Tag Archives: Litter Pickup

Department of Environmental Protection Announces 2015 Reservoir Cleanup Day

DEP will partner with watershed community groups to remove litter and recyclables from public recreation areas at nine reservoirs in the Catskills and Hudson Valley

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that it will team up with school groups, business leaders, local nonprofits and citizens across the watershed to remove litter and recyclables from public recreation areas at nine reservoirs in the Catskills and Hudson Valley. More than 150 volunteers are expected to participate in Reservoir Cleanup Day on Oct. 4 to remove debris from areas that are generally used for fishing and boating access. The effort is co-sponsored by the Catskill Watershed Corporation, which will provide gloves and bags for the volunteers.

This year’s cleanup follows a successful effort in 2014, which removed an estimated 2,500 pounds of recyclables and debris from dozens of miles of shorelines at Cannonsville, Kensico, Lake Gleneida, Neversink, Pepacton and Rondout reservoirs. Volunteers last year collected 114 bags of debris that had blown onto reservoir property from nearby roads, or had washed ashore from recent storms. Some had also been left behind at public access areas for fishing and boating.

DEP’s Reservoir Cleanup Day is among dozens of similar events happening across the state as part of the American Littoral Society’s annual New York State Beach Cleanup, which organizes volunteers to remove debris from beaches, lakes and other popular bodies of water. DEP is among the government agencies, businesses and foundations that sponsor the statewide effort. In 2014, the New York State Beach Cleanup included more than 6,800 volunteers who removed some 46 tons of debris from 245 miles of shorelines across the state.

“I would like to thank the outdoor enthusiasts, school groups, local business owners and other volunteers who are pledging their time for Reservoir Cleanup Day,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said. “The pristine nature of our reservoirs and forests attracts thousands of people, including local residents and visitors, to enjoy fishing and boating each year. We’ve been able to keep these natural resources free of debris thanks to this annual event and the year-round work of our dedicated staff at DEP.”

“In keeping with our tradition of providing supplies and tokens of appreciation to groups and individuals who keep our streams litter-free, the CWC is very happy to participate in the Reservoir Cleanup,” said Alan Rosa, Executive Director of the Catskill Watershed Corporation. “We all have a stake in clean water, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure it stays that way.”

“We are pleased to have the New York City Department of Environmental Protection participate in the New York Beach Cleanup,” said Don Riepe, Director of the American Littoral Society’s Northeast Chapter. “This year we are celebrating 30 years of organizing this annual event, which is the largest volunteer event affecting the shorelines and waterways of New York State. By cleaning the city’s reservoirs and the protected lands that surround them, DEP is providing a great example of environmental stewardship.”

Cleanups this year will happen at Ashokan, Cannonsville, Kensico, Lake Gleneida, Muscoot, New Croton, Neversink, Pepacton and Rondout reservoirs. Each cleanup at these locations will begin at 1 p.m. and is expected to finish no later than 3 p.m. Volunteers will meet at central locations designated for each reservoir, which are listed below.

To help reach potential volunteers DEP has worked with local nonprofits, schools and community groups to establish captains for the cleanup effort at each reservoir. The captains will help recruit volunteers from their groups and others in the communities that surround the reservoirs. Those who wish to volunteer can also reach out to DEP by calling (800) 575-LAND or by emailingrecreation@dep.nyc.gov.

The captains and central meeting places for each reservoir are:

Ashokan Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by the Rondout Valley High School Community Service Club, Catskill Mountainkeeper, the Ashokan Center, and Friends of the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail. Volunteers will meet at the Olivebridge Dam parking area on Route 28A.

Cannonsville Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by Tina James, who leads the Future Farmers of America program at the Walton Central School District. Volunteers will meet at Cannonsville Bridge on Route 10, just north of Sands Creek Road.

Kensico Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by members of Trout Unlimited NYC and the organizers of WestchesterFishing.com. Volunteers will meet at the Kensico Laboratory located at 19 Westlake Drive in Valhalla.

Lake Gleneida: The cleanup effort will be led by the Carmel Civic Association. Volunteers will meet on Route 6 near the Sibyl Luddington Statue.

Muscoot Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by the Watershed Agricultural Council and the Lewisboro Land Trust. Volunteers will meet at the end of Old Bedford Road, near Goldens Bridge.

New Croton Reservoir: Volunteers will meet at Boat Area 20 on Route 100, located about one-quarter mile from Muscoot Farms.

