Park Blog

The latest news about one of New York City’s best waterfront parks.

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Park People

Shellita Orie


Tell us about yourself. What you do when you are not in the park?

I love reading and exploring things that are in front of me. Sometimes I come to Brooklyn Bridge Park on my day off to explore and be active with my younger brother. Once I showed him how to catch Asian shore crabs at Main Street’s Pebble Beach, it was so fun to show my brother all that I’ve learned about the park.

How and when did you first become involved with the Conservancy?

My involvement with the park started a few years ago when I decided to volunteer. My first step was being part of the weekly Green Team with the Conservancy. I learned so much and I loved being able to apply that knowledge within certain activities, such as mulching or weeding. The Green Team became one of the events I would try my best to do every week. Sarah Ward, a past Volunteer Manager, is one of the reasons why I became a Summer Associate for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. Her love for nature is infectious and people around her could see how much she cared.

What you do for the Conservancy now?

For the past two summers I have been a Summer Associate for the Conservancy and I’ve worked many events such as Kayaking, Pier Kids, Broadway Dance, seining, and so much more. The programs are a mixture of art, culture, education, recreation, and environmental. It’s a lot of hard work and heavy lifting but I love every minute.

Tell us about your general interests. How you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?

I can’t tell you how I see myself in 5 or 10 years because I am still learning new things and adding more things to my to-do list. I do know that my goal is to become a nurse and still have a connection with nature. I enjoy being outdoors. Studying medicine gives me an advantage where I know I can take care of myself and others, whether I am indoors or out. I know I want to travel to different places and put myself in new environments so that I can see and experience new things.

Describe a personal, exciting moment you experienced at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

This is a tough question. I have many personal exciting moments at Brooklyn Bridge Park! If I had to pick one it was when my fellow Summer Associate, Krista and I, decided to attend Jazzmobile on Pier 1. I wasn’t working [at the park] that day so I had enough time to enjoy my day and dance the night away. A lot of people showed up but hardly anyone was dancing and I didn’t want to just sit on the grass and listen, so we move our hands and feet until we got tired. We had so much fun, it was a night to remember.

What do you enjoy the most while working at the park?

I am always learning new things. My social skills have improved and I am always learning things from everyone that visits our programs in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Tell us about something you learned about the park that perhaps you wouldn’t have known otherwise.

I didn’t know how to kayak or how to rescue someone on the water before I became a Summer Associate.

Why do you stay involved with the park?

I love all the events in the park and the people I work with are amazing. I enjoy learning new and exciting things on both land and water.

What would you suggest to a young person who is looking for either personal or professional new experiences?

Don’t just pick one thing to do. Experience as many things as you can because you wouldn’t know what you like unless you try your best with the offers that are in front of you.

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