Archive for the ‘News’ Category


Monday, April 18th, 2011

Follow the links below to download the PDF files:

Uncovering an Urban River (01/01/09)

City agrees to fine (2/13/09)

Nonprofit hopes to dock green science barge in yonkers (07/16/09)

Urban Farm is future (07/24/09)

BioBlitz to inventory parkway’s species (09/25/09)

BioBlitz sends scientists up and down Saw Mill River collecting data (09/27/09)

Journal News: Rye Strives to be a haven for Wildlife (10/12/09)

Saw Mill Blitz catalogs life in all its forms (11/2/09)

Trees freed from vines’ grip (11/9/09)


NY Times Article on Brooklyn Botanical Garden Endangered Native Plant Study

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

On April 2, 2010, the NY Times published an article about a 20-year mapping project, carried out by the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.  They are hoping to save dozens of endangered native plants using the information that they have gathered. Read the article or check out the mapping project to find out which native plants are growing near you.


Monday, February 12th, 2007

Invasive Vines, January 19, 2006

Storm Drain Marking, April 28, 2006

Saw Mill River Seminars, September 29, 2006

“Free-A-Tree” Project, October 4, 2006

Follow the links below to download the PDF files:

Journal News: Yonkers’ ambitious plan meets skeptics,  August 6, 2006

Rivertowns Enterprise: Vine-choked trees need helping hands, October 27, 2006

Invasive Vines, January 19, 2006

Monday, February 12th, 2007

For Immediate Release
January 19, 2006
Contact: Ann Novak

Saw Mill River Coalition and the New York State Department of Transportation Continue their Battle with Invasive Vines

The Saw Mill River Coalition and the New York State Department of Transportation, working in conjunction with the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, have created a pilot program to remove the invasive vines that are strangling trees and shrubbery along the perimeters of the Saw Mill River Parkway. The Free-A-Tree project, which got off to a successful start in November, will continue throughout the winter. The winter months are prime vine cutting time! Dozens of volunteers are needed to attack the problem!

The ultimate goal of the “Free-A-Tree” project is to inspire local organizations, municipalities and businesses to adopt and maintain their own segments along the Saw Mill River Parkway. On February 11 from 9 am – 12 pm volunteers will assemble at the Farragut Avenue parking lot. On March 11, from 9 am – 12 pm, the vine removal will occur from Marble Avenue to Bedford Road in Mount Pleasant. Individuals and environmental, civic and municipal organizations are urged to dedicate an hour or two of time to help with this important mission.

A ubiquitous problem throughout the Northeast, fast-growing, tenacious vines are among the worst of the foreign plants that threaten to overwhelm local habitats. Oriental bittersweet and porcelain berry, the two most common invaders to be seen along the area’s local roads, are considered “invasives,” a term used for plants that crowd out native plants and slowly strangle trees in their upward spiral, eventually shrouding tree canopies from the sun and creating a blanket over under-story plants and shrubs. This significantly diminishes the value of wildlife habitat, in terms of food sources and nesting areas, and has a negative impact upon the number of species that use the river corridor, which parallels the parkway corridor for many miles. The Saw Mill River Coalition* and the DOT have instituted this vine removal pilot project to rescue native vegetation, restore the stream buffer, and preserve the area’s biodiversity. The eventual goal: revitalizing the native habitats along the Saw Mill Parkway and River.

To register as a volunteer, send your name and phone number to or call 914-375-2151. Volunteers must wear sturdy shoes (no sneakers) and leather gloves (if possible). Tool supplies are limited so volunteers are urged to bring their own clippers/loppers. Student volunteers must be at least 16 years of age and have a parental permission note.

The Saw Mill River Coalition, a program of Groundwork Yonkers, is an alliance of municipalities, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and others dedicated to revitalizing and protecting the Saw Mill River. For information, call 914-375-2151 or email

Storm Drain Marking, April 28, 2006

Monday, February 12th, 2007

For Immediate Release
April 28, 2006
Ann-Marie Mitroff, Coordinator
Saw Mill River Coalition
(914) 375-2151 or
Cell (914) 815-5872

Storm Drain Marking a Youthful Effort in Saw Mill River Watershed

During the first week in May, youth from six different Saw Mill River watershed communities will join with an AmeriCorps team (NCCC—National Civil Community Corps) in marking over 800 storm drains—working to educate the public in how to prevent stormwater pollution.

One of the requirements for all the municipalities is to provide education and outreach on storm water pollution to their residents. Storm drain marking is often a preferred method, but it is difficult to organize and find appropriate supervision and labor to complete projects. “We were in luck,” stated Ann-Marie Mitroff, Coordinator of the Saw Mill River Coalition, “we have a 10-member AmeriCorps (NCCC) team to help us with volunteer groups for the month of May. What a natural—to put young adults together with the youth of our municipalities in the watershed and have them help prevent pollution in the Saw Mill River!” With free markers from The Hudson River Estuary Program, markers will placed in Pleasantville, Elmsford, Ardsley, Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, and Yonkers. As part of the project, a sticker with action steps will be given to residents.

In Pleasantville Middle School, Elise Ruffino, 7th grade teacher, covers the Saw Mill River as a topic and will involve her 136 students in the project. AmeriCorps (NCCC) will be involved in classroom sessions and also marking storm drains with 6 different classes. In Hastings-on-Hudson, John Neering’s Environmental Club already works with the Coalition on vine cutting around Farragut Avenue. They will now work on storm drain marking and canvassing neighborhoods. In Dobbs Ferry, students at St. Christopher’s Clark Academy will accompany AmeriCorps (NCCC). Ardsley will involve Cub Scouts, Scouts, and Brownies. The Hamilton High School Rotary Interact Club will mark drains and canvass neighborhoods in Elmsford. Finally, in Yonkers, Beczak will be working along with the AmeriCorps (NCCC) with Emerson Middle School Environmental Club students.

AmeriCorps (NCCC) media representative of the team, Kellyn Moore, put it this way, “We’re really excited about working with the students. It’ll show them that we care about their community. We hope in turn, that they become stewards of wherever they live—and help others to do so as well.”

Storm drains—or at least what collects in them and is carried by the street to them—are a major source of pollution, not just to the Saw Mill River, but to rivers, streams and coastal waters nationally. The Saw Mill River Coalition, a program of Groundwork Yonkers (a non-profit urban environmental organization), is coordinating a watershed-wide municipal storm drain marking effort—to bring information to residents about what they can do to help stop storm water pollution.

Contacts for each program: All programs week of May 2-5
AmeriCorps (NCCC), Kellyn Moore (775) 750-1978 (cell)
Ardsley, Village Hall, Friday, 3:15 – 5:15PM, Karen Hobbs, (914) 693-2727,, Cub Scouts, Scouts, and Brownies
Dobbs Ferry, St. Christopher’s Clark Academy, Tuesday, 6-8 PM, Cristian Correa, (914) 693-3030 x 2277,
Elmsford, Hamilton High School Rotary Interact Club, Village Hall, Friday, 3:00-5:00 PM, Susan Muir, (914) 715-3487 (cell)
Hastings-on-Hudson, Hastings High School Environmental Club, John Neering,, Tuesday and Wednesday 3 – 6 PM
Pleasantville Middle School, 40 Romer Ave., Wednesday & Friday 8:30-2:30, Elise Ruffino, (914) 741-1451, (Please note, Pleasantville Middle School students may NOT be photographed for media without prior written permission.)
Yonkers, Emerson Middle School, with Beczak’s Jenn Mokos, 914-377-1900, Thursday 2:30-4:30 PM

For more information on Stormwater: Google: After the Storm: A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding Stormwater EPA publication

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