This Saturday, Pequannock held its annual Mayor's River Cleanup for the second time in 12 months. A community volunteer event organized by Environmental Committee veteran Rudy Steinthal, the Mayor's River Cleanup dispatches scores of eager volunteers each Spring to remove trash, flood debris, and on occasion construction materials by hand from wherever they've ended up in Pequannock.
This year 53 brave individuals turned out to face the wind and cold rain in some of the worst weather experienced in several weeks of 2012's false Spring. These hardy citizens pulled concrete, firewood, and paint-cans from Greenwood Ave, freezers, furniture, and trash from Pequannock Ave, as well as everything you can imagine (and a few things you can't) from the Village, PV Park, and the Aquatic Park.
When all was said and done, massive amounts of metal, plastic, and household chemicals were taken out of the delicate river and forest ecosystem and delivered into waiting dumpsters for further processing. Of note, after a banner turn-out at an emergency cleanup in Autumn of 2011 after Hurricane Irene, the garbage found was on the whole much older and better buried than the previous haul, leading some to speculate that yes, there is an end to it all. If we all pick-up a single piece of trash whenever we are able, there will be an end to it.
Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Historic District, Open Space, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region. Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children. Christopher Lotito Profile