Saunders Trades & Technical High School

The Saw Mill River Coalition Fish Study in collaboration with my alma mater, Saunders Trades & Technical High School was great! A few of my classmates and myself had the unique opportunity of going to the Saw Mill River to go seining and to quantify fish species. Over the course of the duration of my time spent in the program I learned how to identify fish species in the Saw Mill such as the Tessellated Darter and the Blacknose Dace. Having that opportunity was excellent because its important for Yonkers youth to be aware of how healthy our surrounding bodies of water are — in particular our back-up water supply! After all, it is “we” the youth who are truly going to be making an impact in the future.

I learned many things — not only about the Saw Mill River, but about myself from this unique experience. One of the most important things I was able to build on was team work, which is really vital when you’re working in a lab and collecting data with your peers. Secondly, and most importantly, I learned that there’s a lot of work that needs to be completed in restoring the Saw Mill River and time is definitely not on our side — but through education and perseverance we can most definitely restore it! Before I began the Fish Study Project with Groundwork Yonkers I had no idea the Saw Mill River was as vital to our ecosystem as I’ve learned to discover. Aside from my participation with the Fish Study, I had the opportunity of participating in a Green Team event with Groundwork Yonkers in the Summer of 2008. From my experience there and traveling to the Vanderbilt estates I learned that there’s so much we can do in our own backyards to really restore and make some positive impacts in our own neighborhood, especially cutting down those invasive bittersweet vines.