GWHV letterhead

Groundwork Hudson Valley Newsletter                                  March/April 2011
Barge 2011

Rainwater tanks on The Science Barge, beautifully painted by Yonkers artist Jamie Korb & volunteers.

Hello All,
After a long, cold winter, we are gearing up for spring! The crocuses are popping up despite the chilly weather, and our Science Barge seedlings are happy in the greenhouse. We have A LOT planned for the upcoming months! Please take a moment to read about our projects, events, and volunteer opportunities. We would love to see you out by the Saw Mill River, on The Science Barge, or at one of our events this spring!

The Groundwork Hudson Valley Staff: Rick, Anjali, Anne, Ann-Marie, Bob, Curt, Emily, Gwen, Lynn, Lucy, Rhea, and Vernon
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In This Issue
Saw Mill River Daylighting Making Progress
Our Folks Weatherizing and Preparing for Spring
AmeriCorps Crew Arrives
REI, Our Newest Sponsor!
Two Successful Emergency Clean-Ups!
Chat & Chew Held in Honor of Unsung Heroes
American Eel Study
Science Barge & NYSERDA
New Signs on The Science Barge!
New Batteries on The Barge
Environmental Food Team
Science Barge Opening
Sunset Blessing of the Hudson River
Sunset Blessing of the Hudson River
Invasive Vine Action Workshop
Volunteer for Free-A-Tree
Volunteer for Free-A-Tree
Science Barge Sundays
2nd Annual Great Saw Mill River Clean-Up
Start a Clean-Up Team
Participate In Our Folks!
Volunteer Positions
Do you like what you see when you read our newsletters, volunteer with us, or visit the Science Barge?

If you do, please consider a gift to Groundwork. 

Your contributions support paid internships for Yonkers high school students, new community gardens, river and habitat restoration, the Science Barge, and myriad educational programs around food and nutrition, urban ecology, community service, and climate change.

Follow the link below to make your secure donation.  Each and every gift makes a difference, and each and every gift is greatly appreciated.


Groundwork News
Saw Mill River Daylighting Underway
Daylighting in progress
The construction crew in Larkin Plaza has been working hard through this blistering cold winter to
create a new river park in Downtown Yonkers by the scheduled completion date in December 2011. If you live or work nearby, check out the progress first hand. Also, don't forget to support local businesses. The Waterfront Deli, Maggie's Seafood, and Singha's Pizza are all open during construction!  

Our Folks Weatherizing and Preparing for Springspring rakingMr. Earl

The Riverside High School Our Folks crew has been busy the last few months helping out in the homes of older adults in Yonkers, completing five weatherization projects (insulating windows and pipes) and four yard work projects (removing leaves, pruning, and planting bulbs). The crew has enjoyed getting to know seven new neighbors and sharing conversations with them. We are continuing with these projects, and we have some fun events and trips planned for all participants, past and present! Call or e-mail Emily if you are a Riverside High School student or a Yonkers resident over 55 years of age and interested in participating.  


AmeriCorps Crew Helps Groundwork Battle Invasive Vines!

AmeriCorps 2011 Training

We are very excited to announce the arrival of Americorps NCCC Buffalo Seven! This year the team's mission is to tackle invasive vines along the Saw Mill River. The AmeriCorps NCCC group has made significant progress. With 7 days under their belts, the team has:


Removed 6700 pounds of invasive species

Cleared 1.8 acres of unwanted brush or invasive species

Tended 209 trees and shrubs

Removed 5500 pounds of trash and debris

Cleared 1 vacant lot

Worked with 44 volunteers


Pretty impressive! Not only does this work significantly benefit the river and the community, it will provide us with useful information about how much can be accomplished with a crew of 8 people, focusing on vine removal for a specific amount of time. This data will be invaluable when we begin to draft a long-term management plan at the April 28th Invasive Vine Action Workshop (see upcoming events for more information).   


The team is also working on repair projects at the Andrus-On-Hudson retirement community where the NCCC crew is boarding. 

REI, Our Newest Sponsor!

rei logo


We are very excited to announce our newest sponsor, REI, an outdoor recreation gear store and the nation's largest consumer cooperative with more than three million active members. Each year, REI donates millions of dollars to support conservation efforts nationwide, and sends scores of volunteers to build trails, clean up beaches, and teach outdoor ethics to kids. REI are opening a brand new store in Yonkers (May 20th is opening day!) and reached out to Groundwork as a community-based environmental non-profit that they wanted to sponsor. We are tremendously grateful for their support, and we look forward to a great partnership! 


Two Successful Emergency Clean-Ups!   trash pile


Groundwork and our Saw Mill River Coalition would like to issue a great big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our last minute emergency clean-ups on Saturday, March 19th as well as to the AmeriCorps team that made them possible! We were very pleased to see so many people spring to action to remove the trash before the next rain washed it all back into the river. With only a couple days notice, 44 volunteers filled 80 bags of trash! Thanks also to everyone who responded with their suggestions and supportive e-mails.  




