Samantha’s Climate Story 


Samantha Wilkinson


Staten Island, NY

How are you sensing climate change?

My grandmother was born in Sicily back in the 1940s, she immigrated to the United States when she was eight years old with her parents, two older sisters, and younger brother. They went from a large open home in a small Sicilian town to a damp basement in Brooklyn, New York. Such a drastic change created a lifelong fear of basements that traveled with her to her next big move to Staten Island in the 1960s.
In the 1960s Staten Island was in the early stages of over development. With the new homes being built on the south shore. If you look at the island you can notice a clear distinction of when things were built. Everything on the south side of the island was built from the 1950s onward, the north shore consists of old 1800s homes. There is a distinct divide between the north and south shore of the island, you see it in the architecture and the amount of funding the highschools get.
I grew up on the north shore and my family would tell me stories and show me where things used to be all around the island. The south shore when my grandparents had moved was full of forests and green land. Now it’s all mc mansions and poorly built multi family homes.

How do these changes make you feel?

I frankly am upset knowing that so much green space was taken from my community. I can even see a clear difference from when I was a child in the early 2000s to now in 2021. We even had a blockbuster! Memories are erased with new developments, where one house stood four take its place. It’s horrible and the island already feels crowded enough


Northeastern Region



Staten Island, NY

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