Cognitive & Behavioral Consultants (CBC) partnered with Westchester County Parks and the Westchester Parks Foundation to preserve the natural beauty of our parks. The CBC team weeded, cleared dead leaves and branches, picked up garbage, and planted flowers at Hartsdale’s Ridge Road Park for the annual CBC Gives Back event last Friday.
One of the areas the CBC team cleared was the future site of the Westchester Garden of Remembrance, a space that NAMI Westchester, Westchester Suicide Prevention Task Force and the Dept. of Community Mental Health are creating for people in the county to visit and to reflect on loved ones who have been lost to suicide.
“It was an especially meaningful experience for all involved as the future Garden of Remembrance is dedicated in honor of those lost to suicide and highlights the need for stronger mental health care around the world, which CBC is dedicated to,” said Adam Lippman, Westchester Park Foundation Volunteer Coordinator.
The CBC team was able to complete one week’s worth of work in just 30 minutes, according to Mary Benjamin, manager of WPF’s Volunteer Programs. Collectively, the team removed 2,850 square feet of invasive plants, including knotweed, porcelain berry, multiflora rose and burning bush, according to Lippman. This helped restore access to a popular hiking trail, prevent encroachment on park recreation areas and make room for new native plantings. Volunteers also weeded 360 square feet of flower beds at the Miracle Field and planted 27 flowers to enhance the front entrance.
“We are grateful that we had the opportunity to contribute to the work being done by Westchester Parks Foundation and Westchester County Parks. Helping our local communities and preserving our natural parks is aligned with our team’s values,” said Dr. McGinn, co-founder and co-director of CBC. ”Clearing the site for the future Garden of Remembrance for those lost to suicide, and learning about initiatives such as Camp Morty, which provides a summer refuge for underserved communities many of whom have mental health problems, were particular highlights for our team.”
Each year, CBC Gives Back dedicates a day of service to volunteer for a local cause. Previous CBC Give Back events have included beautifying Swindler Cove in Inwood through NYRP, packing lunch bags for the homeless through JoyJ, cleaning up and gardening with Lifting Up Westchester and collecting litter along the Bronx River Parkway.
Westchester Parks Foundation aims to keep Westchester County Parks beautiful, open, and accessible to all who need them. For more information on volunteer opportunities, they can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.