Syracuse Parks Conservancy once again is happy to join hands with Women Transcending Boundaries on their Acts of Kindness Weekend.  Last year’s event, we brought together groups that would never have been put together if not for WTB’s help.  Such groups, such as 100 Blackmen, Lemoyne College, Syracuse University, Meachem Area Parks Association, Sunnycrest Parks Association, Sheraton Park Association, all joined hands to work on various projects in Eastwood.  Projects included planting over 200 trees, weeding 5 educational gardens, and cleaning, weeding, and planting tulips.  We also planted holiday trees, which will be lighted during the holiday season at Logan Park and Fire Station 17.  In all, we worked at three different parks.  Over 200 people participated, and afterwards, Lemoyne students came back in groups of 20 in the following weeks to finish any leftover work.  The sites they worked on will be used by the Syracuse City School District to bring our students to learn about birds, butterflies, nature and cycles of life.  We could never have accomplished this in such a short period of time if it wasn’t for the WTB’s Acts of Kindness Weekend.  It was great to see people from all backgrounds come together and make up such a diverse group in helping us.  The wrap up at Sheraton Park, 9/11 “We Remember” Service was especially remarkable, and it was satisfying to see Muslims join us in remembering our fallen.

This year Syracuse Parks Conservancy’s “Acts of Kindness” with WTB are the following:

1 – Veteran’s Picnic, 9/7, “Lunch with a Special Bunch,” will be held at Sunnycrest Park.  Veterans from the VA medical complex, James Square, Post 1276, and Syracuse Parks Association will be supplying the food.  It’s our 7th annual picnic to honor our veterans.

2 – On Friday, September 9th, 25 Syracuse City Schools will kick off Acts of Kindness Weekend by feeding birds using their new birdfeeders.  The ceremony will be held at 9:00am at the Freedom Garden.  Twin Oakes Nursery is donating the birdseed to the Syracuse Parks Conservancy who will deliver the seed to the participating schools.  Teachers received the birdfeeders at a summer science workshop.  The Meachem Area Parks Association, the Sunnycrest Park Association, and the Syracuse Parks Conservancy will be connecting the Syracuse City School District children to the outside world as part of the district’s Go Green push and the Syracuse Parks Conservancy’s Park Pledge.  The garden was renovated in 2002 to commemorate the people who were lost on 9/11 The Freedom Garden is located at Huntington School, 400 Sunnycrest Road, Syracuse, NY.

3 – On Saturday, September 10th at 11:00am, and Sunday, September 11th, at 1:00pm, Syracuse Parks Conservancy will be working with various other groups to help the Kirk Park Association perform cleanup, creating a new walking trail.  The cleanup, which is part of the AOK (Acts of Kindness) Weekend, will be coordinated by Syracuse Parks Conservancy and the Syracuse City Parks and Recreation Department.  Women Transcending Boundaries and representatives from various park associations will also be lending a hand.  100 Blackmen, Lemoyne College, Southside Coalition, Sunnycrest Park Association, Thornden Park Association, Onondaga Park Association, and MAPA (Meachem Area Park Association) and other groups will be involved.  Over 200 participants are expected to attend.

4 – Syracuse Parks Conservancy member MAPA (Meachem Area Parks Association) will announce the kick off of the community patio to be built at the Cecile Center on West Seneca Tpk in the valley on 9/11.  This program is a project that the Community Foundation sponsored with the help of TNT 4.

The VIPS a senior group of 37 years is presenting the Syracuse Brigadier Alumni in a program held at the Cecile Center W Seneca Tpk at 3pm on Sunday, 9/11.  Various community talent and dignitaries will join in.  Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the program and ice cream and cookies.

5 – The 6th annual “We Remember” Memorial Service will be held at Sheraton Park on Sunday, September 11, at 5:30pm.  The first responders on Ground Zero will be honored and remembered with this service.  The Sheraton Park Association, Syracuse Parks Conservancy, Women Transcending Boundaries, and the Syracuse Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting this event.  The Wesleyan Church will be hosting the reception after the service to wrap up the AOK (Acts of Kindness) weekend.  There will be a nondenominational faith service during the memorial for anyone who wants to participate.  Guest speaker Tom Laun, former Chief of the Syracuse Fire Department, and former State Trooper Pete Laun will be sharing their experiences.  Elected officials will also be in attendance.  Music will be provided by Media Unit and Jessie Keating’s music students.  A healing water ceremony will be performed by Women Transcending Boundaries.  Sheraton Park holds the only monument in Syracuse dedicated to the first responders we lost on 9/11. 

In summary, as you can see, all these wonderful groups are joining hands in this wonderful city we live in.  We would to thank WTB for creating such a wonderful weekend.  In closing, I’d like to quote Helen Keller:

“The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker.”