County Plans Bronx River Cleanup Sunday

by Mark Chapman 11/02/11
The Scarsdale Daily

Yards and roadways are not the only things that need cleaning up this week. The Bronx River is getting some attention as well.
Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino has launched a volunteer initiative, River Rescue, to help reduce future flooding by removing debris in and along the Bronx River. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at six locations off the Bronx River Parkway, including Butler Road and Garth Woods and at the County Tennis Courts on Anne’s Way in Scarsdale.
“After Hurricane Irene hit, residents asked what they can do to prevent floods,” said Astorino in a press release. “River Rescue won’t cure our chronic flooding problems, but it is a positive step forward based on the idea that small steps, especially when there is collective energy behind them, can make a difference.”

The initiative was started before the recent snowstorm sent more debris cascading into the roadways and rivers.
The county is looking for individuals, civic organizations, scout troops, businesses and non-profit groups to spend a few hours removing accumulated debris and tree branches from the river, with the goal of curtailing flooding by removing impediments to the natural flow of the river.
Volunteers can register online by going to westchestergov.com/river-rescue-registration or by telephone (914) 864-7318.
Astorino said members of the New York State Turf and Landscape Association will also volunteer their time and equipment to the River Rescue effort, with representatives at each of the cleanup sites. The association will remove fallen trees near Main Street in White Plains and Paxton Avenue in Bronxville.

“The New York State Turf and Landscape Association’s involvement with this event is a perfect example of saving money through a public/private partnership,” said Astorino. “By putting our expertise and energy toward a common goal, we can help our flooding problem, protect the environment, get some exercise and have some fun as well.”
In addition to the Scarsdale locations, volunteer projects involve cleaning the river and riverbanks by removing branches, plastic bottles and other debris at the following places:

■ County Center White Plains at the stream behind the building and along the Bronx River Pathway north of the County Center parking lot
■ Near Main Street in White Plains
■ Butler/Garth Woods, Scarsdale
■ County Tennis Courts/Anne’s Way, Scarsdale
■ Bronxville Lake, Bronxville
■ Headquarters Field, Bronxville

Volunteer team captains and county staff will be on hand at each location to assist volunteers and direct their efforts. Participants should dress for the weather. Gloves, plastic bags and small hand tools will be provided. Volunteers, however, are encouraged to bring their own tools, as quantities are limited.

Anyone wishing to volunteer at a specific site may proceed directly there. Shuttle bus services will be available for those who would like to meet and be transported to a site. The shuttle buses will launch at 10:05 a.m. from the Westchester County Center’s east parking lot, 198 Central Ave., White Plains. Shuttle service will be limited.

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