The Village of Mamaroneck’s (VOM) contribution to Earth Day starts close to home, with a massive clean-up of local rivers and parks planned for this Saturday, April 30. Local volunteers are encouraged to participate.
The village-wide cleanup—currently in its third year—will kick off with the planting of a large white oak in Harbor Island Park followed by three small sapling trees in Florence Park. Volunteers—equipped with tools, rakes and garbage bags—will work at various locations around the village, including the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake Rivers as well as Florence and Columbus Parks and Harbor Island. There will also be a special pick-up by the Department of Public Works (DPW) on Monday, May 2 at designated spots in the village.
By all accounts, previous clean-ups have successfully cut down on the amount of detritus piling up the following year, according to Village Manager Richard Slingerland. Approximately 12-15 tons of debris were collected in the first year, with only 8-10 tons the second year, with most of the tonnage attributed to logs and branches.
“I'd say, each year, we keep getting better, which means less debris to clean up,” said Slingerland.
According to VOM Board of Trustees member Toni Pergola Ryan, volunteers pulled items as disparate as tires, radios and DVD’s out of local rivers during the initial clean-up. The second time around, there was mounting evidence that the clean-up was a success, as more fish and turtles were present in local waters, which, “haven’t been seen before.”
“Keeping on top of this is a good thing,” said Ryan.
Sarah Robbins Evans—Co-Chair of the VOM Committee for the Environment—said the clean-up day was started in conjunction with the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Green Week, an environmental forum on sustainability. It also began with a need to remove the detritus that washes up on local shores.
“We have an enormous problem with plastic on shores,” said Evans, noting that the non-combustible run-off comes in on the tide, clogging drains and sullying the natural beauty of the area.
Neighborhood associations in Shore Acres and Orienta will also be organizing clean-ups in their areas on Saturday.
In previous years, groups including local scout troops, Habitat for Humanity and Mamaroneck-based Aqua Visions Scuba have participated in the clean-up.
The Village of Larchmont will also be joining in the efforts on Saturday at the Sheldrake River between 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
The VOM Clean-Up will take place from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on April 30, starting at the recreation pavilion at Harbor Island Park. will be reading some of her works. The Clean-Up is sponsored by the Board of Trustees, the Committee for the Environment, the Tree Committee, the Recreation and Parks Committee, the Flood Mitigation Advisory Committee, and the Harbor Island Park Conservancy. Lunch will be provided. Please call (914) 777-7736 or e-mail: email@example.com to volunteer.