by Dean Gallea –
Tarrytown and parts of Sleepy Hollow were beehives of activity on a beautiful, sunny Saturday, April 21st, as residents celebrated Earth Day with 13 events.
The day began with a birdwatching outing at the Tarrytown Lakes, led by ornithologist and TEAC member Carole Griffiths. There were 13 participants in this early morning event, kicking off the day of action and fun.
Dozens of volunteers in Tarrytown got busy with clean-ups in four locations, including a wetland along Sheldon Avenue, just south of 287. Lori Hrbek shepherded the effort, with helpers pulling out about 70 bags of bottles, cans and other trash, and truckloads of large junk from tires to vacuum cleaners. Tarrytown Village Administrator Richard Slingerland joined the crew there and all wondered how so much “stuff” had been discarded there.
There were also successful cleanup projects at Neperan Park, Tarrytown Lakes, and the RiverWalk. Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell and his wife, Vickie Hudson, joined in the cleanup effort.
Another group of volunteers, assisted by Tarrytown Parks Foreman Anthony Ross, planted native Serviceberry trees (edible plants) in a bare section of the Lakes parking area near the trail leading to Wilson Park.
TEAC web guru Frank Lockwood led a group on an adventure clearing and marking a neglected trail between the old Lakes pump house and Benedict Avenue, opening up another opportunity to explore the fringes of the village.
The “Green this Tree” environmental challenge, posted this month all over Tarrytown, was won by The Taco Project, where 45 people posted their pledge leaves. TEAC thanks all the businesses and civic locations that participated. The pledge trees will remain up until the end of the month.
Also on Main Street, The Oath acknowledged Earth Day by extending their Happy Hour all day, serving $5 beers to visitors. Next door at Coffee Labs, Westchester County Executive and friend to the environment, George Latimer, spoke to a gathering about the county-wide initiatives for reducing the use of plastic bags and increasing the availability of renewably-sourced energy. A lively Q&A discussion followed.
To end the day’s events, all residents were invited to a picnic at Pierson Park. Food vendors Samosa Shack, Xquisite Coffee and The Taco Project provided delicious, well-deserved treats, while TEAC members sold food-scrap collection kits for the Greenburgh Nature Center’s composting program. Free tree seedlings were handed out, and music filled the air, provided by the popular duo The Kennedys.
The Earth Day celebration concluded with “Lights Out,” as many village restaurants chose to dim their lights or use candles during the dinner hour.
TEAC thanks the Tarrytown Parks and Recreation staff for providing protective gear and tools and their invaluable help and hard work. Coffee Labs generously provided free coffee to all the Earth Day volunteers. For more photos of Tarrytown’s Earth Day activities, please visit: www.thehudsonindependent.com.
Villagers who would like to participate in more area environmental activities can look forward to the Riverkeeper Sweep, planned for May 5th. More info at http://www.riverkeeper.org.