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Barge from Train
Groundwork Hudson Valley Newsletter
October-November, 2009
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
Quick Links
BioBlitz Website
Saw Mill River Coalition website
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Welcome to the Groundwork Hudson Valley newsletter. We hope to send out and e-mail periodically to keep you up to date with our programs, events, and volunteer opportunities.

Groundwork News

New Groundwork Website!

Take a minute to check out the new design and added content: Please give us your feedback. We would love to know what you think. 

We will keep this site up to date with breaking news, volunteer opportunities, and events. We hope that you can use it as a tool to get involved, enjoy some of our programs, and find out about Groundwork initiatives!

4th Annual Potomac Watershed Trash Summit

No Trash
On Wednesday, October 28th Ann-Marie and Emily will represent The Saw Mill River Coalition and Groundwork Hudson Valley at the 4th Annual Potomac Watershed Trash Summit. This event provides a venue for Congressional, state and local elected officials, citizens and youth leadership to collaborate on strategies to eliminate trash from our waterways, communities, streets and public lands - including regional public policy, model Best Management Practices, business actions, and public education.

Groundwork USA Youth Summit, New Orleans

Team Work
On Friday, November 13th, Groundwork Hudson Valley will bring two youth from the Summer Green Team Program for a weekend long Groundwork USA Youth Summit in New Orleans. Students from Groundwork Green Teams all over the country will meet to share their experiences, ideas, and plans for the future. The guiding theme of the summit is the Resilience and Fragility of Habitats and Communities. This will bring the group on a canoe ride down the Cane Bayou, and a tour of historical New Orleans. There will be a discussion on the post-Katrina situation, the work that has been done so far, should have been done already, and still needs to be done, asking the question of how natural habitats and communities can be restored.

Five Students Hired as Science Barge Interns Under Honda Grant

We are very pleased to have been able to hire five new students from Gorton and Riverside High School as Science Barge interns. We were able to employee these interested students because of a wonderful grant awarded to us by the American Honda foundation. With their support we will be able to provide paid positions to additional students during each Science Barge season and cover the cost of field trips and buses for schools who are interested in visiting the Science Barge but cannot afford it. By facilitating these connections, Honda has greatly enriched the capacity of The Science Barge and we are so excited to be working with the new interns and scheduling so many (21!) free trips for underfunded schools in and around Yonkers.

Progress Being Made On Saw Mill River Ecological Plan

Joe Pye Weed
A team of experts and local officials are making progress on a design to make the daylighting of the Saw Mill River in Yonkers ecologically sensitive.

A major feature of the Yonkers Downtown Redevelopment plan is to reveal the river where it runs underground through the Larkin Plaza parking lot and turn the area into a public river park. We want to make sure that this project will benefit all Yonkers residents and visitors, from people using the library or train station, to tourists enjoying a meal overlooking the scene, to the migratory fish that use the river to spawn, to the endangered American eel that can still be found reaching adulthood in the river.

The Saw Mill River Coalition has enlisted the expertise of Sven Hoeger, an ecologist and the owner of Creative Habitat Corp., a consulting firm that provides cost effective and environmentally sound solutions for ecological restoration. Through a collaborative process, the Coalition is working with the City of Yonkers' consultant engineering firm to design a park that is not only peaceful and enjoyable for people, but that also fosters local biodiversity. This can be achieved by planting native grasses that provide homes to local wildlife, installing a fish ladder to help the migratory fish and American eel up the river, and installing lights in the tunnels where the river will still run underneath buildings (between Larkin Plaza and River Park Center). These lights will simulate "moonlight" and while the American eel will travel in darkness, migratory fish will not. The collaborative process also includes bringing fisheries and engineering experts from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and New York State's Department of Environmental  Conservation to the process.
Educational opportunities are also being incorporated. The Coalition's "The Saw Mill to Hudson River Interpretive Trail" project, funded by the Hudson River Foundation, brought together over 60 people from state and local parks, school groups, community groups, city planners, environmental groups, arts organizations, historical groups, development groups, and others for several planning sessions on what a river park might look like and how education can be served by the park.

BioBlitz Scientists Find Over 650 Different Species In Saw Mill River Watershed
BioBlitz Thank You
From 4pm on September 25th until 4pm September, 26th over 50 scientists from a variety of institutions searched far and wide throughout the Saw Mill River watershed, identifying as many different species as they could find. There were several teams specializing in different disciplines from aquatic invertebrates, to fungi, to birds, to mammals. Many of the scientists brought students along to give them experience in the field. When they were done collecting, many of the teams reported back to Science Barge Headquarters at the Pace University Pleasantville Campus to examine hard-to-identify samples in the microscope room.

While the scientists were hard at work, the public was invited to participate in a number of free activities at Pace. All of the programs were based on the biodiversity in our own back yards and the importance of learning about urban rivers and streams. The event was a lot of fun and a great success! The information collected will be invaluable to preserving, nurturing, and protecting the biodiveristy that lives in and around the Saw Mill River.