Neversink Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by Jim Rafferty of Bradley Boat Rentals. Volunteers will meet at the information kiosk on Route 55.

Pepacton Reservoir: The cleanup will be led by Ann Roberti of the Catskill Mountain Club and Diane Galusha of the Catskill Watershed Corporation. Volunteers will meet at the Shavertown Bridge Boat Launch.

Rondout Reservoir: The cleanup will be led by Brenda Sloan from the Tri-Valley Central School. Volunteers will meet at the universal access parking lot located on Route 55A.

At each site, DEP and volunteers will keep a tally of the type and quantity of debris that is collected throughout the day. Data will be reported back to the American Littoral Society at the end of the event.

In recent years, DEP has continued to expand recreational access and programs on many of its water supply lands and reservoir. More than 126,000 acres of city-owned land and water are currently open for recreation, including fishing, hiking and boating. Of that, more than 63,000 of those acres, known as public access areas, can be used by outdoor enthusiasts without a DEP access permit. More information about recreation in the watersheds can be found by clicking the “Watershed Recreation” link on the DEP homepage.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to more than 9 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visitnyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Litter Pickup along Peekamoose/Sundown Road near Blue Hole on Monday, September 7th

Some of the litter cleaned up from the Kaaterskill Falls Trailhead
Some of the litter cleaned up from the Kaaterskill Falls Trailhead at a prior litter pickup event!

The Catskill Conservation Corps will be leading volunteers in a litter pickup and trail cleanup along the Peekamoose/Sundown Road near the Blue Hole, Peekamoose Trailhead and Sundown Primitive Camping area.  The work trip will be from 2 to 5pm and volunteers will be removing litter from along the roadside, trails, campsites and vicinity.

Please make sure to wear your hiking boots; dress appropriately for the outdoor conditions and our trail work activities; pack plenty of water to stay hydrated; and bring work gloves.  The Catskill Watershed Corporation is graciously donating trash bags and work gloves for the work trip.  Thank you to our friends at the Catskill Watershed Corporation!

We will be meeting at the Olive Town Hall/Park at 45 Watson Hollow Road, West Shokan, NY 12494 at 1:45pm and then carpooling over to the Lower Field parking area.

The public is welcome to join the crew and you do not need to be a member of the Trail Conference to take part.

No experience is necessary, we will provide the tools and the training on site before we get started.

Please register below for this event, call 518-628-4243 or email catskills@nynjtc.org.

Litter Pickup along Peekamoose/Sundown Road on Sunday, July 5, 2015

Some of the litter cleaned up from the Kaaterskill Falls Trailhead
Some of the litter cleaned up from the Kaaterskill Falls Trailhead at a prior litter pickup event!

The Catskill Conservation Corps will be leading volunteers in a litter pickup and trail cleanup along the Peekamoose/Sundown Road near the Blue Hole, Peekamoose Trailhead and Sundown Primitive Camping area.  The work trip will be from 1 to 3pm and volunteers will be removing litter from along the roadside, trails, campsites and vicinity.

Please make sure to wear your hiking boots; dress appropriately for the outdoor conditions and our trail work activities; pack plenty of water to stay hydrated; and bring work gloves.

The public is welcome to join the crew and you do not need to be a member of the Trail Conference to take part.

No experience is necessary, we will provide the tools and the training on site before we get started.

Please register below for this event, call 518-628-4243 or email catskills@nynjtc.org.

Read the full press release for this event

Notes From The Field: Welcome, Summer!

Summer solstice, Father’s Day, and some super Catskill Conservation Corps activities made for a busy and fun weekend in the Catskills!

On Saturday, June 20, a star-studded cast of characters taught and learned side by side on the scenic trails of the Southern Escarpment. NYS DEC Ranger Rob Dawson and the Trail Conference’s Catskill Program Director Doug Senterman, along with Heather Rolland of the Catskill Conservation Corps (CCC) taught the Introduction to Trail Maintenance course on the trails. Hands on learning at its finest, volunteers assessed blowdowns and used a variety of tools to remove them, cleared water bars and learned about their construction, and clipped encroaching branches. In total we cleared about 3 miles of popular trails, and enjoyed some killer views as well. We were joined by two hardworking Student Conservation Association (SCA) interns, Kalvin Murphy and Louis DiLorenzo, who helped out and learned alongside our volunteers.

