A New Generation of Landscape Preservationists
On December 3rd, the inaugural class of World Monuments Fund (WMF)’s Bridge to Crafts Careers (B2CC) Landscape Preservation program came together for a virtual graduation ceremony. This graduation marks the end of the first edition of WMF’s expanded B2CC program, launched in September 2020.
In this new expansion, the 14 graduates were introduced to the craft of preserving cultural landscapes at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, NY. Over a period of three months, trainees explored best practices in landscape architecture and historic landscape preservation. In-person and virtual classes focused on a variety of subjects including small tree and shrub pruning, planting of perennials, tree, and shrubs, post-planting care and landscape bed maintenance.
“The Woodlawn Landscape Restoration Program provides education and training opportunities to local students in the fields of arboriculture and horticulture,” explained Herb Landmann, an instructor in the program and Project Manager at The Davey Tree Expert Company, a private company specialized in environmental consulting and horticultural care. Herb was one of the speakers at the online graduation. “The program also provides information on the vast amount of green industry jobs throughout the NYC metropolitan area," he said. "This will provide the students with a foundation to build upon to successfully enter the workforce for entry level green industry positions.”
B2CC is conducted in partnership with The Door, an organization dedicated to youth development and impact in New York City, and is supported by the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development's Advance & Earn progam, a training and employment program for youth ages 16-24. Alongside preservation crafts training, graduates took part in activities to advance their personal and professional skills. Resume development, interviewing skills, financial management, job placement assistance, and networking are an essential part of B2CC, whose mission is to prepare trainees to enter the job market.
“I feel like I’ve improved as a person drastically," said Daquan Denbow, one of the graduates of the expanded B2CC program. He was selected by the instructor team as class speaker for the graduation. "I’ve learned many skills that will help me excel in the future: how to interact with others, teamwork, punctuality, and last but not least, diligence.”
These skills will prove invaluable as B2CC graduates enter the workforce - whether in landscape preservation, conservation, or other fields.
The next B2CC session will take place in Spring 2021 in partnership with the International Masonry Institute and focus on stonemasonry preservation for another season of conservation crafts crafts training, capacity building, and career development in New York City.