River Day Returns for Rahway Cleanup Sunday, May 7 in South Orange

by The Village Green

Annual river clean up returns for 13th year

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From the South Orange Environmental Commission:

South Orange, NJ (March 30, 2022) If you have ever participated in River Day, you know that what you might find in our branch of the Rahway will surprise you. Last year volunteers removed the usual trash; bottles, cans, and wrappers, as well as bicycles, street signs, banners, ladders, gutters, rugs, and even parts of a signature South Orange gas lamp– all things which should not be in a river – all in an attempt to improve it for things that you should find in a river; clean water, fish, birds, aquatic plants (and sometimes, people). Now in its 13th year, River Day is a family-friendly event that brings together volunteers to clean up and celebrate our section of the Rahway River, through activities, education, music, and fun.

But picking up trash is just one part of River Day. If you want to learn more about the river just spend some time with the exhibits of the 7th grade scientists from South Orange Middle School. Now the first River Friendly Certified middle school in Essex County, SOMS students have been River Day contributors for years. Led by science teacher Anthony Cicenia, seventh graders have been schooling the rest of us on the watershed, stormwater runoff, the riparian zone, even the micro and macro invertebrates that inhabit our river. You can also learn plenty from the adults on hand from the Rahway River Watershed Association and the S.O. Public Library. Maybe music is more your thing? Come to hear DJ Preston Olson and Friends, courtesy of the S.O. Elks Club, as they provide the soundtrack for a Sunday afternoon.

“We’re excited to continue this tradition of the entire community coming together to clean up our local river while having a great time,” said Village President, Sheena Collum, “It’s a wonderful way to connect with our community and take action to protect our environment. When we’re at River Day, we’re all in!” Environmental Commissioner and River Day founder, Walter Clarke added “Last year we filled a one-ton dump truck with things that shouldn’t be in our river, and I was encouraged to see fewer plastic bags then in past years. This year, I’m hopeful we’ll see even less plastic and trash so attendees can more greatly appreciate the music, the exhibits, and the beauty of our river.”

It all happens Sunday, May 7th, 2023, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Rain Date May 14th) at the Skate House by the pond in Meadowland Park (off Mead St.) in South Orange.

Save time in line with pre-registration in advance on the SOEC website. For updates, including Rain Date notification, follow the SOEC on Facebook or Instagram @sogreenteam or our website at https://sogreenteam.wordpress.com/

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