Annual Day of Action

ARO is committed to an annual Day of Action as a way to connect with our local communities, distribute our labor to a community-serving organization, and spend time together as a full team!

Photograph of a group people wearing volunteer shirts in a park
ARO at Brooklyn Bridge Park in 2022.

For our third volunteering expedition, ARO chose Fort Greene Park Conservancy, which nurtures the Park as a “public space that puts community first—protecting everyone’s right to belong, organize, and connect with nature.” The team learned our local Park’s history and became a well-oiled landscaping machine on a misty Fall day. Split into two groups, ARO focused on assisting Fort Greene Park’s erosion mitigation efforts, especially critical with recent heavy rainfall across the city.

One group worked along a hillside, wielding pickaxes and shoveling fresh organic soil to prep the ground for future plant growth and created a small berm to mitigate flooding. Topping it off, they seeded and covered the soil with burlap in anticipation of that afternoon’s rain. A second group took to wheelbarrowing wood chips, winding up and down the hill to give two large elm trees a fresh bed cover for their sprawling roots.

  • Photograph of people shoveling a pile of mulch into wheelbarrows
    For Day of Action 2023, ARO volunteered with Fort Greene Park Conservancy.
  • Photograph of people standing in a park with gardening tools
  • Photograph of people raking
  • Photograph of people and wheelbarrows in a park

For our second annual Day of Action, ARO completed a clean-up with Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. At Pier 1 Salt Marshes, the team raked and disposed of dead marsh grass to allow for new growth, and collected trash that had accumulated in the area. Salt marshes were once common across the Northeast coasts and provide a critical habitat for ducks, birds, crustaceans, and bivalves. ARO has a special connection to Brooklyn Bridge Park, having designed three projects in the Park over the past decade.

Group picture of ARO team members at GrowNYC's Governor' Island Teaching Garden
ARO at GrowNYC's teaching garden on Governors Island in 2021.

In 2021, ARO held its inaugural Day of Action volunteering with GrowNYC, a local nonprofit working to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations of New Yorkers. We volunteered in person at their Governors Island Teaching Garden, a one-acre urban farm where NYC students learn to plant, water, harvest, and cook the garden’s wide array of vegetables, herbs, and fruits. Remote employees helped GrowNYC read grant applications from community groups across the city for publicly accessible gardens.

Collectively, we:

  • Contributed over 80 hours of volunteer time
  • Cleared out a mugwort infestation from plant beds, walking paths, and a long stretch of the main road
  • Moved 100 sand bags to help protect plantings for the winter season
  • Reviewed 6 applications for new community gardens across the city
  • Deconstructed and rebuilt 1 bench


Read more about ARO’s actions and initiatives.