Spring has finally arrived on the High Line! 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. Green Council teens collaborated with Horticulture and Youth Programs staff to learn best practices for Spring Cutback on the park. We asked Green Council Leader Stephanie how she would explain Cutback to someone who has never experienced it: “Cutback is to cut the dead parts of plants to make room and allow sunlight to reach the new growth underneath.”
This is Stephanie’s second year participating in Spring Cutback, and as a Green Council leader she gets to flex her leadership skills by teaching new Green Council members her knowledge. During Cutback, first-year Green Council teens learn how to use gardening tools as they work alongside gardeners and volunteers. After weeks’ worth of indoor learning, teens experience this collective, hands-on process and feel part of an important process that allows the park to flourish: “I contributed to Cutback by cutting and trimming the plants and raking the rails,” says Jayson.
Cutback is an opportunity for Green Council teen staff to connect with each other and the park. As they move through spring and into the summer, their gardening expertise will increase and they will work more on the park as well as support local gardens.
High Line Youth—part of High Line Community Engagement—is generously supported by Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Merck Family Fund. This program is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Council—with special thanks to Council Member Corey Johnson and the Greener NYC Initiative.