UPDATE: According to Village Manager Richard Slingerland, 116 volunteers pitched in on Saturday, with approximately 40-50 more in other areas like Orienta, Shore Acres, Taylor’s Lane, Plaza Avenue, Greacen Point, and Orienta Condo Association
In Harbor Island Park, 125 bags of organic waste were collected, approximately four tons worth, said Slingerland.
, many of them children, gathered at Harbor Island Park on Saturday to load up on rakes, work gloves, leaf bags, Scoop the Poop bags and heavy duty Contractor clean-up bags.
Village Manager Richard Slingerland commented on the strong showing despite the cold, windy weather. “This is a great turnout of people showing concern for the village,” said Slingerland.
During a brief ceremony held beneath a newly-planted oak tree sapling, Mayor Norm Rosenblum proclaimed that, “volunteers are the strength of our village,” and compared the new tree to the assembled young people: “They are the future of the village.”
Then, groups of determined clean-up crews fanned out to Florence, Columbus, and Bob Walker Parks. Two dozen people worked on the beach at Harbor Island, getting on their hands and knees to clear driftwood, plastic bottles and a large number of from the nearby sewage treatment plant in early March.
Six village organizations, including the Committee for the Environment, the Tree Committee, the Flood Mitigation Committee, the Harbor Island Conservancy, the Recreation Commission and the Board of Trustees, helped arrange the event. Neighborhood groups in Shore Acres, who cleaned the median along The Parkway, and Orienta Point, also pitched in.
Along with their parents, Boy Scouts Zach Dipalermo, Adam DeLitta, Ryan Germani and Jake McSweeney filled up a few black garbage bags at Florence Park. The group lives nearby and learned how to ride their bikes at the park.
At Columbus Park, Junior Youth Group members Emma Dufault and Sydney Cameron got their rubber boots muddy as they unearthed tires, hubcaps, nets, car parts, a toy baby stroller and several cans and bottles.
“Down by the river, it’s really disgusting,” said Dufault.
After finding a long metal pole in the river and amassing an unenviable collection of plastic debris, Monica Barach snapped a few pictures of her daughter, Hannah, and classmate Sara Rukeyser, and went off to buy a new Prius.
“Really,” she said. “I’m trading in my minivan.”