Park Community News

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Superintendent Jacobson is No Litterbug

Boston Harbor Islands hosted a beach clean-up on September 18, 2008 as part of COASTSWEEP, a statewide program that contributes to the international effort to make coasts safer for all marine life, including beach goers. Over 80 volunteers joined staff from Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center and National Park Service (NPS) to clean up the beaches on Calf, Peddocks and Thompson Islands. Community members of all ages joined park staff to remove over 3,000 pounds (1.5 tons) of trash!

Volunteers recorded the collected items on data cards. Their tallies were submitted to The Ocean Conservancy, a Washington DC-based non-profit organization that manages an international database for marine debris trends. According to initial tallies, beverage bottles, cans, food wrappers and containers, bleach or cleaner bottles, and cigarettes were the among the most collected types of debris this year.

Recreational or commercial fishing and boating materials, which pose some of the most immediate risks to marine life, were also abundant. Marine debris threatens not only beach-goers and animals, but also the oceanic ecosystem as a whole. Volunteers and park staff all learned first-hand that trash must be discarded in a responsible way to preserve the health of our local and global ecosystems.—Mary Raczko is the NPS Volunteer Coordinator and Tara Weaver is a 2008 seasonal park ranger.


Stephony Reeves

Island Ambassador: In Transition

I am a graduate of the John D. O'Bryant School of Math & Science and the Island Ambassadors program. I have worked for three seasons in the Island Ambassador program—first as an Ambassador, now as a Peer Leader. I have grown in many ways during this transition, but one thing that has never changed is the pride I take in working at Boston Harbor Islands.

When I first began my work in the B.E.A.N program (Boston Environmental Ambassadors to National Parks) in 2005 my real focus was in getting paid! But in 2008, B.E.A.N became the Island Ambassador program, and I felt I had a new purpose and sense of belonging. I gained experiences with investment in my community and ownership of my parks. My favorite part about being an Island Ambassador was the community outreach. I visited dozens of community centers, teaching children about the resources of the park and getting them excited to come and visit. I loved going into schools knowing that I was teaching students something that is memorable and fun.

Currently, I am a Peer Leader and supervise, coach and mentor new Ambassadors. I strive to teach new Ambassadors how to provide public tours and programs; restore the islands’ health through invasive species removal; and assist scientists in the field. My favorite part about being a Peer Leader is my work behind the scenes. I take a bigger role in networking with other youth programs, provide support in program administration, and participate in program planning sessions with park managers and staff.

The transition from an Ambassador to Peer Leader has built character and skills I believe I will carry for years to come. My involvement with Boston Harbor Islands is truly a life-changing experience because it has given me a feeling of belonging and has changed my outlook on ways I can contribute to the environment, parks and the people of my community. My absolute goal is to get new Ambassadors to get the “Island Ambassador feeling,” and inspire them to help other Boston youth experience a connection to their parks and natural environment.Stephony Reeves, currently serves as a Peer Leader for Island Ambassadors, a program of the National Park Service and Boston Harbor Island Alliance


December 5, 2008
In Issue Three

  • Autumnal Activities (Photos)
  • New Island Ambassadors

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