South Orange, NJ (April 1, 2022) — If you’ve put on boots and waded in, had a student at the Middle School, or spent time in Meadowland Park before, you know the east branch of the Rahway River runs right through the heart of South Orange, literally and figuratively. Sadly, you probably also know how quickly trash from our disposable lifestyle builds up along the banks and in the river itself. But for 11 years, members of the community have gathered together on the first Sunday in May to remove that trash, celebrate and learn about the river, and enjoy time outdoors with friends and family.
Check in on Sunday, May 1st, 2022, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Rain Date May 8th) at the Skate House by the pond in Meadowland Park (off Mead St.) in South Orange. Pre-registration for River Day can be done in advance on the website. For updates follow the SOEC on Facebook or Instagram @sogreenteam or our website at https://sogreenteam.wordpress.
River Day started in 2011 and grew steadily in number of participants, events, and amount of trash removed, until COVID brought that to a halt in 2020. While COVID restrictions have curtailed some of the traditions of music, food, and educational activities, they could not stop the die-hard volunteers from returning last year to mark River Day’s return and 10th anniversary. In 2022, as we ease into the new normal, we are glad to announce the return of a favorite: River Curriculum Exhibits by the student scientists of South Orange Middle School!
Environmental Commissioner and River Day founder Walter Clarke could hardly contain his excitement: “This program started with a small grant won by the Environmental Commission, which SOMS science teacher, Anthony Cicenia, really ran with. He created a curriculum, and passionately led the program. Mr. C is creating the next generation of scientists and naturalists with a hands-on program and I learn something from the students every year.” Linda Beck, Environmental Commission chairperson and one of the Co-Founders of the Meadowland Park Conservancy, reminds everyone that for River Day “All you need are some waterproof boots, or old shoes you don’t mind getting wet, curiosity, and a sense of community. Your whole family can enjoy Meadowland Park and the river. I might even introduce you to a turtle or two.”