RIPA seeks to foster volunteer projects and increase local stewardship. We are working to build a coalition of local community-based organizations, schools, advocacy groups and relevant government agencies as well as individuals, in order to responsibly care for and preserve Randall’s Island Park.
Several thousand corporate and individual volunteers annually enjoy planting and restoration projects on Randall’s Island. Employees from corporations such as Bloomberg have visited the Island for over 10 years planting flowers, shrubs and trees. Goldman Sachs employees have cleaned specific areas of the park and helped beautify new gardens and pathways. We earned the “Outstanding Project Management” award from Goldman Sachs Community TeamWorks, for our volunteer projects. Said one volunteer, “I come here every year and live in an apartment and don’t have a chance to plant, so I love to do my part at Randall’s Island to make it beautiful.”
Both our Natural Areas and Horticulture crews operate Volunteer projects throughout the year:
In 2008, RIPA successfully restored over 9 acres of salt marsh and freshwater wetland at Randall’s Island Park. Wetlands are an invaluable ecological resource because they improve water quality, provide flood control and coastal protection during storm events, and provide habitat for local and migratory birds, fish, insects, and bivalves. In addition to these wetlands, Randall’s Island also contains over 4 miles of shoreline. Both the wetlands and shorelines require thousands of hours of maintenance and upkeep each year by our trained Natural Areas Crew members. In order to keep these areas properly maintained, the Crew relies heavily on volunteers to assist with this work. As a volunteer with the Natural Areas Crew, you will get a chance to weed the wetlands of invasive plant species, plant native trees,shrubs and grasses, rehabilitate wetland pathways through mulching, or comb the wetlands and shoreline for trash and debris. Volunteers should wear closed toed shoes and clothes they do not mind getting wet and/or dirty. Please be prepared to walk on uneven surfaces. This project will provide an invaluable service to the Park and will help maintain a healthy and vibrant wetlands and aquatic ecosystem.
Randall’s Island Park is home to dozens of beautifully landscaped gardens, greenstreets, and lawns as well as an apple orchard, rice paddy, and Learning Garden. These gardens provide Park patrons a quiet and tranquil visit while providing additional habitat for insects and birds and an educational opportunity for local children. As a volunteer with the Horticulture Crew, you will have the chance to weed beautifully landscaped gardens, plant bulbs along the many lawns, mulch and compost vegetable plants at our Learning Garden, or plant street trees around our new bat and ballfields that will provide shade to athletes. Your work with the Crew in the gardens will be enjoyed and appreciated by park visitors for years to come.
If you are interested in volunteering on Randall’s Island, please fill in the following information. You will be contacted within the week to organize a project.