The High Road Way of Work and Wings

10 students pose in front of small lake
June 11, 2019
Will Seip

The biggest surprise of this week has been its speed. I expected the majority of this first week to be spent preparing for the rest of the summer. While I spent part of my time reading and learning about the different groups within PUSH Buffalo, the majority of my time has been spent sitting in on meetings. One of the meetings was focused on the development of Niagara Street. Being able to listen, on just the second day of the internship, to the diverse interests and changes that are occurring within the city of Buffalo was extremely exciting and valuable. Experiences such as this were something I hoped to be exposed to by the end of the internship. Doing so within just my first week was very surprising.

I am most excited to continue working with the multiple groups that are involved with PUSH. PUSH Blue, the division focused on the construction of green infrastructure (e.g. rain gardens to lessen the amount of storm water that enters water treatment plants) is extremely interesting to me. Although I am interested in understanding the dynamics of a system (e.g. which contaminants could be present in the system and how they would be transported by storm water), I am also interested in the social aspect of working with the community to implement the solution. Although the green infrastructure is being constructed due to its practicality, native plants are used in order to incorporate the community’s history. This is just one example of how these two interests of mine are being bridged by working with PUSH. Although I have been in environments where I was able to focus on sustainability (e.g. working on an organic farm) and in environments where I was able to focus on social aspects (e.g. working with guests at The Statler Hotel), I have not been able to focus on both at the same time.

The biggest challenge is going to be keeping a concrete focus throughout the entirety of the summer. Eight weeks is an extremely short amount of time and the number of different opportunities seems endless. Our schedule for just the current day can vary greatly depending on the different meetings and conversations that arise. Balancing wishing to gain exposure to new opportunities with ensuring that I complete my project within the eight week timeline will be critical.

In order to truly appreciate the work that PUSH is doing, an understanding of the diverse history of Buffalo is crucial. I hope to spend a significant amount of time truly learning about the city, the different neighborhoods, their intricacies, and of course, the best place for wings.