SCA & American Eagle Team Up to Restore East River Park

80 Volunteers Continue Storm Recovery on Manhattan's East Side

On the morning of June 10th, over 80 employee volunteers from SCA’s national partner American Eagle Outfitters gathered on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to restore East River Park as part of the #AEOBetterWorld initiative. 

East River Park — a 57-acre oasis of green between the FDR highway and the East River, and one of the city’s most active routes for runners and cyclists — is still feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy. During the storm, the park was flooded with feet of salt water, dislodging paving stones and leaving many of the park’s towering plane trees struggling to survive.

This week, volunteers from SCA and American Eagle stepped in to pull weeds and invasives, spread compost and fresh topsoil to restore lawns, and reuse uprooted cobbles to build stone borders along park paths. They also planted new rose bushes to beautify the East River Park rose garden.

By the end of the project, volunteers had removed a half a ton of invasives, spread 12,000 sq ft of topsoil, and built 300 foot of stone border. “Motivated efforts like American Eagle’s are so beautiful to see,” said Terese Flores, NYC Parks Manhattan Park Manager. “We’re grateful for the wonderful additions to our park and all the smiles that came out to help!”

This isn’t the first time SCA and AEO have teamed up in service to NYC’s public lands. American Eagle Outfitters has helped SCA build the next generation of conservation leaders since 2006, supporting the Alternative Spring Break program and contributing over $5M to support SCA members on conservation projects. And the partnership is now officially award-winning. AEO and SCA shared a Golden Halo Award for last year’s partnership campaign to bring a volunteer crew to help in the Sandy Recovery process at the National Parks of New York Harbor. With this many helping hands in the field, NYC’s parks are well on their way to being greener than ever.