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Group For The East End Wraps Up Year-Long Native Planting Project In Greenport, Remsenburg, And Southampton

Sydney A. Braat

These efforts gave students and teachers the opportunity to get involved in their own communities. (Courtesy Photo)

Group for the East End (G4EE) has officially wrapped up a roughly year-long native planting project called Building Stronger Neighborhoods that began in November 2016. The project was made possible by a grant from Long Island Community Foundation. Building Stronger Neighborhoods took place in Greenport, Remsenburg, and Southampton, and brought out more than 150 participants from the East End and low-income communities who facilitated an awareness about their local natural environment.

Projects included restoring damaged sand dunes and building school gardens. Group for the East End is happy to report that despite the gloomy spring weather, the plantings have been a success! Throughout May 2017, 88 students and teachers from Greenport School, as well as G4EE staff and volunteers, planted a pollinator garden adjacent to the school's newly established vegetable garden. With funds from the Long Island Community Foundation, the G4EE purchased native plants from Glover Perennials and plan to help with future plantings at the school. The students and teachers of Greenport School have also committed to continue their work on this garden to ensure it flourishes.

Jessica Kennelly at Greenport. (Courtesy Photo)

"Now more than any other time in history, it has become essential to provide our young people with hands-on learning opportunities to experience the world around them," said Greenport Science Technology Engineer Art and Math (STEAM) teacher Brady Wilkins. "The addition of 60 native pollinator plants through a grant from Group for the East End has added the missing piece to the recently expanded Greenport Community School Garden."

The project in Remsenburg involved 21 students and was part invasive species removal of mugwort and stinging nettle that was replaced with a vegetable garden and native plant border. G4EE led these planting efforts.

Planting in Greenport Community School Garden. (Courtesy Photo)

"This is a wonderful example of how local organizations such as Group for the East End can work in partnership with local communities and encourage young people to become stewards of their own environment," said Wilkins. "We must continue working together to help them love the environment before we can ask them to help save it."

The Sagg Main Beach planting took place on April 5, 2017 and included approximately 80 participants from Bridgehampton School, Southampton Intermediate School, and several members of the Shinnecock Indian National, Ross School, and Surfrider Foundation. First Coastal generously donated more than 5,000 beach grass plugs, which allowed the G4EE to restore several sections of the eroded beach and provided the opportunity to purchase additional plants for the other two projects.

For more information about Group for the East End, call 631-765-6450 or visit www.groupfortheeastend.org/.

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