A team greens a patch of city in Kensington, Brooklyn

One kind of resilience might start with a few spare Fridays of digging and planting on some blocks near your friend's house.

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Resilience for a city means more than giant engineering projects, it means the connections between people and the blocks right around them. Romeo Ardimento is a student at Stuyvesant High School, a resident of Park Slope, and a new volunteer in Kensington.

A low-rise landscape of cars and trucks now features a tree and flowers.
A low-rise landscape of cars and trucks now features this tree and flowers.

The West Kensington Action Group (wKAG) has been working very hard to beautify the neighborhood of Kensington, Brooklyn. This diverse and busy area unfortunately does not have many parks or trees. The streets are often covered with litter, and some citizens could have more regard for their environment. However, there are quite a few citizens that do care and wanted change. These citizens make up the West Kensington Action Group, and I was very happy to work with them this summer.

Although I live in Park Slope, I found myself wanting to do some volunteer work and my friend’s mom, a prominent member of wKAG, offered me the chance to clean up Kensington Plaza
every Friday through the summer. I got a lot of work done and I feel that I actually made a difference. My volunteer experience culminated on September 15 as I worked with the West Kensington Action Group for a final time at one of its Tree Pit Brigade sessions.

This was a fun community gathering, in which we broke up old compacted dirt, added fresh soil, and planted new beautiful flowers. It was a great event and we got a lot accomplished. It felt really good to see people from the neighborhood walk by—both young and old—stop to see what we were doing, then become interested themselves. They seemed really thankful and it made us feel great. If you care about the environment and want to make a difference contact us.

The West Kensington Action Group (wKAG) addresses quality of life issues and advocates for and builds community in Kensington, Brooklyn. It was founded in 2006. The group focuses its efforts on Church Avenue, from 36th Street to Ocean Parkway. Several opportunities are
available for volunteers (anyone is welcome).
The person to contact is Bridget Elder evergreen827@aol.com

The city helps establish the rules.
The city helps establish the rules.
Tree planting done right.
Loosening soil makes for a healthier tree pit.

Trash mob.

Street furniture by NYC.
Street furniture by NYC DOT
The finished product.
The finished product. 
The author
The author


Photos courtesy of Romeo Ardimento