5/29/2008 - Hackensack “Clean and Green Weekend”

Hackensack “Clean and Green Weekend”

(Scroll down for pictures!)

Sunday, May 18th, 2008 – Hackensack River Walkway
Group: The “GREEN” Team Clean-Up Site: Hackensack River
5ive 6ix School, Hackensack Hackensack

Number of Participants:
4 students and 7 adults including two science teachers and a local environmentalist.
TOTAL: 11 participants (photos attached)

What We Did:
Despite the impending rain students and parents brought rakes and a wheelbarrow for transporting filled garbage bags. The City provided us with garbage bags, gloves and team t-shirts!

The first task of the afternoon was rescuing trays of grass that the county was preparing to plant by the river’s edge. The grasses had been covered with a tarp for protection but were now dying due to lack of sun and water. The team uncovered the trays and spread them out so that the eminent rain could revive the plants that were still alive.

The work force was broken into several teams. One group worked on the river bank and collected garbage entangled in the reeds. Another group proceeded to the Route 4 overpass to collect garbage discarded from the highway.

What We Collected:
The “Green” team collected approximately 10 bags of garbage. Garbage bags quickly filled with all sorts of debris including bottles and cans, styrofoam pieces, light bulbs and over 20 different types of rubber balls. Many of the garbage items were automotive packages and containers and most likely originated from the Luke Oil gas station located there. Trash dumped from the highway included seven hub caps, two road cones, a muffler, miscellaneous car parts, and a sink!

The DPW sent a truck down to the river side to collect the trash.

What We Learned from this Event:
Students and parents were educated about the county’s program to plant grasses along the river’s edge to help prevent soil erosion. They were also taught how to identify poison ivy and the invasion Japanese Knotweed. All the participants were amazed at the quantity of and variety of garbage that accumulated along the river and was illegally dumped by irresponsible people. Students learned that street trash is regularly washed down the street sewers and then ends up in the river. There was discussion to get the city to put signs on the street sewers in the schoolyard.

Views of the Hackensack River during work breaks reinforced the understanding that we must take responsibility to protect and care for our local native environment.

Our Group is planning on participating again next Fall and hope to include Borg’s Woods and neighboring Staib Park on our agenda.
Group Leader: Linda Flynn, 5th grade Science Teacher
5ive 6ix School, 321 State Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601 * 201-646-8170
Check Payable to: Linda Flynn