Upcoming Events

Film Inc. Screening Followed By Discussions and Guest Speakers, SUNY Purchase
Please contact Jalal  Sabur (914) 439 1746 or for questions or to RSVP

food inc

Science Barge End of Season Thank-You Potluck

Sunday, October 25th 2pm-5pm, Science Barge, 99 Larkin Plaza, Yonkers, NY 10701Barge Crew
Before the Barge hibernates for the winter, we would like to thank everyone that volunteered or interned with us throughout the year with hot apple cider, pumpkin painting, drinks, food, fun, and an official Science Barge Crew certificate!
We will provide the beverages and some snacks, but please bring your own favorite dish to share if you can!
Family and friends are welcome. Please rsvp to or (914) 375-2151

Strengthening the Fabric of our Community
Thursday, October 29th 8:30am, Beczak Environmental Center, 35 Alexander St Yonkers, NY 10701 (914) 377-1900
Do you need assistance to better help those you serve? Does your church need assistance? Join us for breakfast. We will provide information about available community resources including: Social Services/Benefits, Anti-Violence & Safety Services, Welfare to Work/Job Training, Health Care, Drug or Alcohol Addiction Services, Children's & After School Programs, Livable Communities, Housing. United Way  will give a special presentation and agency representatives will be present to provide information. Please call Vernon at (914) 375-2151 to confirm your attendance. Hosted by Groundwork Hudson Valley, Beczak, 55Plus Yonkers.

Pumpkin Painting on the Science BargePumpkin Painting

Saturday October 31st 12-4pm, Science Barge 99 Dock Street Yonkers, NY 10701, Free

Vine-Cutting Kick-Off Event

Vine Cutting
Sunday, November 8th 9:30am-12:30pm, Farragut Avenue site
Come help us rid the Saw Mill River banks of the invasive vines that are crowding out native plants and wildlife. We will provide all of the needed materials.

Environmental Food Team Events

Free to the public, times and locations vary.
October 27 - Community Garden Revolution - Yonkers Public LibraryProduce
Community vegetable gardens are revolutionizing the way people in inner cities eat.  We will discuss how the movement got started, its challenges, and the politics of the communal plot.  May include a brief showing of "The Garden," a film documenting a community garden in Los Angles and its struggles to survive.
November 3-  Tour of Local Community Gardens (The Community Gardens of Groundwork HV & Greyston)
Join us for an exploration of local community gardens.  We will show how community gardens work in Yonkers and meet some of the people who keep them going.
November 10- The Emergence of Cultivation and Culture- At Philipse Manor Hall
Growing food changed how humans lived, our politics, and greatly impacted the religions of the world.  We will talk about the connection between cultivation and culture and how different foods shaped the people who grew it. 
November 17th (NO SESSION)
November 24- Eating Locally and In Season - Yonkers Public Library
Using Barbara Kingsolver's book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" as point for discussion, we will talk about the movement in America to eat food grown as locally as possible.  Kingsolver's book did exactly that.  What were some of the motivations and challenges for eating this way, and would this be a good environmental practice? 
The Art Gallery at the Rockefeller State Park Preserve Presents: Thomas Locker's Hudson: The Story of a RiverThomas Locker's Hudson

Rt. 117 Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591, October 1 - November 29th. Daily from 9-4pm.
In collaboration with KIESENDAHL+CALHOUN FINE ART, LTD.  Series of paintings and new works celebrating the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage. Books also available at the Preserve office. Curated by AUDREY LEEDS LOCATION off Rte 117, 1 mile east of Rte 9. Information: 914 631 1470 ext. 0  Parking Fee: $6.00
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

BioBlitz Data Entry
We could really use volunteer help with entering, sorting through, and publicizing data about the species found in the Saw Mill River that was generated by over 50 scientists in our recent BioBlitz. This will be a great opportunity to learn how to use a scientific database and become familiar with BioBlitz findings. Become an expert on Saw Mill River biodiversity! Please contact emily@groundworkhv.orgor (914) 375-2151 if you are interested! We hope to hear from you!

Free-A-Tree Invasive Vine-Cutting
Vine Cutting
  • Sunday, November 8th 9:30am-12:30pm, Farragut Avenue site
  • Saturday, November 21st 9:30-12:30, Farragut Avenue Site
Come help us rid the Saw Mill River banks of the invasive vines that are crowding out native plants and wildlife. We will provide all of the needed materials.

Groundwork Hudson Valley is an environmental non-profit that works with communities to improve their physical and social environment. This is done by collaborating on projects, among them: turning dangerous vacant lots into community gardens, planting trees, replacing graffiti with murals, and forming alliances within the community. Some of these projects are done through school programs and many of them are intergenerational. We are dedicated to environmental stewardship and community empowerment. All of our projects engage local residents in hands-on projects, from design to planting.