The Rain Garden in James Pass Arboretum, in the Tipperary Hill neighborhood of Syracuse. Photo by Nafisa Tabassum

Nafisa Tabbasum:
As a Crew Leader for Onondaga Earth Corps (OEC), my responsibilities include directly supervising a small crew of young adults in either pruning or green infrastructure. In that capacity, and as a learner myself, I bounced around participating in many different projects this past week.

I started off the week shadowing a former OEC employee, Loane Etuale, while he inspected potential sites for planting trees. Once a potential planting site is identified, a site assessment has to take place, including noting proximity to utility poles, sewer/gas/water caps, driveways, and other trees. Then, a soil grade is estimated and a potential species to fit the site characteristics is identified. This process often involves talking to landlords and homeowners and asking if they would like a tree on their property (to be maintained by the City). However, due to social distancing and COVID-19 precautions, going door-to-door is currently not part of the process.
Towards the end of the week we did some maintenance at the James Pass Arboretum rain garden, removing dandelions, ragweed, and many other weeds. The Arboretum is an extremely popular destination for dogwalkers and runners in the Tipperary Hill neighborhood of Syracuse.