Habitat Garden


On October 17th, Bronxville’s Habitat for Humanity club volunteered to restore and beautify the streets of Mount Vernon. Our build was at a garden in the middle of Mount Vernon.

When we arrived, the fences were littered with weeds and uncontrolled vines. There were massive piles of leaves and trash, damp and dense from the night previous’ rain. The five of us (Tim Atkenson, Isaiah Weir, James Rhee, Nate Kim, Mrs. Cabrera), took to the task of cleaning the garden in just a few short hours. To start the build, Jim Kiloran of The Fuller Center reminded us about how important the work we were doing was. He reminded us that people in the community would greatly appreciate that someone would go out of their way to clean up the garden. And then we were off.

We started with rakes, ripping out large amounts of weeds and vines from the clutches of the cross hatched metal fence. Next, we pulled out the bigger and deeper rooted weeds. Then, we used the brooms to sweep the trash on the street and in the gutters. Finally, we used the rakes and brooms to pile up the weeds, vines, and trash in order to be put into trash bags. 

The group then split up into two groups, one consisting of Mrs. Cabrera and James, and another consisting of Nate, Tim and Isiah. The duo ventured off further into the sidewalks of Mount Vernon, and with the help of flowers and flower pots, refurbished local stores with beautiful flowers that were vibrant in color. After a few streets and a half dozen or so flowers later, they finished beautifying the streets and received compliments and praise from pedestrians and store owners the flowers were for.

The group that stayed worked on planting small flowers around the trees on the street outside of the garden. Will emphasized the importance of digging deep holes to ensure that the roots of the plant integrated and thrived in the new environment. It was grueling work, digging a single spot for multiple minutes under the warm mid-morning sun. Eventually, the trio planted over 20 small plants, beautifying the area around the garden. 

Once the two groups finished up, we all came back and took a few photos showing what it looked like after it was done being cleaned up and beautified. After taking a few group selfies, we finished up the last street by planting three flowers near each tree and then named them. As we finished up the last street, we parted away with Jim and Will and left the streets of Mount Vernon more beautiful than ever before.