Workin’ Through the Weekend – Boom Days & Cleanup; Tree Planting, E-Recycling

The Good Neighborhood- April 15th, 2011
By Andrew Delmonte
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From Seamus Gallivan: What a wild weekend in Buffalo, both for work and play – and both of those under the banner of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper’s ninth annual Boom Days celebration, which starts tonight with parties and Chow Chocolat; on the Edward M. Cotter for the ball race over the Niagara Falls; and at Gene McCarthy’s Irish Pub. Check out – http://bnriverkeeper.org/boomdays/ for full details. The party continues Saturday morning with the Spring Shoreline Sweep – that’s where Andrew Delmonte comes in, to tell us about this event and two others run by Good Neighbors Workin’ Through the Weekend.

Our waterways are some of Buffalo and Western New York’s most beautiful and cherished natural habitats, and Buffalo Niagara RiverKeeper exists as a testament to this fact. Founded in 1989, RiverKeeper’s role is to advocate on behalf of the citizens of Western New York for the protection and strategic restoration of the Buffalo and Niagara River systems and improved public access to the rivers. RiverKeeper partners with community organizations, government, business representatives, and preservationists to secure the resources necessary to achieve that mission, and implements and manages multiple restoration and remediation projects throughout the Niagara River Watershed. This weekend, RiverKeeper holds its annual Spring Shoreline Sweep – a massive volunteer undertaking with real results. “For over a decade, RiverKeeper has organized biannual cleanups in the spring and fall along various local waterways to remove litter and other accumulated debris,” said Spring Shoreline Sweep coordinator Kerri Bentkowski. “The Shoreline Sweep has grown to approximately 40 sites throughout Erie and Niagara Counties with 1600 to 2000 volunteers annually. “The trash and debris that enters into our streams, creeks, and rivers is not only unsightly, but it degrades habitat and water quality for fish and wildlife,” she said. “Most importantly, we must understand that our drinking water comes from the Great Lakes….By cleaning up our water, we improve our drinking water for Buffalo-Niagara residents and others downstream.” The Spring Shoreline Sweep lasts from 9:00a.m.-noon this Saturday, with RiverKeeper providing all needed supplies (trash bags, gloves, first aid kits, hand sanitizer), and this year offering all volunteers a free water bottle. Volunteers can expect to arrive at 9:00a.m. and be greeted by a site captain, who will direct them to an area where they will pick up trash along a park or waterway. At the end of the morning, volunteers are invited to join RiverKeeper for a picnic at the American Legion, 533 Amherst St., from noon-2:00p.m. Last-minute volunteers are encouraged to join the Shoreline Sweep in one of the toughest cleanup spots – Scajaquada Creek – for which they can meet at the American Legion. Volunteers can also join some of the groups that are leading the cleanup in different waterway zones. For instance, the GrowWNY Street Team is still calling for volunteers to help them clean up Delaware Park’s Hoyt Lake on Saturday morning. More information can be found at the Facebook event page or GrowWNY Street Team’s site. “Legions of volunteers” have helped improve the waterways and water habitats of Western New York for decades, but there is always more work to be done. “Our mission is to protect and restore the quality and quantity of our water while connecting people to water,” says Bentkowski. Until RiverKeeper’s long terms goals of clean water and a public-friendly waterfront are achieved, there is much to be done, year in and year out.

Spring Tree Planting
Also on Saturday morning, Heart of the City Neighborhoods is holding a Spring Tree Planting on the lower West Side. In collaboration with Green Options Buffalo, the group will plant 100 trees with the help of volunteers from 9:00a.m.-noon. Volunteers are needed to plant the trees; all holes will be pre-dug. The event will be a great way to enjoy the spring weather, and to make a visible difference in one of Buffalo’s key neighborhoods. Volunteers are asked to meet at 9:00a.m. at the Niagara Branch Library, 280 Porter Avenue, to sign-in and eat a light breakfast before the planting begins. Yes that’s right – beautification and breakfast. For more information or to sign up, contact Heart of the City’s Community Outreach Coordinator at j.yuhnke@hocn.org or call (716) 882-7661 ext 202.

E-Waste Collection
Saturday is also the date of Buffalo ReUse’s E-Waste Collection, going on from 10:00a.m.-2:00p.m. at The ReSource, 298 Northampton Street on the East Side. In celebration of Earth Day, Buffalo ReUse will be accepting e-waste drop-offs in collaboration with local electronics recycler, Sunnking, to help the community dispose of these items the responsible way. In addition to collecting old electronics, The ReSource will also be recycling unwanted and reusable building materials and household items as well. They will also be hosting E-Waste day activities, including worm composting, Tool Library tours and Patchwork Garden sign ups. For more information on E-Waste Day, a complete list of recyclable electronics, or more information on Buffalo ReUse collection services, call (716) 882-2800 or email info@buffaloreuse.org.

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