A Wealth of Experience
Experience! New York’s senior citizens have put it to work every day in
the Empire State through the Green Thumb Environmental Beautification, Inc.
program. Enacted by the State Legislature in 1974, the Green Thumb Program
continues its successful operation of employing seniors serving to beautify
our surroundings. It represents one of the earliest environmental efforts
established during the rapid growth of the environmental movement in the
1970’s. It continues today as the premier environmental organization
dedicated to beautifying our state through the tireless efforts of our
Enhancing Our Resources
The Green Thumb Program provides meaningful and
fulfilling work for senior citizens to play a vital role in maintaining and
preserving the natural and man-made resources of New
Seniors experience a lasting sense of great
satisfaction in knowing that they have made a difference in providing all
New Yorkers with a cleaner and more beautiful environment as a result of
their efforts as Green Thumbers.
Green Thumb Activities
Green Thumb workers serve to augment the efforts of
full-time state employees. They work wherever the state needs their
valuable services. You will find them raking leaves and cutting the
grass at DEC campgrounds. They plant flowers and perform general
beautification activities along the rest areas of the Adirondack Northway.
They beautify the physical surroundings of state buildings for various
state departments and agencies by planting flower beds and trimming shrubs
and bushes. They remove unsightly litter from walkways, and may also
assist in some office work for selected state agencies. Green Thumbers take pride in the performance of their
assigned tasks with little physical risk.
The Green Thumb Program is carried out through
contracts developed with numerous state agencies. Green Thumbers
can be found working with the Department of Environmental Conservation, the
Department of Transportation, the State University of New York, Adirondack
Park Agency, the Office of General Services and the Department of
Agriculture and Markets.
Green Thumb Environmental Beautification, Inc., coordinates the statewide assignment of senior
citizens to positions in the state agencies served by Green Thumbers. Peter Crouse, President/Chairman of the Board
and Lauri Frohne, Human Resource Director of
Green Thumb, provide general oversight of the program, operating out of our
headquarters in Albany, New York. Green Thumb Field Representatives across
the state coordinate the activities of Green Thumbers
in the field and recruit interested senior citizens into the program.
To join the ranks of Green Thumbers one must be
at least fifty-five years old and fall within the income guidelines
provided within state law. Income levels may not exceed $28,725.00 for an
individual, $62,000.00 for a couple.
A certificate from a healthcare provider stating that one is healthy
enough to work is also required. Green Thumb will provide $50.00 toward
the cost of a medical evaluation. It is important to note that one should
not have a medical evaluation until they have been contacted by a Green
Thumb representative and instructed to do so.
Supplements Social Security
The Green Thumb Program is operated to ensure that
employees’ earnings remain below the threshold that would impact on
social security benefits. Green Thumbers earn
enough to supplement their income within the guidelines established under
Social Security. This arrangement provides senior citizens with an
opportunity to remain active and perform a valuable service for the state
without incurring a financial penalty under the law, unless more than the
maximum allowance is earned.
Part Time Hours
Green Thumb work is part-time.
On the average, Green Thumbers work an average of 16 to 28
hours per week depending upon the agency contract.
Payment for Green Thumb work meets or exceeds State and Federal minimum
wage. Many state agencies have openings for Green Thumb employees year
round. Other assignments are limited to spring, summer and fall work
Now More Than Ever
Green Thumb works! Ask any
full-time state employee who has had the pleasure of working with Green Thumbers about the value of the program and the people
who participate. With continued state cutbacks in full-time positions due
to budget problems, the role of Green Thumbers
becomes even more vital to the beautification of our state.
It’s no surprise that the program yields positive
results. By utilizing the varied talents of our senior citizens to
facilitate the ongoing efforts of full-time state employees Green Thumb maximizes
the expenditure of state tax dollars. Just look at state facilities where
Green Thumbers work. Their cleaner and neater
appearance is a mark of Green Thumb pride and a testimony to the program’s
success and our seniors’ talents.
Green Thumb stands ready to provide senior citizens
who want to work with an opportunity to continue to utilize their talents
and skills. Their contributions to our state are present every day at Green
Thumb job sites throughout the Empire State. All New Yorkers benefit from
their service and dedication to the environmental beautification of New