The Sound Beach Civic and North Shore Youth Council joined together to clean up a spot that will soon be home to a frontline hero dedication.
Bea Ruberto, president of the civic, said that the group was joined by local scouts and the NSYC to clean up parts along New York Avenue. With all groups combined, more than two dozen community members helped prepare for the tribute that is set to be installed at their Adopt-a-Spot this summer.
From 9 a.m. until 12 on Saturday, May 8, Ruberto said it was a successful event.
“Everything was done by noon because pretty much everybody was there by nine, and everybody just jumped in and started working,” she said. “They were really great.”
Stephanie Ruales, director of communications and public relations, and executive director Robert Woods said a handful of kids from NSYC joined in the cleanup, and stayed to make sure the spot was perfect.
“We love working on community projects with our local organizations and are always looking for ways to get our young kids involved in community service,” they both wrote in an email. “It’s also a great way to raise awareness about initiatives that our civics are working on and the great things happening in our towns.”
While there, the volunteers from the youth council helped edge out one of the garden beds and weed and prepped the area for some new plantings and transplants.
Ruberto said cleaning up the spot is paving the way for the tribute they began planning months ago. The idea is to have a large stone, adorned with a plaque honoring frontline workers who worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. A tree will be planted behind it.
To raise funds for the project, the civic created a cookbook, “Signature Dishes of Sound Beach and Beyond,” earlier this year. Donations were made in exchange for the book, and the civic “sold out” of the first 100 copies almost immediately.
“It was because people want to support this,” Ruberto said. “People really care about saying thank you to all the people who work to keep us safe.”
Ruales and Woods said not only was the cleanup helpful to the future tribute, but it also instills a sense of community in young people.
“It helps them feel connected to where they live, especially as we continue to navigate the pandemic,” they wrote. “There’s that feeling of accomplishment that they contributed to something greater than themselves.”
Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) stopped by to help, too.
“It is thanks to our committed community volunteers that our community’s green spaces stay beautiful and clean,” she said. “The Adopt-a-Spot will be the perfect place to honor and thank our frontline and essential workers who continue to keep us safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.”