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Here at Frost Valley, we work with a lot of schools during the week. In fact, we had 16 different groups just a couple of weeks ago! Sometimes we also get schools on weekends, and these are an added treat. Pathways College Preparatory School is located in St. Albans, Queens, and they brought 17 members of their Service Club up to Frost Valley this weekend. The teens are in 10th and 11th grades, and they enjoy giving back in the outdoors. This year’s big project took place in Rosendale, NY at Idlewild Park. The group did some cleaning, made trails, and helped prevent invasive species. Throughout the school year they also worked with City Harvest to provide meals during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons, and with Red Cross on a regular basis.

Pathways College Preparatory School has visited Frost Valley twice before, and in the past their trip has focused on creating a learning experience and team-building. This year with The Service Club visiting, they wanted to focus more on giving back. Frost Valley Program Instructors Emily and Alex created an experience for the teens that was unique and got their hands dirty! Saturday morning the club worked with Emily to build water bars on our trails that prevent erosion. The teens told me that they learned a lot about preventing the trails from flooding, and when they finished, they looked at the water bars and said, “Wow, did we do that?”

After lunch, The Service Club met up with Alex to build a bird blind near a small pond hidden between the Archery Range and Lake Cole. A bird blind is a sheltered structure with small holes for binoculars. Avid birders can get inside to observe various birds up close, and the small pond attracts many different species. In the future, Alex hopes to add plants near the pond that will attract even more birds to the area. He also hopes to decorate the inside with information about identification.

Frost Valley YMCA would like to thank the Pathways College Preparatory School Service Club for all of their help this weekend. The next time you take a walk on our trails, look for their water bars. And very soon, the Bird Blind will be functional and ready to use. If you have a group looking to do a service project, please let us know. We would love to work with you!

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Ashley Ritzheimer

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Ashley Ritzheimer

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