Philipstown Garden Club & Clearwater Partner for Benefit of Local Youth
“An absolutely great experience, so different from everyday life!” is how Joseph Schmidt, an entering senior at O’Neill High School, described his Philipstown Garden Club internship with Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Inc.
Joseph was one of the students selected to participate in an internship program offered by the Philipstown Garden Club in partnership with one of five local horticultural or environmental organizations in the community. Joseph, who is interested in Environmental Science, worked under the supervision of Clearwater’s Education Director, David Conover, who described Joe as “multitalented.”
The Clearwater seeks to protect the Hudson River and surrounding wetlands and waterways through advocacy and public education. Their partnership with the Philipstown Garden Club allows a local student an opportunity to learn about clerical responsibilities as well as sailing, environmental education, and vessel maintenance.
Joseph was involved with the Clearwater’s Sailing Classroom Program where he got to be group leader for third graders and eighth graders examining aquatic life found in skein nets lowered into the river. He assisted the nine permanent crew and the six volunteer crew members with hands-on duties involved with sailing a vessel of this nature. His clerical responsibilities at Clearwater Headquarters in Beacon ranged from scanning and digitalizing to collating and filing.
Joseph spent a full week on the Clearwater; an experience he said he will never forget. The highlight of this experience was watching the July 4th fireworks in New York Harbor while perched on the boom of the Clearwater’s mainsail.
The Philipstown Garden Club Internship Program is open to entering high school juniors, seniors and college freshmen interested in horticulture and/or the environment. Our other non-profit partners are Stonecrop, Constitution Marsh Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Manitoga and Glynwood. It is also supported by the Masonic Lodge #236 and the Putnam Highland Audubon Society.