Connecting Service and History

This summer, I am working with Team Hyde Park with a focus on Cypress Creek and its effect on that community historically and presently.  Prior to this summer, my experience of the creek, I thought, was very indirect.  Volunteering with MIFA delivering meals to the elderly, many of whom live in Hyde Park and a few whose homes flank the creek itself, and tutoring at KIPP/Diamond Academy has brought me into relative contact with the creek’s presence.  But to me it was more of a natural element to the landscape—a rather large physical feature that didn’t have much bearing on the people themselves.   

My Crossroads research has taught me differently.  I learned that contaminated soil from the creek was used during construction of several schools around the area, including Cypress Middle, the same building where KIPP/Diamond is housed.  Additionally, much contaminated soil was dumped onto residents’ properties, probably affecting many of the same people I delivered meals to time and time again. 

With this historical understanding of the creek’s influence on individuals—people we will be interviewing later this summer—I am able to deepen my understanding of service on a personal and community-based level.  The creek’s physicality now carries more weight in the context of the histories of its channelization, the Hyde Park community, and those generations of volunteers and other interested parties who are drawn to this area.


Published in: on June 28, 2010 at 2:05 pm  Comments Off on Connecting Service and History  
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