What 200 People Fished out of the Saw Mill River on Earth Day

Yonkers, NY, April 28th, 2022 –  Groundwork Hudson Valley and the community led Saw Mill River Coalition mobilized 200 volunteers as part of the annual Great Saw Mill River Cleanup this past Saturday, April 23rd. Among them were families and local groups, including the Junior League of Bronxville, Yonkers Partners in Education, and Yonkers Police Department.

Volunteers spread across six sites and four towns in Westchester, filling 230 garbage bags of trash from the Saw Mill River. Volunteers helped remove plastics, invasive vines, construction materials, and debris from the waterway in an effort to clean the area, restore the river, and improve the environmental health of the communities around it.

At Walsh Road in Downtown Yonkers, objects such as bicycles, car parts, road signs, wooden pallets, clothing, plastic bottles and bags were uncovered. Among the notable trash collected from the various sites were tires, scooters, and construction materials such as pipes, bars, and concrete slabs.

A cleanup volunteer and scholar from the Yonkers Partners in Education organization named Angela said, “We live in this world and we should take care of it just as we do with our families and ourselves. The world is our home even if it is not in a building and we should take care of it and take it seriously.” This was a shared sentiment among every participant of the event.

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano joined Groundwork Hudson Valley and volunteers at Walsh Road. He was on hand to see how removing trash and invasive species from the river benefits the community’s overall environment. As a thank you, he had pizza delivered onsite for the hardworking team.

He said: “There are so many volunteers that are here today to clear away trash, clean up our environment, allow our river to flow free, and keep our community clean. Earth Day should be every day and every one of us should want to do something just to make it a little better.

Brigitte Griswold, Executive Director of Groundwork Hudson Valley added: “River cleanups help boost community safety, health, and resilience against the impacts of a changing climate. The Great Saw Mill River Cleanup removed trash that accumulates throughout the watershed from arriving at the Hudson River and in our downtown Yonkers daylighted river parks. The restoration of the Hudson River begins with the restoration of its tributaries.

At the end of the day, the trash removed will allow for plants and trees to thrive, restoring the health of the river, and creating clean, safe outdoor spaces to be used by local residents for socializing, exercise, health and recreation. The Great Saw Mill River Cleanup may officially be over, but at Groundwork Hudson Valley, ensuring our communities live in a healthy, thriving environment is an everyday practice.

For more information visit us at groundworkhv.org.

About Groundwork Hudson Valley — Groundwork Hudson Valley is an environmental justice non-profit that works with communities to improve climate resilience and adaptation, promotes sustainability education, and nurtures the next generation of environmental leaders.