Hundreds of volunteers from across the Catskill and Hudson Valley regions collected an estimated 4,675 pounds of trash during the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s annual cleanup day last Sunday.
The more than two tons collected made this the largest amount cleaned up since the event began six years ago.
School groups, environmental advocates, business leaders, nonprofit agencies and watershed citizens were among the 350 volunteers.
The cleanup took place at the Ashokan and Pepacton reservoirs in the Catskills, and the Muscoot, Kensico, Lake Gleneida and New Croton reservoirs in the Hudson Valley.
Much of the debris had blown onto reservoir property from nearby roadsides, washed up along the shores from past storms or was left behind at access areas used by the public for fishing and boating.
“The results from our cleanup event each year underscore the need for steady education,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “Too many people are still carelessly disposing of their garbage. DEP is committed to working with our partners to teach the concept of leave no trace, and promote an outdoor ethic that values our lands and waters.”
This year’s debris included 2,968 glass, plastic and metal beverage containers; 2,941 small pieces of foam, glass or plastic; 1,253 cigarette butts; 1,026 food wrappers; 930 plastic and paper bags; 873 bottle caps; 738 disposable cups and plates; 424 take-out food containers; 134 yards of fishing line; and 38 tires.
Wallkill Girl Scouts earn awards with garden project
TOWN OF WALLKILL — Girl Scout Troops 099 and 122 received Bronze Awards from Wallkill Town Clerk Louisa Ingrassia, Councilman Neil Meyer and Community Advocate Jessica Sherwood.
They were also given a certificate for participating in the Youth Peace Rally in May at Monhagen Elementary School, hosted by American Legion Post 1181 and the Town of Wallkill Police Youth Coalition.
As part of their project to earn a Bronze Award, Girl Scouts from both troops worked from spring into the fall on a garden. The plot of land was provided by the town to grow produce and donate it to food-insecure families in the community.
Tuxedo roads will be jammed on Faire-Applefest weekend
TUXEDO — Like the return of the locusts, it happens every few years:
The Renaissance Faire at Sterling Forest and the Applefest in Warwick are in full swing during the same weekend. This year, it’s the weekend of Oct. 5-6.
Tuxedo police warned the public at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting that Route 17A through the town becomes more like a parking lot. “If you don’t have to be on 17A that weekend, don’t be,” Town of Tuxedo Police Lt. John Norton said at the meeting.
To ensure emergency access to the area, police are closing Benjamin Meadow Road to public traffic on both Saturday and Sunday that weekend. That will allow emergency vehicles to more easily reach 17A and the Renaissance Faire grounds in case of emergency. Residents of Benjamin Meadow Road will still be able to drive in and out, the lieutenant assured.
Leave it to beavers: They're clogging Tuxedo culvert
TUXEDO — Speaking of Benjamin Meadow Road, the town highway department is enmeshed in a turf war with an unlikely opponent.
A culvert near the Doris Duke trailhead on the road was damaged during Hurricane Irene in 2011, and town efforts to work with the Federal Emergency Management Administration to fix it have not yet been successful.
Slowing down the process is the fact that a culvert built on top of the broken one keeps getting clogged by the work of beavers. As soon as the highway department clears it, the furry semi-aquatic mammals rebuild, Town Highway Superintendent Robert Dollbaum told the Town Board at its meeting Tuesday.
The board authorized an appeal to FEMA to get the funding to fully fix the culvert, and hopefully prevent the little native rodents from making a home there once again.
Hudson Valley Honor Flight opens new Walden headquarters
WALDEN — Hudson Valley Honor Flight held a ribbon-cutting and grand opening Saturday for its new headquarters at 40-42 Main St. in Walden.
The brief ceremony was followed by tours, refreshments and a wine-tasting courtesy of Magnanini Winery in the Ulster County hamlet of Wallkill.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney was among the guests who attended the event.
Round Hill to dedicate new wing to teacher/administrator
WASHINGTONVILLE — Washingtonville Central School District will dedicate its new kindergarten wing at Round Hill Elementary School at 6 p.m. Monday in honor of a longtime teacher and administrator.
Dr. Janet Seaman worked in the district for 51 years, rising in the ranks from a fourth-grade teacher to assistant superintendent of elementary education before retiring in 2018. During her tenure, Seaman ushered in the district’s pre-K program as well as the central registrar.
The new 14-room kindergarten wing at the school, on Route 208 in Washingtonville, welcomed students at the start of the school year earlier this month.
County association honors Neuhaus for Iraq deployment
The organization representing county governments across New York gave Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus a public service award last week for the nearly six months he served in Iraq this year as a member of the Navy reserves.
“Public service comes in many ways and County Executive Neuhaus has demonstrated that in Orange County and while serving our country abroad,” Stephen Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties, said in a statement after presenting the award at a gathering of county officials on Tuesday at Resorts World Catskills near Monticello.
Neuhaus, who has been Orange County executive since 2014 and was Chester town supervisor before then, is a lieutenant commander in the Navy reserves and was deployed to Iraq in January with the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force. He returned home in late June.