by Jaquay Scott, Park Ranger Apprentice
“There’s never a right time to say goodbye…” – Christopher Maurice Brown
Volunteering at TTF over the last month has been a well-rounded skill-building experience for me. Walking the trail almost daily has definitely tripled my step count but more importantly, I’ve been able to interact with residents/organizations and help foster their relationship with Tacony Creek Park.
Whether it has been trash clean-ups, ATV barrier installations, tree plantings, or casual/guided walks throughout the park, I have been moved to see neighbors come out and give back to their community. Tacony Creek Park is situated along several culturally diverse neighborhoods and I appreciate the efforts of TTF to make sure signage is multilingual, so everyone feels invited. I’ve experienced a bit of a language barrier while communicating with neighbors but that has only made me more ambitious to learn more languages to better serve Philadelphians as a whole.
The overall health of the Creek and the surrounding neighborhoods is in the hands of current/future residents as well as much needed volunteers. It has been an honor to advocate on behalf of the ecosystem at Tacony Creek Park while attending various partner events. I’ve even been recorded providing a demonstration about the combined sewage system of Philadelphia, and the effect it has on the Delaware Watershed at large for a future television program.
Sadly, my time is up at TTF, but this month will forever be embedded in my memory. Big Shoutout to Julie, Alex, Doryán and the rest of the TTF Staff as well as Jen from Bennett Compost for making my partner Kev and I feel at home. I only hope to continue to discover myself as a Native Philadelphian throughout the rest of my apprenticeship. Much Love.
by Miguel Cruz-Ortiz, Park Ranger Apprentice
My first day starting here at TTF was very eye opening, with the amount of things that I’ve seen from wildlife to encountering other people using the park. I’ve learned how one park system functions and seeing that was a very fruitful experience. One month in, I was just a seedling with no idea how a watershed park works; now I have a better understanding and can explain how these watershed parks connect to other parks through trails and waterways, and can share information if anyone who uses Tacony Creek Park has questions.
Lots of wildlife call Tacony Creek Park home — I’ve seen so many different animals, that I did not know could inhabit a green space so close to people like foxes, Great Blue Heron, raccoons, deer, and so many more. One take-away from being here at TTF is that the community is very involved and appreciates the work that we do. By PowerCorpsPHL and TTF working together, I have been able to make an impact on not only TTF, but the park and community. I met a lot of good people just during the first month of Park Ranger Training, and would like to continue to make connections with the community and park staff wherever I land next.
We were so pleased to be part of this PowerCorps PHL program in April and May. All our thanks to the PowerCorps PHL staff and our apprentices: Abdiel Cruz, Miguel Cruz-Ortiz, Kevin Nicholson, and Jaquay Scott.