We all remember how hurricane Irene closed “the city that never sleeps.” Many areas across the five boroughs were designated evacuation zones, the Bronx not being spared. City Island, a tiny island off the Long Island sound, was hit and the municipal services came in and began clean-up. But, what happens when the lines blur- who cleans where? Who is responsible for this part or that? Usually when such lines/roles are crossed, something gets left behind and that is what happened to a small beach area on City Island, located in between a residential community and an elementary school.
Hurricane Irene blew into City Island like a mighty whirl wind and as she left, she left over a ton of mussels on a small beach area that both parks and sanitation had no jurisdiction to clean. What is a community to do? What can the city do? In this situation, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (CAU) creates the plan of action. As the Bronx Director calls for the assistance of Bronx Community Solutions, plus other municipal partners such as sanitation and parks to create a clean-up collaborative effort. “We need you do make the impossible, possible!” stated by the CAU borough director George Torres.
As Moises Reyes, coordinator of community service begins to assess the area, he realizes that such an endeavor will be a two part process because of the amount of mussels that are left on the beach shore that is adjacent to a school playground. On the first day, He and other community service supervisors with a crew of twelve, began scooping up rotten mussels to create a pathway to the mountains of other mussels. As the crew members hear school bells, they realize that this smelly and challenging community service clean-up is more about the community at-large, especially the playful elementary school age youth.
On the first day the Community Service crew collected over two hundred bags of tiny mussels. The second day(a week later) they collected another two hundred bags and realized surprisingly that they had to create a third day because they still had a two mountains of muscles left on the beach. As the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit Bronx Borough Director came to view the clean-up he stated “the impossible is never your solution- Thanks Bronx Community Solutions!”