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June 21 became an impromptu “undergraduate litter picking day” as the SCA interns returned with a volunteer from SUNY Geneseo! Heather led these intrepid litterpickers through the mess just off the trail at Overlook Mountain, removing 10 bags of nasty stuff from the woods. The ugly eyesores have were removed amid shouts of “hey! Look at this! Dude! Look what I found!” and as always, lots of laughter. Afterwards ice cream and people watching in the village of Woodstock rounded out the day.

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The CCC wishes to thank DEC and Ranger Dawson for the advance planning regarding the Introduction to Trail Maintenance course. In order to learn in the field, we needed a number of different problem types and learning opportunities. Ranger Dawson made sure we had a great trail to work on – plenty of all manner of challenges with amazing views to enjoy. It was perfect!

Read the full follow-up press release for our workshop

Another big thank you to the SCA interns and their supervisor, NYS DEC forester Ian Dunn, for their role on Saturday – helping to fetch and carry, as well as pitching in and participating in the workshop. They also get kudos for working hard on a miserably muggy Father’s Day, picking up trash and swatting mosquitoes with good cheer.

Our next event is another litter pick up, this time near Kingston, NY, at Onteora Lake on July 5. Stay tuned for all the details on how you too can make friends, whistle while you work, and have a blast while making a difference. Volunteering in the Catskills is cool, even on the hottest of summer days!

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Catskill Conservation Corps Targets Litter at Kaaterskill Falls Parking Area and Trail

Volunteers with just some of the litter that was picked up in Kaaterskill Clove
Volunteers with just some of the litter that was picked up in Kaaterskill Clove

Eight volunteers representing three outdoor-oriented groups with activities in the Catskills and one unaffiliated “concerned citizen” worked alongside the recently appointed Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Backcountry Steward at Kaaterskill Falls and other DEC staff to pick up litter in the Kaaterskill Falls area. The Sunday, October 5 event was organized by the Catskill Conservation Corps and was also an event in the 2014 Catskills Lark in the Park.

The group scoured the parking area at the end of Laurel House Road, then headed to the Molly Smith parking area on Route 23A (and main parking area for the Kaaterskill Falls Trail), where they filled more than a dozen large garbage bags full of trash before hauling them, along with several tires and other large, discarded items, up steep slopes for removal and disposal. They also picked trash up along the busy highway between the parking area and the Kaaterskill Falls trailhead and along the Kaaterskill Falls Trail. The volunteer effort was supported by the DEC, which provided trash bags and removed and disposed of the collected trash.

The groups represented in the cleanup included the Catskill Fire Tower Project, Catskill 3500 Club, and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference.

The Catskill Conservation Corps will be leading a number of litter pickup events in Kaaterskill Clove, Platte Clove and at other locations on State lands throughout the Catskill Mountains region in the future.

Catskill Vol BarbequeFollowing the cleanup, volunteers headed to the Volunteer Appreciation Picnic hosted by the Catskill Conservation Corps for all who have volunteered on state lands within the Catskill Mountains region at the North and South Lake State Campground. There volunteers were thanked by Kathy Moser, DEC Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources and Jeff Senterman, the Director of the Catskill Conservation Corps. Volunteers enjoyed great conversations, food and the opportunity to explore and enjoy the trails and views around the North and South Lake area.

Press Announcement

Photos from Litter Pickup and Volunteer Appreciation Picnic:

Help clean up the Kaaterskill Rail Trail and Kaaterskill Falls

KaaterskillFallsOn Sunday, October 5th from 9am to 11am, volunteers will be working to remove litter from the area surrounding the Kaaterskill Rail Trail and Kaaterskill Falls near the end of the Laurel House Road in Haines Falls, New York.

Volunteers should be sure to wear hiking boots; dress appropriately for the outdoor conditions and our activities; pack plenty of water to stay hydrated; and bring work gloves. The public is welcome to join work trips of the Catskill Conservation Corps. No experience is necessary and tools and training will be provided on site before we get started.

Following the work trip, volunteers are invited to join the Catskill Conservation Corps, the Trail Conference, the DEC, and other volunteers from throughout the Catskills at the 2014 Catskills Volunteer Appreciation Picnic being held at the North and South Lake State Campground and Day Use Area. For more information on the picnic, please visit www.nynjtc.org/2014CatskillsPicnic.

This day of service and recognition is part of the 2014 Catskills Lark in the Park, a 10-day celebration of the Catskill Park and the Catskill Mountains region. Visit www.catskillslark.org for more information.

For more information, visit the Trail Conference page for this event

Press Release for Event