Satellite Academy service learning interns at Rocking the Boat get their feet wet at Pugsley Creek Park observing winter waterfowl. The park is currently undergoing restoration including installation of native grasses called spartina that will benefit native birds and other wildlife. The interns are collecting data as a part of a 5-year monitoring project following the restoration. The data will be used by scientists and technicians at the Natural Resources Group of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. The views are beautiful not all easily accessible since the site is not yet fully open to the public. One student, Jose, said it’s “like taking a ride on the Magic School Bus!”
Monthly Archives: November 2011
On-Water and Boatbuilding students had an awesome day before Thanksgiving working on the boat and cooking in the kitchen. We made some awesome pumpkin spice cookies. They started like this:
And ended like this:
We also made some pretty amazing guacamole (go, Aurea!) and green bean casserole. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Rocking the Boat!
The Satellite Academy Service Learning group is a program of Rocking the Boat’s On-Water Groups Program. This group of 8 high school students are participating in an extended program in which they assist in Rocking the Boat’s environmental restoration projects while earning high school science credit. This semester they have been trained to monitor Bronx River water quality and oyster gardens. They will also complete a winter waterfowl survey for the Natural Resources Group of the Parks Department and build nest boxes for local tree swallows. The interns can use this experience for college applications and resumes. For them, science has never been like this!
Over the past few months job skills apprentices have been getting a handle on the whaleboat we are building for the Charles Morgan. It is a big project and has such a unique history. There is a few hours of video that we have from Mystic Seaport when they documented the building of the same boat. We have also been talking with Independence Seaport Museum to work through problems.
Our goal for this semester to to have the keel, stems and molds set up as well as all of the frames bent. The boat is being built right side up and the molds will be held in place with supports attached to the ceiling. One of the biggest challenges for us so far has been the keel rabbet. We typically build boats upside down and lay the keel into the molds. The molds then guide the process of cutting the rabbet for the first or garboard plank. We have templates we have made of the plank fitting into the keel that we have been using to cut the rabbet. It is a conceptually challenging process. Steam bending the frames and the stems is something that we have heard is laced with difficulity.
During the fall semester, part of the challenge is shorter days and not getting to spend enough time outdoors. So in order to get a new perspective of the Bronx River and explore a bit of its rich history, the Job Skills Apprentices took advantage of their day off of school to tour the Bronx River- by bike!
The 10 mile, 3 hour bike ride started and ended at Rocking the Boat, taking advantage of new bike paths in Soundview Park, visiting the old Cass Gilbert Station in Concrete Plant Park and making our way to Crotona Park (quoted as an Apprentice as being the “Central Park of the Bronx”). The Apprentices learned about how Soundview Park got its name, the history and restoration of Starlight Park, and the controversy of the Sheridan Expressway- all while having fun and getting to know one another better.