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