South Orange River Day Cleanup Returns Sunday, May 2

by The Village Green
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From the South Orange Environmental Commission & Green Team:

The South Orange Green Team and Environmental Commission could not bear to spend another year out of the Rahway River. Like so many events the annual, community gathering to clean up our section of the Rahway River while celebrating environmental awareness and the watershed with music, art, fun, and crowds of people was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. 2020 was to be the tenth year of the family friendly event but that anniversary was put on hold.

“We really missed River Day and looking at the amount of trash that has piled up along the river, it missed us!” joked Bill Haskins, Chairman of the Environmental Commission, adding “we are really glad to be back partnering with the Department of Public Works and the Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs to coordinate this event.” Walter Clarke, Village Trustee, and one of the founders of River Day, put it this way. “We’re going back to basics with just a volunteer river clean up; no exhibits, food, music, or reasons to crowd together. Ironically, the ten year anniversary will be a lot like the first River Day. A group of committed volunteers spending a couple of hours outdoors for a good cause.”

This year the event will emphasize social distance and Zero Waste among participants by not using any plastic trash bags, encouraging BYO reusable water bottles and masks, as well as a streamlined system for transferring collected trash to DPW trucks for proper disposal. “This year has been a chance to evaluate the process of the core mission and our plan is to bring back the social and educational aspects of River Day when we are able. This year will be an interim step.” stated Haskins.

Interested volunteers should check in on Sunday May 2nd any time from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Skate House on the duck pond off of Mead St. (N. Ridgewood Rd and Meadowbrook Lane) in South Orange. For more information on River Day and other projects follow the South Orange Environmental Commission and Green Team on Facebook or Instagram @sogreenteam or their blog at https://sogreenteam.wordpress.com/

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