River Clean Up Earth Day Apr 22 2007

For Release: April 16, 2007

Ann-Marie Mitroff  (914) 375-2151, Cell: (914) 815-5872  

Think Globally–Act Locally…River Coalition and Kayak and Canoe Club Conduct Saw Mill River Clean-up

Vikki Jones, coordinator of The Hudson River and Beyond Kayaking and Canoeing Club is always looking for water-related activities. After sending out an email looking for an idea to celebrate Earth Day, she got a response from the local Saw Mill River Coalition. “We need help in cleaning up “floatables” (plastic bottles) and the trash in the river,” responded Ann-Marie Mitroff, Coordinator of the Coalition, “we can clean up for part of the day and canoe, hike, and bike the rest of the day.”  On Sunday, April 22nd, the Club and Coalition are urging local residents and groups to join them at the Lawrence Street Exit from the Saw Mill River Parkway (east side) from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm to help with the clean up.  After 12:30 pm, canoes and kayaks will be launched, and people are urged to bring their bikes, skates, or walking shoes and enjoy the results of their work along the South County Trailway.               

So far, several River RATz (Saw Mill Coalition’s Restoration Action Team members), a church group, Ardsley High School students, and volunteer vine cutters will join the effort. “We have a sustained effort with volunteers who work in the winter months cutting vines,” stated Mitroff. “It’s part of our partnership with Westchester County Parks and New York’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Working with many existing clubs and providing volunteer opportunities gets more done.”           

“Floatables,” or plastic bottles, are one of the main items to be cleared from the river. They “float” in groups, being tied up at places where logs and branches have fallen into the river. Information will be given on practices residents should take to minimize the trash that finds its way to rivers. This information is timely given the major April storms the region has seen—trash left on streets and gutters, as well as leaking fluids from cars are major producers of pollution in streams—hence the term “stormwater pollution.”  The Village of Dobbs Ferry has joined the clean-up effort as well and will support the volunteers’ work using the Public Works’ crews.           

Instruction will also be given on identifying invasive vines and how to cut them. Residents are asked to wear sturdy shoes, bring gloves if they have them, pack a lunch, and if they are under 16 have adult supervision. Site directions: access from Saw Mill Parkway exit at Lawrence St (Ardsley side), park along the frontage road to the left right after the exit. Meet at the County Trailway. For information, call Saw Mill River Coalition (a program of Groundwork Yonkers) (914) 375-2151 or cell: (914) 815-5872; or email: annmarie@groundworkyonkers.org.

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