As a Development Assistant at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, I took the opportunity to join All Access Boston Harbor on Wednesday to experience firsthand the impact our Youth Environmental Education Programs have on the youth and teens we take out to the Boston Harbor Islands. On this particular trip All Access took the kids to Spectacle Island. This island has an unusual history; in the early-to-mid 1900s the island was used as a landfill and was left derelict until renovations in the 1990s. Today, the island has been completely transformed into a beautiful recreational destination. This serves as a great example to the kids we bring on All Access how a previously heavily polluted area can be changed drastically, and the importance of protecting and valuing the natural resources in our own backyard.
|Among the treasures you can find on the shores of Spectacle Island is beach glass!|
On the boat ride to Spectacle Island I spoke to some of the kids and many of them had never been to Spectacle Island before, and for some this was their first time visiting the Boston Harbor Islands. It was exciting to think that today a whole new world would be opened up for them to explore and enjoy.
While on Spectacle Island I helped our Healthy Outdoor Activity Coordinator Lindsay Phenix and two other All Access staff lead a series of games for the kids. We played an intense game of football. Enough kids wanted to play that we started a kickball game as well. Some kids also played smaller games along the sidelines such as passing a volleyball. It was a joy to watch the kids laugh, run, and enjoy the sun and fresh air on such a beautiful day.
|Running around the bases while playing kickball.|
After the games were wrapped up and the youth groups got ready to go back onto the boat, I had a chance to swim with the other staff. It is remarkable to think that only a few years ago none of this would have been possible. Now the kids who come to Spectacle Island as well as Peddocks and Georges through All Access will hopefully come to the Boston Harbor Islands again and again. After seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces as they boarded the boat, I’m sure they will.