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READY for Action

As a part of my intern­ship for the Howard County Executive’s Office, I was for­tu­nate enough to work with the amaz­ing peo­ple in Restor­ing the Envi­ron­ment and Devel­op­ing Youth (READY). When I was first asked to vol­un­teer for the pro­gram at the begin­ning of the sum­mer, I was uncer­tain of what to expect. Dur­ing my sum­mer intern­ship, I had become very famil­iar with rain gar­dens and their unique pur­pose of slow­ing down and fil­ter­ing stormwa­ter runoff. I trav­eled the county tak­ing numer­ous pic­tures of rain gar­dens and ana­lyz­ing other best man­age­ment prac­tices. Then after hear­ing so many rav­ing reviews about the READY pro­gram and the beau­ti­ful rain gar­dens they build, I knew that I needed to expe­ri­ence the process firsthand.

For the record, I must say that I am not a gar­dener or fan of hard labor by any means. So I was ini­tially appre­hen­sive when I made plans to work with READY at St. Paul’s church in Mount Airy in the hot August heat. How­ever, when I arrived I was pre­pared to work and help in any way that I could. As we shov­eled, raked, and mulched, I got the chance to meet some of the other youth employees.

It was excit­ing to meet other peo­ple my own age while also build­ing some­thing that would ben­e­fit the entire com­mu­nity. When I asked the READY sum­mer work­ers why they liked work­ing for the pro­gram, nearly all of them said it was because of the qual­ity of peo­ple. I could tell that every­one knew how to have fun, but they were also hard­work­ing and ded­i­cated to the job.

Over­all, I am glad that I got to vol­un­teer with READY and help cre­ate a beau­ti­ful rain gar­den from basi­cally noth­ing. I have a much greater appre­ci­a­tion for the pro­gram and the amount of work these peo­ple put in every day. The READY pro­gram should be applauded and admired for their effort and con­tri­bu­tion to Howard County.

Arlyn­nell Dickson
Howard County Exec­u­tive Intern
Octo­ber 2014

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