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June 25 • 12:13 PM
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Community Comes Together for Post Flood Stream Clean-up in Watershed


06/15/2012 - The floods from Tropical Storms Irene and Lee left a tremendous amount of garbage in area streams. On Saturday, May 5, over 40 local volunteers removed a dumpster load of trash from the Esopus Creek along County Route 47 in Oliverea. Everything from old furniture, plastic bags, carpets, and even a dishwasher were removed. Volunteers donated not only their labor but some also donated their personal pickup trucks and backhoe to help remove heavy or buried debris.

The idea for the event was initially conceived by the newly formed Oliverea Landowner's Association, but staff from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program provided logistical support. CCE staff member Gretchen Rae helped the group write a grant to the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), which had a debris removal grant for flood related debris. The award for $3,000 from the CWC grant allowed for a dumpster to be placed near the cleanup sites and for trash disposal and removal. Tires, metal, and other recyclable materials were separated from the household trash that was removed along the streambank.

According to Rae, "The day was truly a community effort with many other organizations providing assistance." She particularly wanted to thank the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District, who provided additional staff and vehicles, the Cold Spring Lodge which allowed the dumpster to be placed on their property, the Big Indian-Oliverea Fire Department for allowing their building to be the staging area for the day's activities, the Town of Shandaken, who helped with the logistics of placing and removing the dumpster and metal piles, the Bruderhof, which sent many volunteers, and the many other volunteers who came out early on a weekend to help their neighbors and improve their community.

There are still many areas along the Esopus and other watershed streams that require cleanup. For those who wish to participate in a similar event, AWSMP along with Trout Unlimited will be having another stream cleanup on June 23. Please check our website (www.ashokanstreams.org) or call our office (845-688-3047) for more details and to learn about other upcoming volunteer opportunities.

The Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program is a collaboration between Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County, the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. AWSMP partner agencies provide equal employment and program opportunities.

For more information about Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County's community programs and events visit our online calendar at www.cceulster.org . Follow us on www.facebook.com. CCEUC provides equal program and employment opportunities. Please contact the CCEUC office at 845-340-3990 if you have any special needs.

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