Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Join #PeekskillCleanRoutine and help clean up the Riverfront Green this Saturday

Join #PeekskillCleanRoutine and help clean up the Riverfront Green this Saturday

The #PeekskillCleanRoutine sees a major problem: trash, garbage, debris and pollution throughout the City of Peekskill, more specifically, the Riverfront Green. To be part of the solution, #PeekskillCleanRoutine is sponsoring a Riverfront Clean Up this Saturday, January 27, from 10am to noon.

According to meteorologist Joe Rao, “the City of Peekskill has received over 10.6 inches of rainfall. This includes December 18-19, when 3.6-inches fell and January 10 when 2.7-inches fell. That is over five-and-a-half inches more precipitation than the average year, according to National Weather Service.

All of that extra precipitation in Peekskill and the Hudson Valley caused the Hudson River to overflow its banks not once, but twice in a three-week period. The Hudson River flooded up and down the entire Hudson River Valley causing major damage and leaving trail of destruction in its wake.

Debris from the Hudson found its way to the gazebo in mid-January. (Photo by Regina Clarkin)

In Peekskill, the Hudson overflowed its banks so much that the Riverfront Green was mostly under water. The high tide finally peaked; the flooding reached past the Gazebo and as far as the playground. Once the river receded, the aftermath left a gigantic wrack line, up and down the Riverfront, that is just full of debris, trash, garbage, and pollution. That wrack line can still be seen today.

The #PeekskillCleanRoutine saw the mess and decided to do something about it. The #PeekskillCleanRoutine put out the call via social media asking for volunteers to help clean up the trash left behind.

Neither rain nor snow will stop the #PeekskillCleanRoutine. (Photo courtesy of #PeekskillCleanRoutine Facebook Page)

The #PeekskillCleanRoutine was established in 2018 by Leslie Lawler, founder of the 13K member Facebook Group: Peekskill Community Network – The Original Forum. Lawler says, “#PeekskillCleanRoutine is a humble, grass-roots effort taken on by citizens in the name of good community stewardship.” Lawler continued, “our focus is to clean any small corner of Peekskill that needs it and educate the community that it indeed takes a village and all levels of support and participation.”

Throughout the year the #PeekskillCleanRoutine sets up regular cleanings and lets people know about it via the Peekskill Clean Routine Facebook Page. Speaking on the mission of the #PeekskillCleanRoutine Lawler said, “The core of our efforts is this: if every homeowner, every business owner, every tenant, every resident, simply took five minutes a week, to clean in front of their own property, business, residence — imagine how clean our city would be!”

Video Credit: Peekskill Today. “The Peekskill Community Network continues its commitment to do all it can to help spruce up our city via its resident-driven cleanup meets. This year, the PCN is launching the #PeekskillCleanRoutine campaign, which encourages residents, homeowners and business owners and even our awesome students to clean up in front of their homes and businesses. A collective effort will keep our community clean and inviting.”

“Over the last several years, we have cleaned Monument Park, the Riverfront, Fleischman’s Pier, Belden Street, South Street, Highland Avenue, North Division Street, Franklin Park and Pugsley Park several times each.” Lawler said, “We see a “hot spot” and we put a clean-up together. It’s that humble.”

This type of community effort is not measured in any kind of monetary terms nor is it measured in terms of how many trash bags or pounds of trash are collected. Instead, Lawler said that measurements are based “on a desire to have a cleaner community, spread a good example for others to follow, and engage the young folks to take care of their community.”

There’s not much more to it. See trash, pick it up. Make your community, your street, your home a safer and cleaner place. Lawler recalled one time when the sheer volume of trash collected in a short 2-hour time blew her away. She said, “our largest haul was two dozen bags of trash and assorted larger items such as car parts were collected from the Riverfront in a two-hour window with 20 volunteers.”

 

Trash collected from the January 2021 Cleanup at the Riverfront Green. (Photo courtesy of #PeekskillCleanRoutine Facebook Page)

When the #PeekskillCleanRoutine first started in 2018, it was a small group of volunteers who helped make the effort worthwhile.  “We started out with six regular volunteers, and we have grown to a reliable two dozen volunteers at each cleanup. We now have businesses that send a group of folks, our regular warriors, and students from our school district and local church parishes,” said Lawler.  This is what community spirit is made of. This is what community effort is. This is what makes a community strong and a desirable place to live.

Throughout the years, there have been two very important people who have been part of the #PeekskillCleanRoutine: David Carbone and Frank Godderre. Both of these men have been vital partners in the cleanup efforts. David Carbone is the founder of Peekskill Today. Lawler said, “David has been a solid supporter of our work. He has his camera ready when we are out and about and has been incredible putting together informative videos of our work, sharing them on social media to help spread the community stewardship message.”

Frank Godderre is a local historian, and “is a tremendous role model for anyone to follow,” noted Lawler. She continued, “Frank can often be seen in the warmer weather cleaning the on-ramp to Route 9 near Hudson Avenue, South Street and Main Street. He not only picks up the trash, but mows the grass and pulls the weeds.” He is the living breathing role model of the #PeekskillCleanRoutine. He quietly goes about every weekend cleaning and mowing the on and off ramps all free of charge, never asking for a penny or even a thank you, all to make the entrances to Peekskill inviting for locals and tourists. That is the essence of community. That is the essence of being proud of where you live. That is the essence of the #PeekskillCleanRoutine.

Frank Goderre showing off the brand new riding mower that was anonymously donated by  someone to Frank to show support and help him continue to do the volunteer work he does. (Photo courtesy of Deb Windsor Adams, from 3/20/18)

Volunteers for this Saturday’s clean up will meet at the gazebo, grab a bag, and fan out along the Riverfront. Lawler states, “The #PeekskillCleanRoutine will provide the bags, a few light snacks and hot beverages thanks to a thoughtful and generous donor who is unable to help clean, but wanted to be part of this effort.” The weather looks to be a little on the colder side, but that’s not a worry, we live in the Northeast and know how to dress appropriately. Leslie said, “Bundle up anyway in a few layers, meet some new friends and neighbors, and be part of something amazing in your hometown.


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About the Contributor
As a Peekskill native, Dave is thrilled to be working with the Peekskill Herald showcasing featured calendar events. A 1999 graduate of PHS, he remembers reading and enjoying the original weekly print edition of the Peekskill Herald every Thursday. He especially liked the political stories, local features and sports coverage when it was written by Peekskill Runner columnist Jack Burns who always managed to weave history into the running times. An avid hiker, he enjoys exploring the local trails as well as the concrete ones in his job as a conductor for Metro North Railroad. He’s a former teacher and co-founder of the Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park, where he frequently can be found with his Koda. He’s happy to be part of the Herald’s growth as the source of local news for Peekskill and looks forward to highlighting a few of many of the events and happenings in Peekskill and the surrounding communities. Reach Dave at [email protected]