The Upper Delaware River Conservation Corps (UDRCC) field crew was on the SUNY Sullivan campus this month helping Hope Farm staff weed and hill potatoes, thin carrot rows, and help pick garlic scapes and raspberries. The service day at Hope Farm gave corps members a chance to learn more about crops and permaculture farming and provided farm staff with some extra labor.
“The UDRCC crew was great to work with, and they gave us some much-needed help,” said Hope Farm Manager Megan Greene. “There is so much to do in July on the farm, and it made all the difference having so many extra hands for the day. We really appreciated their hard work and their openness and willingness to learn!”
2022 is the inaugural year for the UDRCC program, which is managed by Friends of the Upper Delaware River in partnership with Trout Unlimited and supported with funding from the Corps Network. The work at Hope Farm is one of many conservation and community projects the UDRCC has undertaken in the region this summer.
“The CCC is an innovative new program that recognizes the climate challenges facing the Upper Delaware River, provides young people with on the ground experience addressing these threats, and helps foster the next generation of conservation leaders,” said Jeff Skelding, executive director, Friends of the Upper Delaware River.
Working through August 18, the crew’s other projects include culvert assessments at street and trail crossings, fish and stream habitat surveys, invertebrate sampling, and invasive species remediation. In coordination with the Sullivan County planning department, they have also been working on Sullivan O&W Rail Trail projects.
Run by New Hope Community and SUNY Sullivan, Hope Farm is a three-acre organic farm on the College’s campus that provides Sullivan students and New Hope’s residents a unique hands-on opportunity to learn sustainable farming techniques. Each year the farm produces thousands of pounds of fresh organic vegetables that are used in New Hope’s residential homes, by the College’s Culinary Arts Program students, and donated to community nutrition programs and food pantries to combat food insecurity.
SUNY Sullivan Sustainability Coordinator Larry Reeger said the College worked with FUDR to help coordinate some of the Conservations Corps’ projects this summer, and that FUDR was one of many community groups who participated in SUNY Sullivan’s Earth Day event this spring.
“SUNY Sullivan is a leader in sustainable development education, and it begins with our campus and community partners,” said Reeger. “Through partnerships with New Hope Community, Friends of the Upper Delaware River, Trout Unlimited, and other regional conservation and community groups, we can offer our students and others an opportunity to learn about the importance of watersheds and how to protect them.”
For more information about sustainability at SUNY Sullivan, visit sunysullivan.edu/sustainable-sullivan. For information about Friends of the Upper Delaware River, visit fudr.org. For information about Hope Farm, visit newhopecommunity.org/our-family/hope-farm.
July 13, 2022.