You can’t tell where you’re going, if you don’t know where you’ve been.
On Friday, February 11th, environmentally inclined Greenpointers gathered at the Newtown Creek Visitor’s Center for the ceremonial sealing of a time capsule, which will remain locked away in the wall of the Center for the next 50 years. Among the items sealed in the capsule were a letter and picture from the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee (NCMC), a newspaper, a card from Assemblyman Joe Lentol, a letter from Councilmember Steve Levin and a booklet from the kids of class 5-313 at PS 31.
For the booklet “each child contributed a page with an art project and text describing the importance of water and the journey of water from the clouds, through their homes, into the water treatment plant and then released as clean water back into the creek and the solids taken to landfills,” according to teacher Julie Feinberg, who accompanied the class to the Center.
NCMC Community Liaison Christine Holowacz explained the origin of the idea “When we built the [Newtown Creek] Nature Walk we always had in mind to do something with kids, so we could teach them. And when there was an availability of space in front, we thought it would be a great thing if we could do something there for children…DEP also wanted to have something for learning…Now the DEP is developing all different projects that they do with children.”
“There used to be a time capsule,” continued Holowacz. “[DEP] figured that once they completed the Visitor’s Center they would put another one in. Who better to work with than children, because they are the ones that will actually be able to see what happens here in 50 years? It will be interesting when it opens, because they’ll be able to see their own drawings.”
Feinberg described her class’ response to DEP’s invitation to the event: “We were very, very excited. A few months ago we had read something about a time capsule and they asked me if there was any way that we could ever do a time capsule and I said: I didn’t know where we would put one, so it didn’t seem like it was going to be an option. Then this thing dropped in on us about three months later, so they were very excited.”
“Time capsules are a wonderful thing,” said Lentol. “They look to the future while remembering the past. I think we did a great job of that today by including both the children who will be living and working near Newtown Creek in the many years to come and by including the many Greenpoint residents who have been advocating for Newtown Creek and the environment for as long as I can remember. I was told the only thing that they forgot to put in the time capsule today was me!”
“People are interested, said Holowacz, “That’s what’s great. It was a great event.”