Life @ SRDS

Volunteer Day at Queensbridge Park

Last week employees from our New York City office participated in a day of service hosted by Partnerships for Parks. “A unique public-private partnership between City Parks Foundation and NYC Parks,” Partnerships for Parks “supports and champions neighborhood volunteers by providing the tools needed to advocate and care for neighborhood parks and green spaces.”

SRDS volunteers worked alongside another corporate volunteer group from Floyd Advisory to clean up Queensbridge Park, located just across the East River from our Manhattan office. Volunteers were splits into two groups; one to rake leaves and one to help remove the Japanese knotweed from the fence.

Japanese knotweed, we learned, is an invasive species that is almost impossible to eliminate and poses a threat to the species growing near it. According to the National Park Service, Japanese knotweed is one of the most invasive species in the world. It spreads rapidly and can grow over 10 centimeters in a single day. With strong roots that can take hold even in pavement, it has long stalks like bamboo that grow to an impressive height. As an invasive species, it consumes minerals from the ground and limits the resources of other plants making it more difficult for them to grow. While Japanese knotweed is difficult to eliminate, digging up the roots can help to slow its growth.

The Japanese knotweed in Queensbridge Park had taken root in between a barbed wire fence and a metal fence separating the park from the Queensboro Bridge. Despite the rainy conditions, our group of volunteers had a positive attitude and worked together for several hours pulling up the roots from the ground and cutting the Japanese knotweed down from the fence. By the end of the event, we had collected 51 bags of leaves and invasive Japanese knotweed. The tools we used have been donated to the park staff and will help them continue their horticulture work in the future. Additionally, SRDS has made a donation to the City Parks Foundation to help support their work beautifying NYC parks.

SRDS is looking forward to planning more volunteer events for its employees both in the NYC and Chicago areas in the coming months. If you would like to get involved with Partnerships for Parks and volunteer at one of their events, click here.