We'd like to thank our High Line Volunteers for everything they did to support Friends of the High Line in 2013! Their help in the maintenance and programming of the park was crucial to keeping the High Line an extraordinary space for New Yorkers and City visitors. More than 200 volunteers aided the High Line in different capacities – guiding tours, tending the plants, welcoming park visitors at an information desk, cleaning design features, assisting High Line staff during public programs (on the park and in the neighborhood!),answering visitor questions, keeping records in the office, taking beautiful photographs, removing snow, and more. We couldn't have done so much this year without the help and dedication of this extraordinary group of people. Thank you!
Here is a compilation of photos and quotes from this incredible year. We hope you enjoy them.
Volunteers helped remove snow from the High Line pathways after February's storm. By clearing snow away, volunteers like Gary Roth, above, helps to make the park safe for visitors and allow us to reopen quickly after a storm.
“There were a lot of eager volunteers and we feel that we couldn't have gotten so far in such little time without them,” – High Line Senior Custodian Judith Simon, commenting on the snowstorm of February 2013
When it's cold outside, our volunteers don’t stop working and learning! This year, High Line Gardeners invited volunteers for a Tool Tune-Up Workshop in the winter to teach them how to clean the gardening tools. Volunteers helped the staff take care of pruners and shears.
“[I] wanted to thank you and the gardeners for all the appreciation! It was a great little learning session, and of course great to see everyone!” – Barbara Abramson, High Line Volunteer
When the weather starts to get warmer, it’s time for the annual High Line Spring Cutback. During this horticultural effort, volunteers and staff members work side-by-side to cut back the plants and prepare the gardens for the new growing season. Here, Randy Parlier sweeps away the vegetation trimmed by other volunteers. We’re also grateful to the corporate volunteer groups that joined us for Spring Cutback.
“Thanks again for organizing all the volunteers for the Spring Cutback. I was happy to read the "Spring Cutback – Week 1" update on the High Line blog, and pleased to see my face in the volunteers & gardeners group photo! I had such a wonderful experience helping out last Monday, March. It felt good to pitch in with the other volunteers and help the High Line Park staff get everything ready for the upcoming spring bloom. It was such a great experience that, as you know, I signed up for another two sessions on Wednesday, March 27. I thought it meaningful to volunteer for the first and last Spring Cutback sessions. I will see you on the 27!" – Paul Kobel, High Line Volunteer
This shot is from a recent seasonal photo walk, one of many monthly events aimed at giving photographer volunteers special opportunities to engage with and learn more about the High Line. High Line Photographers, as they are called, are a talented group of volunteers whose images grace our website, social media channels, and printed materials.
“As a volunteer photographer for the High Line, I get to combine two of my favorite things, taking pictures and visiting one of the most special places in New York City. I am proud to be part of a corps of volunteers who help document the High Line's unique programs and events including dances, concerts, poetry readings, stargazing, family activities, art installations, seasonal plantings, and more. On every visit, my goal is to capture and convey the beauty I see and the pleasure I feel. I love that my images are used to help illustrate the story and the history of the High Line.” – Karen Blumberg, High Line Volunteer
High Line Photographers gathered for an exclusive walk on the High Line at the Rail Yards to capture the still-wild landscape in this section of the park. In this photo (from left to right): Gigi Altarejos, Andrew Frasz, Amelia Krales, Eddie Crimmins, Erika Harvey, Oliver Rich, Juan Valentín, Steven Severinghaus, and Mike Tschappat.
“As a photographer, I love all the walks planned by Erika to give us a special opportunity to photograph the High Line.” – Joan Garvin, High Line Volunteer
Hats on! Docents visited the construction site on the High Line at the rail yards to hear more about the transformation and get updates on this section of the park. Docents are committed volunteers who have expertise on the High Line’s history, design, horticulture, art, and more.
From May through September, volunteers at the Information Station welcomed more than 15,000 visitors. Visitors were welcomed by Karen Brueckner and Valida Scott, pictured above, are two of the many dedicated High Line Greeters who provided visitors with information on our history, art installations, plantings, design, neighborhood facts, and more in 2013.
“Another great day on the High Line but alas, it is my last day as a Greeter until next season. It's been fun! Thank you for your excellent training and support. Besides Valida, who I love to work with, Ken showed up and was a big help, too. When we arrived at our Station, Connie was there and set up the cart. You've created quite a responsible, outgoing, intelligent team, I must say!” – Karen Brueckner, High Line Volunteer
“I have absolutely LOVED my experiences volunteering as a Greeter! My two shifts last month were so much fun and I felt so helpful, meeting interesting people and working with other fantastic volunteers and staff nearby." – Jill Goldstein, High Line Volunteer
In the summer, Play Partners like Maria Padavano and Emilia Naberezny were instrumental during High Line family programs, allowing many kids to have an unforgettable experience in our park.
“I love volunteering with the High Line –there is community and care.” – Michelle Aboodi, High Line Volunteer
Merry Aronoff and Olga Piantieri enjoyed helping visitors while strolling on the High Line. This year, Docents offered more than 100 High Line Tours!
“Our tour guide was AWESOME! We loved Ken. He was funny and personable and knew interesting facts about everything! We asked him a ton of questions and he always had the answer. He was fantastic.” – Barbara Vezos, from Autodesk
More than 75 incredible people came to our Drop-in Volunteer Opportunities. Harvey Pincus, at left, helped with snow removal in the winter and gardening in the spring, while Cathy Halloran, right, helped us keep the park clean and tidy during the summer.
“[The drop-in volunteer opportunities] just felt great … thank you for the opportunity given to anyone to feel active part of a community in such a positive way.” – Stefano and Mirian, High Line Drop-in Volunteers
“I had such a good time working with the staff (Mark and Andi) and the other volunteers. I especially remember Suzanne and Phyllis,who appear to be regulars. What wonderful, interesting people,all coming together for a great cause. The park looks fantastic! I promise to be down again soon,meanwhile you folks have a great summer and keep up the good work." – W. Michael Carpenter, High Line Drop-in Volunteer
In October, we hosted our annual Social Soup Experiment, which brings together hundreds of people gathered for a one-pot meal at a communal table on the High Line. Karine Louis and Amy Weber, above, served soup and made sure everyone had a great time.
“It was again the most fun event! I really appreciated all the hard work that had been done beforehand, and then everyone's hustle and smiles the day of. It is especially gratifying to know that all the guests had a great time and that we volunteers contributed to that.Thanks for allowing me to participate for a 2nd year. I hope the High Line continues this new tradition well into the future.” – Carolyn Levitt, High Line Volunteer
“It’s terrific to work side-by-side with volunteers for the High Line Social Soup Experiment again, in 2013, and see familiar faces! Having volunteers returning to participate in this event is very special. I hope to continue seeing High Line Volunteers getting involved in this event and also to continue having more opportunities like this that involve volunteers.” – Meryl Friedman, High Line Food & Revenue Coordinator
At the end-of-the-season party in Terroir at the Porch, High Line staff members and volunteers celebrated this year's accomplishments together.
“The party was lovely yesterday. Really great to see everyone together. I continue to feel that the High Line community is special." – Michelle Matteson, High Line Volunteer
REI is a Supporting Sponsor of the High Line Volunteer Program.