Riverkeeper’s “Sweep” Cleanup Campaign Scheduled for May 5.

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By Robert Kimmel – 

Two thousand volunteers are expected to participate in the 7th Annual Riverkeeper Sweep, Saturday, May 5, cleaning up the shorelines of the Hudson River at more than 100 locations along the river and its tributaries.  The sweep this year includes 112 scheduled projects, the largest ever, as teams remove trash and plant trees and grass throughout the Hudson Valley, including locations in Irvington, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow.

The first sweeps took place in 2012, and in that year and up to the present, 10,000  volunteers collectively have been involved in 495 projects. Those efforts have included the removal of 191 tons of  debris, and the planting of 2,228 trees and shrubs, according to Riverkeeper, which also states that “tons of invasive plants” have been eliminated.

“We want New York State to pass laws that will reduce plastic waste, starting with a plastic bag ban that works,” stated Jen Benson, Riverkeeper Outreach Coordinator. “The best policy shifts people’s habits so that reusable bags become the norm, by banning plastic bags and placing a fee on paper bags,” she said, adding that the policy has been successful in California.

Volunteers with Riverkeeper collaborate with EILEEN FISHER to cleanup Irvington’s Scenic Hudson Park during the May 5th Sweep. They will gather at  the Senior Citizen Center entrance, where parking will be free. “Sweep volunteers should wear sturdy shoes or boots, clothing that they can get dirty, and a hat, sunscreen, a reusable water bottle and snacks,” the organizers state.  Questions regarding the project should be directed to contact Riverkeeper at sweep@riverkeeper.org or the site leader Muriel Poure at mpoure@eileenfisher.com. The work begins at 9 a.m. and lasts to 12 noon.

Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council (TEAC) is joining up with Riverkeeper for a cleanup project that begins with a meeting at Sheldon Avenue and Lincoln Avenue in that Village. Street parking is available there, and volunteers are advised to bring the same clothing and items as those suggested for the Irvington effort. “This site is suitable for elementary-aged children with direct adult supervision, as is the Irvington work,” Organizers note.Contact Riverkeeper at sweep@riverkeeper.org or site leaders Rachel and Suzy at tarrytownenviro@gmail.com, with any questions,” they add. The Tarrytown  project begins at 9 a.m. and is expected to last until noon .

A couple of projects are also slated for Sleepy Hollow during the May 5th Sweep, under the auspices of the Sleepy Hollow Environmental Advisory Committee and Riverkeeper. The focus is on Devries Park for one of the tasks. Volunteers will meet 10 a.m.  at the picnic shelter at the bottom of the entrance ramp to the park which is located at 199 Devries Avenue, just off Broadway. There will be parking available near the shelter.  Inquiries can be directed to the Riverkeeper addresses above or to the site leaders, Claire Davis at clairedavisnj@yahoo.com and Dave Avrin at dave.avrin@gmail.com.

The second project in Sleepy Hollow is at Douglas Park for park maintenance, cleanup and the removal of invasive plants and is also under the guidance of the  Village’s Environmental Advisory Committee and Riverkeeper. Volunteers will meet at the site, 148 New Broadway at 11 a.m. and the activity will conclude at 1 p.m. Again, this site is suitable for elementary-aged children with proper adult supervision, as are all the local projects noted above. The site leader will answer any questions directed to  danielc@panix.com.  Pocantico Creek by Kayak is also listed as a project; contact Riverkeeper for information about that effort.

Those interested are also asked to join Riverkeeper’s Sweep Crowdrise Campaign “by building their own Crowdrise team or  by joining an existing one,  to demonstrate your commitment to a trash-free Hudson,” the organization states. “You and your Crowdrise supporters will become Riverkeeper members, and the more members we have standing with us, the more we can accomplish together,” Riverkeeper adds.  In addition to EILEEN FISHER,  sponsors of the event this year include The Berger Charitable Foundation, Louis Berger, JSA Financial, Ironshore, HSBC, the AVANGRID Foundation, and Hudson River Bank and Trust.

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