Green Council Loves Cutback!

Spring at the High Line is an exciting time for us in Green Council! Led by High Line Educators, Green Council is a paid education and job-training program that offers local teens hands-on experience in horticulture, community gardening, and green jobs. As bulbs start to bloom, grasses and shrubs that died during the winter must be cut back. This is when Friends of the High Line gardeners and volunteers start their hard work—and so do the youth staff members of Green Council, who are a great help during Spring Cutback. In late March, Green Council leaders guided new members through their first Cutback experience on the High Line, and they got a chance to have a fresh taste of nature.

New Green Council youth staff members (from l. to r.) Stephanie and Farhan with Tia, a returning Green Council leader. Photo by Rowa Lee.

We asked fellow Green Council leader D'en Vargas what he thought about Cutback: "It was magnificent, and it was great to get back in the field," he said. "It created a trusting bond between me and the new members."

Green Council leader D'en Vargas flattens organic material with the help of a Friends of the High Line gardener. Photo by Rowa Lee.

Another Green Council leader, Tia Hull, said she appreciated the opportunity to lead the new members: "They took my advice and admired my techniques."

New Green Council members enjoyed Cutback and were able to gain more skills while being guided by gardeners and youth leaders. They claimed to be nervous at first, as it was their first Cutback on the High Line, but they said they soon got the hang of using the tools.

"I got to see firsthand the transition from winter to spring on the High Line," said Cristian Polanco, a new Green Council member. "It feels good to be a part of this."

Cristian inspects an aphid under a magnifying lens. Photo by Rowa Lee.

For us, Cutback is an escape from the city and an introduction to the beauty of the High Line. As we continue to work on the High Line, we indulge in new experiences in an environment outside of school, while being surrounded by people with a lot of experience and useful information. All of this could not have been done without the generosity of our funders, so great thanks to them!

Green Council teen staff. Photo by Rowa Lee.

High Line Youth – part of High Line Community Engagement – is generously supported by Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Google Community Grants Fund of Tides Foundation. High Line Youth is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council – with special thanks to Council Member Corey Johnson and the Greener NYC Initiative.

TD Bank is a Supporting Sponsor of Green Council.

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