The Green Keepers Magic

2 green keepers fixing a plant.

Spring is finally here. This year, after a brutal winter with an Arctic Vortex, blizzards and ice misery, we waited with baited breath for the first flowers that signaled “spring has arrived”.

We smile when the first shoots appear, anticipate warmer days and know this is the best time in the city.  While we enjoy these signs of spring, do we ever wonder what is behind our spring “magic”? How is it that in a place like Manhattan, where we are surrounded by concrete, steel and noise this magic happens? I like to call it “The Green Keepers Magic”. The spell is woven each year by dedicated men and women who plant hundreds of daffodil and tulip bulbs in anticipation of spring. Green Keepers are like unseen workers that prepare the malls, gardens and parks for the spring.

These men and women who are responsible for so much beauty are the very same ones who in the past were discarded by this city. Green Keepers have experienced their own brutal winters and with help, training and support are able to move into their spring.

Green Keepers, the eclectic Goddard-trained horticulturalists in green have weathered the worst that the city could throw at them. Many were homeless and continue to fight their own personal demons. But like the spring flowers, they show up and blossom stronger and more beautiful each year.

Living in New York, and witnessing nature’s resilience and strength each season as seen in the city trees and shrubs I have come to truly appreciate the strength and resilience of Green Keepers. These men and women have survived and grown in this cold hard city.

Coming to Green Keepers as the business manager after years in the corporate environment I have wondered at the personal growth I have witnessed over these past ten years. I have seen Green Keepers blossom like flowers in spring when given the opportunity to be a full tax -paying member of society. I witness daily how giving a sense of self-worth to a person through employment truly changes a person.

When spring arrives and heralds summer, I look forward not just to the flowers, but to the new green keepers that I know in time will blossom and grow like the beautiful tulips and trees in this city.

Elizabeth Ewell, Business Manager
Goddard Riverside Green Keepers