Tags: Freshkills Park Faces

Environmental Science Intern: Melody Simon

Hi, my name is Melody Simon and I am a high school intern at Freshkills Park. I attend the New York Harbor School and I am a senior in the aquaculture program there; doing aquaculture for 3 years has made my previous love for animals and the environment turn into something I am passionate about.


Community Engagement Coordinator: Ashley Frenkel

Ashley Frenkel is the Community Engagement Coordinator at Freshkills Park. An educator by training, she’s taught in all five boroughs including her birthplace of Brooklyn and her hometown of Staten Island. Ashley has a passion for interdisciplinary and collective learning and believes that at the intersection of art, science, history, and math we can learn to take new perspectives and honor the creativity, self-expression, and experiences of ourselves and others.


Board Member Nancy Hechinger leaves with our Thanks

Nancy Hechinger

Friends, Colleagues and Partners of the Freshkills Park Alliance,

On behalf of the Board of Directors at the Freshkills Park Alliance, with both sadness and gratitude, we are announcing the resignation of Nancy Hechinger from the Board.  She was a founding member of the Board in 2006 and has been an active and energetic contributor and source of support to the Freshkills Park Alliance ever since.


Education Programming Coordinator: Rachel Aronson

Rachel Aronson is the Education Programming Coordinator for Freshkills Park. She loves spending time with kids and being outside, and she is passionate about improving access to parks in urban spaces. Rachel has worked as a classroom teacher, environmental educator, and manager of the Hazon Seal of Sustainability, a sustainability program for organizations.


Project Development Coordinator: Karl Vetter

Karl Vetter is the Project Development Coordinator for Freshkills Park.  A native of the Bronx, he has been highly involved in urban greenspaces as a Central Park volunteer, an intern in a Hydroponic greenhouse in Newark, an Americorps Coordinator with the New York Restoration Project, and a seasonal staff member of Partnerships for Parks.


Art Program Intern: Christian Prince

Christian Prince is the Freshkills Park Art Program Intern for the summer of 2019. He is from Washington, DC and graduated from Vassar College.

What are you working on, and why do you think it’s interesting/important?

I’m assisting in the development of arts programs including installations in the park and working on materials for exhibitions at the Studio + Gallery.


Climate Change Intern: Damaris Borden

Damaris Borden is Freshkills Park’s Climate Change Intern for the summer of 2019. Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, she is passionate about improving people’s access to nature and its therapeutic effects. She is a rising senior at Bard College where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Urban Studies with a focus in economics, policy, and development, as well as a master’s degree in Climate Science and Policy.


Environmental Science Intern: Galen Oettel

Galen Oettel

Galen Oettel is an Environmental Science Intern for Freshkills Park. Born and raised in New York City, he’s currently a rising junior at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Galen is majoring in Environmental Science and plans to pursue a graduate degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).


Environmental Science Intern: Caitlyn Simon

Caitlyn Simon

Caitlyn Simon is an Environmental Science Intern for Freshkills Park. She was born and raised in NYC and lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn when she is not attending Amherst College in Massachusetts. She is a rising senior double-majoring in Environmental Studies and Geology.


CUNY Graduate Planning Fellow: Christine Stoddard

Christine Stoddard

Christine Stoddard is a CUNY graduate planning fellow for the 2018 Reclaimed Lands Conference. Originally from Arlington, Virginia, she has lived in Brooklyn for two years. She is currently an MFA candidate in the Digital & Interdisciplinary Art Practice program at The City College of New York (CUNY).


Science and Research Intern: Kaitlyn Brudecki

Kaitlyn Brudecki

Kaitlyn Brudecki is a Science and Research Intern for the Freshkills Park project. She grew up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn then later moved to Middle Village, Queens. She studies Aquaculture at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School.

What are you working on?


Public Art Program Intern: Madeleine Levin

Madeleine Levin

Madeleine Levin is serving as Freshkills Park’s Public Art Program Intern. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, which is home to the World’s Smallest Park, and she is currently a senior at Columbia University majoring in Urban Studies.

What are you working on?


Thanks to Our 2017 Interns and Staff!

2017 Interns and Staff

This year the Freshkills Park office had a wonderful group of interns and seasonal staff. As the summer comes to a end, we’d like to express our gratitude for the talented individuals who contributed their ideas, passions, and hard work to the project.


Water Quality Intern: Maksym Cohen

Maksym Cohen

Maksym Cohen is Freshkills Park’s Water Quality Intern for the summer of 2017. He grew up in Port Washington, New York and currently lives in Albertson, New York. He is entering his senior year at the University of San Diego where he is pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies.


Arts + Culture Programs Intern: Maria Huiza

Maria Huiza

Maria Huiza is the Summer 2017 Arts+Culture Programs Intern for Freshkills Park. She was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, but she has come to call New York City her second home. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Policy with a concentration on Urban Policy at Columbia University.


Programming Associate: Catherine Montalvo

Catherine Montalvo


Catherine Montalvo (a.k.a “Cat”) is a seasonal Programming Associate at Freshkills Park. She’s from a part of Queens, New York that is known for its expansive beaches and boardwalk. She recently graduated from Syracuse University with a BS in Biology and Minor in American History.


Communications Intern: Charlie O’Brien

Charlie O'Brien


Charlie Rae O’Brien is the summer 2017 Communications Intern for Freshkills Park. She is from Westfield, New Jersey, and she is a rising junior at The Ohio State University, majoring in Strategic Communications with minors in Business and History.

What are you working on?


Programming Associate: Terrance Caviness

Terrance Caviness


Terrance Caviness is a seasonal Programming Associate at Freshkills Park. He grew up in Syracuse, New York and recently graduated from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a degree in Environmental Biology.


Thanks to Our Summer 2016 Interns and Staff

Freshkills Park Faces Summer 2016

The Freshkills Park office has had a group of amazing interns and seasonal staff this year. As the summer comes to a close, we’d like to thank all the talented individuals who went above and beyond what was asked of them and made meaningful contributions to the park project.


Environmental Monitoring Intern: Josephine Hill-James

Josephine Hill-James

Josephine Hill-James is an Environmental Monitoring Intern this summer. She is working on a project analyzing the soil in a forested area of Freshkills Park to examine how the health of the soil can demonstrate the resilience of the park’s ecosystems.


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