Queens Botanical Garden Volunteers
Photo credit: Queens Botanical Gardens
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Throughout the month, we will celebrate and feature stories from the people we support. We believe that with the right set of supports, people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities can live in, work in, contribute to, and participate in the community.
People supported that attend our day habilitation program volunteered as interns for the Queens Botanical Garden last fall. The goals of this engagement for people supported were to build marketable skills, engage in the community, develop skills in interacting with a supervisor, colleagues and peers, learn about green cleaning methods, help clean the garden’s signs and fences, keep their public spaces clean, and remember their assigned tasks while navigating the garden environment.
Queens Botanical Garden staff set up a weekly schedule for our group of volunteers for a two-month period. It was a wonderful opportunity to be in the manicured gardens and the group enjoyed their time in helping to beautify the garden. Hear from some of them –
“I had fun picking up the leaves and eating the snack they gave us. I want to go back soon.”
“I loved cleaning and picking up the pumpkins.”
“I got to go out and gain work experience and help out with my peers.”
Eryn Hatzithomas, Queens Botanical Garden Community Engagement Manager, valued the diligence that the group of interns brought to their weekly responsibilities. “The interns are really settling in and remembering where we keep our supplies and the tasks to do, learning about green cleaning and caring for our public spaces,” she shared.
We at S:US are grateful to our staff, along with the Queens Botanical Garden team, for providing training opportunities for people supported. Our volunteers look forward to returning this spring to help garden staff prepare for the summer season.