Saturday, May 23, 2009

National AmeriCorps Week / Team Indy

May the child in us never go away!  

National AmeriCorps Week in Indianapolis was observed by Team Indy along with the Boys & Girls Club and Grow Indiana, two State sanctioned AmeriCorps programs.  Working with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. forty-six members convened at Washington Park (the original site of the Indianapolis Zoo) to help facilitate the ultimate plan of planting 2,000 adolescent aged trees in various locations in the Indianapolis vicinity.

Working in tandem with members from the other two Americorps teams, we unloaded and sorted every tree according to its species.....there sure is a lot more to a tree's name than what most of us grew up learning.  Probably the highlight of the day for Team Indy was being assigned to fill the landscape truck's  water supply.....from a fire hydrant!  Here's where the little boy and girl in each of us came out.

Whether it was thoughts of firemen and their hoses or perhaps just playing in the powerful stream of water that an open hydrant produces, this was pretty exciting.  After being instructed on the "how to", we proceeded to "get 'er done".  A funky looking tool, a fifty foot hose and a fire hydrant lay waiting for us to tackle.  Needless to say, as has been the case all year long, each of us simply assumed a place somewhere in the project and proceeded to facilitate the transfer of water from the hydrant to the huge reservoir inside the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful truck.  We had already had an opportunity to work with these folks just a little over a month ago in the neighborhood clean-up project which was part of the Extreme Makeover Home Edition master plan.

Once all the water was transferred to individual buckets, all of the AmeriCorps members began the tedious job of watering hundreds of growing trees that we had just sorted by species.  About half-way into the watering project Mother Nature decided she wanted in on this Beautification project and began to bless us with beautiful but cold rain.  (Editor's Note:  The truth is Mother Nature's contribution was in response to Jamie's incredible rain dance she performed when a mouse scampered out of the high grasses while we were transferring the water from the hydrant and headed straight for her feet.)

Once the work we were asked to do was complete everyone journeyed to a local city park where, under a shelter we shivered, ate lunch provided by the State Office of Faith Based & Community Initiatives, and had an AmeriCorps Recognition service that the Team Coordinators facilitated. Not only did we have another super Fifth Day kind of moment with one another, we were able to meet others who simply want to give back to our community in a tangible way that will make a positive difference! 

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