As those of us who work outside during the summer know, fall is the time to catch up on inside work! It’s also a great time to look back at the work accomplished over the summer. So, please enjoy the next few blog posts; you’ll get a taste of what Green Team accomplished in June, July and August. The following post was written by Taryn, crew leader for Crew 3.
Crew 3 recently took a field trip to World’s End, an Olmsted designed park in Hingham, MA, and then stopped off for an afternoon swim at Nantasket Beach. The field trips that we scatter throughout the summer are in some ways paid vacation days. They’re an opportunity for us to step away from work, take a break, and recharge. But more than that they are an opportunity to practice all that we have learned over the summer.
Many crew members began their summer with fear and dread. It was not unfounded—most days we go home dirty, sweaty, and scraped up, utterly exhausted from our physical labor. But each morning we return, ready to be awed by some new understanding of the natural world or excited to continue in conversation with other crew members. Still, when we’re fatigued by the heat and focused on completing projects, it’s easy to become blind to the beauty in which we work and lose site of the subtle effects that just being outdoors can have on our mood and the tone we take when relating to others.
Our field trips, though, feel distinct from our workdays because the displeasures that we experience when taking in the outdoors day-to-day seem to fade away. We sense the calm that settles over us when we fall into a hiking rhythm. We smell the fresh fragrance of unpolluted air and, with careful courage, hop rocks to pass over streams. We notice the pitch and grade of a landscaped design and curiously allow rustling leaves to lead us to peepers scurrying amid leaf debris. With mild disgust and a knowing understanding of our own former habits, we even pick up others’ trash.
On these trips, it is apparent that the apprehension we began the summer with has given way to appreciative joy. Even more—on this supposed day off—it is evident that our stewardship of public parks, shared spaces, and the environmental expanse is growing beyond the duties of our job.