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Groundwork Hudson Valley's Saw Mill Cleanup Sparkles

Frances McFarland and Any Hudak, among others, work to clean up the Saw Mill River. Photo Credit: Contributed
Girl Scout Troop 2650 on the job in Groundwork Cleanup. Photo Credit: Contributed
The Groundwork Hudson Valley cleanup crew collects bags of garbage. Photo Credit: Contributed
Mark Knispel wades in the Saw Mill River. Photo Credit: Contributed

YONKERS, N.Y. -- The fifth annual Great Saw Mill River Cleanup saw 100 volunteers go about town to clean up trash from the river on Saturday, April 26.

By the end of the day they had collected 3 tons of trash, over 182 bags' worth -- including a shopping cart, a football helmet, a giant roll of chain link fencing and enough parts to just about build an entire car.

Hosted by Groundwork Hudson Valley, the event included four Yonkers sites on the Saw Mill, among them the daylighted Van der Donck Park. Farther north on the river, the cleanup tackled two more sites, scouted in advance for heavy trash buildup -- Woodlands Lake in Irvington and South County Trailway between Ardsley and Elmsford.

Spread among the various locations were students and teachers from Dobbs Ferry, Valhalla, Ardsley and Yonkers high schools; Brownie Troop 2650; employees from Hudson Valley Bank; Yonkers Bike Club; and members of the Hudson River & Beyond Kayaking Club, who fished for garbage from their kayaks.

Ardsley biology teacher Dan Barnett, working at the Woodlands Lake site, observed, “The park and lake were so much cleaner than when we started with this cleanup five years ago. This effort is clearly paying off.”

“The Great Saw Mill River Cleanup is a collective effort that succeeds only when community, business and government pull together,” said Ann-Marie Mitroff, who organizes the Groundwork event every year. “The Yonkers DPW guys were amazing, hauling bags and large debris from all of these sites throughout the day. And the trail maintenance crew of Westchester County Parks did a great job, too, carrying away tons of trash from the South County Trailway. Also, our friends at Hudson Valley Bank sponsored the event, ShopRite provided the water, and Yonkers Costco supplied the healthy snacks.”

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