This past weekend, the Manresa Scholars Program hopped on a bus in the early morning and headed towards a more rural part of the Bronx than we are used to. It was a beautiful morning with the sun shining and the crisp wind blowing, and we were ready and able to help the Bartow-Pell Mansion and Museum prepare for their Easter Egg Hunt. Each year, the Mansion hosts an Easter Egg Hunt for the children of the Bronx to attend with their families. About 500-600 people attend the event each year. They have different age groups and difficulty levels for the actual egg hunt, and various craft activities as well.
The Bartow-Pell Mansion and Museum used to be one of around 20 mansions that bordered the Long Island Sound, but today, it is the only one left standing. It has since become a NYC and a National landmark, and for the most part, it relies on volunteer groups like ours to keep the grounds clean and running smoothly. The Manresa Program frequently visits the Bartow-Pell Mansion for various service activities, usually helping them with outdoor gardening tasks. Since the Easter Egg Hunt is their big event, we headed over to assist with any necessary last minute fix-ups.
This time, we were separated into groups, which were lead by different members of the very knowledgeable Bartow-Pell staff. Some groups were in charge of placing fresh dirt over wet areas in ensure new grass growth, while others raked the lawn and cleared twigs and debris to neaten Bartow-Pell’s appearance. Personally, I was a part of the group, whose job was to search for and collect old, rusty nails that had been left behind during the clean up of their most recent renovation. It may have been a simple task, but the Mansion wanted to ensure the children’s safety next week during the main event. All in all, we finished cleaning up the grounds within a few hours, and when we stood back to admire our handiwork, we were very much pleased with how it turned out. We wish the Bartow-Pell Mansion and Museum good luck at their Easter Egg Hunt next week, and we cannot wait to come back in April to participate in their garden work once more. We hope you can join us!
Nicole Benevento, FCRH 2017
Manresa Scholars Program Intern, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016
In-House Academic Tutor, 2016-2017