The army of volunteers—both TLP teens and community members—washed Wyman vehicles, spread mulch, pulled weeds, upheaved trees, and cleared brush; their efforts ensure that by the time the first session of Wyman’s TLP intensive summer experience begins—in early June—Wyman’s campus will be in superb condition. Most remarkably, the campus will now contain a revived garden.
Through the optimistic lens inherent to youth, the teens saw past the overgrown vines and prolific weeds behind Wyman’s “Old Laundry” building to envision a plot of land perfect for planting. The volunteers spent most of the morning simply clearing the site in front of the garden; it wasn’t until after lunch that they were able to tackle the rocks, roots, and weeds inside the fence of the abandoned plot. The site, now cleared after only a day of intensive effort, still needs to be prepared for planting, and will receive new fencing to deter local wildlife as well as raised planting beds. The teens who contributed to the garden’s rehabilitation are eager to experience the fruits of their labor this summer when the garden’s produce will be incorporated into summer meals.
Service at Wyman never occurs without reflection. After the series of work projects were complete, the teen volunteers gathered together to discuss their thoughts on their contributions. Many confessed that they initially had reservations about both the work ahead and their ability to complete it; then, as the sun rose higher and their obstacles grew smaller, the teens gained confidence in their ability to make an impact on Wyman’s campus. And, at the end of the day, their impact was great: Wyman estimates that over 160 hours of service were completed by the group of 40.
“Going into this service day, I originally thought our projects for the day were pretty ambitious,” Kristen Yelton, a TLP AmeriCorps member, claimed. “So to witness the final results of our teens’ hard work and tenacity is amazing. Through their dedication and enthusiasm they took physical labor and turned it into an accomplishment that rewards our campus and their conscious.”
To see more pictures from this service day and hear more about Wyman’s current activities, check us out Wyman’s page on Facebook.