Rachel Barron ’16

West Ward Neighborhood Partnership


It was 4:00 and time for me to get ready for WWNP.  The sun was shining so I donned a pair shorts and a t-shirt.  I knocked on my neighbor’s door and we rushed over to Markle Hall.  It was the first time either of us had participated in WWNP and I was super excited.  When everyone had assembled we piled into the van and headed down to Easton.  After a short trip, we were standing outside the high rise where many senior citizens in Easton live.  Matt informed us that it was where we would be working for the evening and went off to find Sophia.  Meanwhile introductions were made and the conversation rose and fell as the rest of us tried to get around the awkward barrier of first meeting each other.  Shortly, Sophia and Matt came back, everyone grabbed a pair of bright orange gloves, a gardening tool and headed down to the garden.

For the next hour and a half, I focused solely on ridding the garden of pesky weeds and plants that were not wanted.  Nothing could stop the satisfaction I got from ripping the intruders up by the roots and tossing them aside.  “I found a carrot,” came a shout a few feet over.  Upon investigation we found a whole patch of mini carrots about the size of my thumb.  I popped a couple in my mouth and let the memories of summers at my grandparents house overwhelm me as the taste of freshly pulled carrots satiated my tongue.  My friend Jackie laughed as I explained how much better carrots taste when they come straight from the soil.

The afternoon was filled with the sounds of laughter, small talk, the click of a camera and the occasional sneeze on my part.  With the combination of the seven college students and the four locals, the garden was cleared in no time.  Tired, a little sweaty and with many bug bites we packed up the tools, helped load the truck, and thanked Sophia for a great afternoon.  We jumped into the Van and headed back to college hill.  This time the conversation flowed easily as we talked about what we liked best about gardening, how everyone’s years were starting out and what the rest of Friday held in store for each person.  Once back at Lafayette, we said our goodbyes and scattered to our respective destinations until the next Friday when we would join together again for more bonding via the earth.