Berlin youth group proposal gets $1,400 for Dr. William Henry Park improvements
By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(April 18, 2019) Dr. William Henry Park on Flower Street in Berlin will get an environmental facelift through a $1,400 grant won last Friday by the Strengthening Adolescent Boys with Education and Resources (SABERS).
The Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services program was awarded a certificate of excellence for creativity and innovation in environmental stewardship and project design at a Youth Environmental Action Summit on April 5 at the Ward Museum in Salisbury.
The group consists of nine boys in seventh and eighth grade at Stephen Decatur Middle School.
Tiffany Scott, youth program coordinator at Worcester Youth and Family Services, said this experience made the boys aware of the environmental issues happening in their own backyards.
“It made me extremely proud because it … made them stop and think about how the things in the environment aren’t just global … and this project was way bigger because it … got them to think about things that are important to them,” she said.
Scott learned about the grant opportunity on Feb. 19, when Elise Trelegan, of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, approached her about the summit opportunity. The idea was presented to the group, and a subsequent tripto Dr. William Henry Park revealed to members the jobs that needed doing, including a general cleanup of broken glass and trash.
The SABERS then attended the summit in Salisbury.
Groups of elementary and high school students from the lower shore’s three counties presented their proposals, participated in exhibits and listened to guest speakers.
“[The SABERS] walked away with the grand prize award for the middle school category,” she said.
Scott said the funding is expected to go toward installing a trash and recycling center, signs and a rain garden using plants native to the area.
Scott added that the project has endorsements from the Town of Berlin and Maryland Coastal Bays Program.
“This is a step for future partnerships and community collaborations,” she said.
Scott said among the things the boys learned was how to conquer the fear of public speaking for their presentation. However, it did take a little motivation.
“I said fear is OK, but on the other side of fear is greatness, so you gotta walk through it,” she said.
The group’s timetable for the project involves purchasing plants, trash and recycling receptacles, as well as and designing the rain garden. Scott said the members plan to start the process the end of this month and plan to finish the last week of June.