RDM Continues to Give Back

On a rainy Wednesday a few weeks ago, RDM’s Catherine Hockstein woke up early to take a bus to Ward’s Island to volunteer with NY Cares.

Despite the inclement weather, 8 volunteers showed up to work in conjunction with the Randall’s Island Park Alliance to help preserve the natural resources which exist on the island.  They originally planned to weed unnecessary foliage from the grounds; however, due to the weather, the group was tasked instead with making a seed and soil mixture from compost.

Volunteers added wet clay to a pre-mixed compost of recycled vegetation which included weeds, tree-cuttings and wild flower seeds.  They used their hands to mix the ingredients together and create golf ball sized “seed bombs” which will eventually be tossed into the meadows of the wetlands by park staff.  The “seed bomb” method allows for even distribution, as well as protects the seeds from being taken by local wildlife and wind.

Although she had been there in the past, Catherine, a native New Yorker, utilized her volunteer experience to explore the Island:

“It plays host to a variety of sports and music events. There’s an enormous building surrounded by electrified fences and guard towers. This is the Manhattan Psychiatric Center, where they house the criminally insane. Another large part of the island is taken up by the FDNY Academy. This is where they train all the fire fighters. They actually have a building where they set fires, so that NY’s bravest can practice putting them out. While I was waiting for the bus back, a group of trainees came jogging by, chanting some motivational slogans a la military basic training. It made me feel better about waiting in the driving rain and I really admired their spirit and dedication.”

RDM introduced RDM Gives Back over a year ago.  The program encourages all employees to volunteer time with a charitable organization of their choosing. Since its introduction, RDM team members have volunteered over 50 combined hours to local organizations.