The following is from the Maplewood Environmental Advisory Committee
In celebration of Earth Day, the Maplewood Environmental Advisory Committee is sponsoring its annual Rahway River Cleanup on Saturday April 22nd from 10:00am – 2:00pm. The cleanup is a chance for residents of all ages to show that they care about the river that adds beauty to Maplewood, by getting rid of the litter and trash that builds up in the river and along its banks. Volunteers of all ages are welcome.
The volunteer meeting place will be near the footbridge off Dunnell Road down the road from the train station. Volunteers can start any time after 10am and stay for as long as they want until 2pm. There will be supplies of bags and gloves but volunteers should wear boots or other waterproof footwear if they are planning to help in the river itself.
For volunteers who want more of a challenge and are at least high school age, there will be a second check-in, on the same schedule, at the Columbia High School parking lot where Parker Road crosses the river. The banks of the river there are more challenging, but that upper section of the river all the way to the South Orange border always needs a lot of work.
The rain date is Sunday April 23rd at the same places and times. Check the website for more information, and updates if the weather is questionable.
Because Earth Day falls on a Saturday this year, the event will include a free community picnic hosted by Bob Roe, Maplewood’s Health Officer and Al Kuehn, a life-long Maplewood resident and member of the Advisory Committee. And this year participants can break away from cleaning at noon to help the new Memorial Park Conservancy plant a disease-resistant replacement elm tree in the Park across from the train station, one of eight planted to memorialize the eight Maplewood residents who died in World War I.
According to Bob McCoy, Chair of the Advisory Committee, “The annual river cleanup is a satisfying way to enhance the appearance of the Rahway River, one of the features that give the township its beauty and connection to nature. Every year we pull hundreds of pounds of trash from the river, trash that would otherwise eventually flow through communities downstream and out into Newark and Raritan Bays. Besides, it’s a fun way to spend an hour or two, splashing in the river for a good reason. And this year you can pick up some free picnic food before you start, after you finish, or just want to take a break.”
For more information about the cleanup (and much more local environmental information!) visit www.MaplewoodisGreen.org.