beds, and planted vegetables and flowers. We also helped harvest some of the bounty grown in the garden. The late rains in Marin had hindered the work in the garden and Big Dave, the Master Gardener, was concerned he would not be able to get ahead of all the planting that needed to be done. He was thrilled to have our large, enthusiastic, hard-working group. One benefit of working in the garden, as noted by several volunteers, is the pride and sense of accomplishment in seeing the transformation that happens with all the team effort.
After the event, we headed to a local park for a picnic where friendships were solidified and good eats and beverages were consumed. A number of the SF CommuniTyler participants joined us as well. The diversity of the group was fantastic and included many young people who never knew Ty. His spirit was with us all!
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Working in the Minneapolis Parks and Recs Summer gardens
Coordinators Teresa Fox and Nick Kuchar: CommuniTy Minneapolis was a great success! We teamed up with the Minneapolis Parks & Rec to revive a garden along the Grand Rounds biking route. Afterward, we enjoyed some delish foods with grilling back at Matt and Teresa’s place. We appreciated the Lagunita’s contribution. A little drizzle didn’t even get us down.
New York, NY
“It’s My Park” day at Prospect Park—a citywide effort to care for our green spaces
Coordinator Jess Trippico and Kacey Ronaldson say: We had a great day cleaning up Prospect Park in Brooklyn, mulching trails that led through the trees in a beautiful part of the park that made it hard to believe you were still in the middle of a city. We discovered that there are actually waterfalls in the park, and a hill where you can see all the way to Coney Island!
The day was rainy and it took teamwork for us to find each other in the beginning. There was also a half marathon going on, and some of the runners volunteered with us after! Once we all found each other, the shakedown got us pumped for the day. It was amazing to see the trails come together, as we were initially wheelbarrowing mulch quite a long way and then with all of us working together we got more done than they expected, fully completing all the trails in the area!
A couple of us were reminded of the year CommuniTyler volunteered after Hurricane Sandy hit NYC and we shoveled sand from a woman’s house, optimizing wheelbarrows and teams to get her whole backyard cleaned and the sand from her house back into the yard and leveled.
We all had a lot of fun talking with each other, getting to know the local runners, and making new friends who also met us at the bar afterward! We came to appreciate the smell of mulch and a day full of good conversation, being outdoors, making friends, and helping one another. It all felt fitting for remembering Ty.
Park and beach cleanup in Fort Stark, Newcastle
Coordinator Tyler Browne says: CommuniTyler Volunteer Day in Portsmouth, NH, was a ton of fun this year! We spent our morning clearing Nor’Easter debris and painting at Fort Stark on Newcastle Island. A BIG thanks to the Fort Stark Brigade (Peter and Mike) and to our friends who shared their Saturday morning MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND A FRIEND in honor of Tyler Lorenzi!
San Francisco, CA
“What Did You Do That Was Fun Today?” communal chalkboard on Crissy Field
Coordinator Frank Bauch says: We had an amazing day of CommuniTyler here in San Francisco! Revisiting our 2013 event, we constructed “What did you do that was fun today?” chalkboards and put them up on the beach. It was a windy day that made it more challenging to get everything constructed, but our group was up to the challenge. We got hundreds of messages from passersby recalling the fun things they did! Check out our pictures to see the construction in action and the results!
Afterward, we had a great time heading up to Marin and meeting up with the CommuniTyler Marin group for the after-party.
Santa Barbara, CA
Beach Clean up at Goleta Beach Park
Coordinator Olivia Yazzolino says: On May 19th at CommuniTy Santa Barbara we hosted a beach clean-up and helped all of our volunteers register to vote in local elections! We had a wonderful day sharing Ty’s story and even some visitors all the way from Wisconsin!
Trail Maintenance with the Squamish Access Society
Coordinators Ed Blunderfield and Thomas Lauer say: On May 12thwe helped the Squamish Access Society with their trail maintenance, rebuilding a trail that had been damaged over the winter. After, we went for a nice barbecue next to a lake and climbed together in the afternoon. It was a lot of fun and I cannot wait for next year’s event!