We have several clean-ups scheduled for April and our 2nd Annual Great Saw Mill River Clean-Up planned for May 14th and 15th. Please join us if you are able. Trash is a big problem for the habitat in our communities as well as an eyesore. Thanks to your support, our Saw Mill River Stewardship project is gaining momentum and making a big difference! See upcoming events for spring clean-up information.   

First Chat n' Chew Held in Honor of Unsung Heroes:
Chat and chew

 Unsung Hero recipients Walter Lipscomb and Beatrice Ann Crute

Steppin' Up Yonkers! first Chat n' Chew luncheon in Yonkers was a resounding success. Steppin' Up Yonkers! is a group of residents, clergy, and  local community benefit organizations, including Groundwork.  All of these constituents understand that it takes the efforts of affected community members to successfully rebuild neighborhoods and strengthen families. 


The monthly Chat n Chew luncheons have a three-fold purpose: recognize the work of Unsung Heroes in our neighborhoods, promote collaboration and partnership by bringing together community stakeholders (including residents, CBO's, business, faith based organizations, law enforcement and city officials), and facilitating discussion about the challenges facing the City of Yonkers and how we can work together to address these challenges.

Steppin' Up Yonkers recognized the work of two community leaders, Beatrice Ann Crute, affectionately known as Anna Bea, and Walter Lipscomb. In 2009 Anna Bea's passion for cooking and passion for people led her to create the "Feed My People Ministry". On the last Friday of each month this ministry offers a homemade meal, clothes and fellowship free to anyone in the community. Mr. Lipscomb was honored for his participation on the board of Community Voices Heard where he does what he loves most, fights for the rights of low-income families in the city of Yonkers, especially concerning affordable housing issues. 

Eel Study Begins Again  
eel hand

This spring, Groundwork is partnering again with New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation on their American Eel study.The American eel (Anguilla rostrata) is a migratory fish that is born in the Sargasso Sea, a region of the Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda, that migrates all the way to the Hudson River as tiny "glass eels" each spring. The juvenile eels depend on tributaries like the Saw Mill River for safe places to mature. The species is in decline over much of its range, and baseline studies are needed for further management.


Groundwork and Science Barge staff will be conducting the study on The Saw Mill River Mon-Wed and Sat and Sun from now through the end of May. The Beczak Environmental Center is conducting the study on Thursdays and Fridays. Last year, after finding dozens of glass eels at the mouth of the river, we found none at a test site further up-stream. We hope that the Daylighting of the Saw Mill River in Yonkers will help the juvenile eels make it further up the river to safety. Stay tuned for results!


Want to participate in the study? Join Bob Walters, Director of The Science Barge, on Saturdays and Sundays at 3:30pm and help conduct the study! Meet on The Science Barge at 99 Dock St. Yonkers, NY 10701.  

Science Barge & NYSERDA Teacher Trainingsolar panel


On March 30th, the Science Barge hosted the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA) "Focus on Solar" professional development workshop for teachers.  Attendees received in-depth energy education training and free Photovoltatic (PV) Car Kits for the classroom from NYSERDA's Energy Smart Students Program.  As a bonus, Science Barge educator Gwen Hill also demonstrated how PV can be integrated with hydroponic systems in the classroom, and participants sowed hydroponic basil seeds to take back to their schools!

New Signs on The Science Barge!barge signs   


Thanks to generous grants from Hitachi and the Hudson River Foundation, Groundwork was able to create and install three new interpretive signs on The Science Barge! Groundwork staff, with input from experts in each  of the signs subjects wrote text for the signs. Kimmie Nguyen with 3am Studio did a fantastic job designing the signs with original graphics and lots of color! Come visit and learn more about solar power, wind energy, wetlands, and tides. Stay tuned for signage focused on The Saw Mill River and bio fuels!


Hudson River Improvement fund of the

Hudson River Foundation

Hitachi logo

New batteries

New Batteries on The Barge! 


Through a wonderful donation from Domino Sugar in Yonkers and very generous technical assistance from Sound Associates in Yonkers, The Science Barge is now equipped with a brand new battery system! We now have
16 new Sunwize batteries hooked up so we can store electricity from our renewable energy systems. They have been installed very elegantly and can now be viewed behind a plexiglas window inside our shipping container office. Thank you Domino and Sound Associates!

Upcoming Events

Environmental Food Team

EFT logo

The Environmental Food Team is a program that brings older adults (55+) in Yonkers together for fun seminars on the history of food, cooking lessons and demonstrations, and field trips to local sustainable farms and gardens. Intergenerational events with local teens are also included in the program. All events are free and open to the public.


Why Join the Environmental Food Team?

  • Free Weekly Lectures
  • Opportunities For Getting Involved
  • Friendship
  • Free Tours
  • Free Interesting Movies
  • Free T-Shirts
  • Free Food Tastings

Click here to download flier.   


SCHEDULE:Tuesdays, 3:30 - 4:30 (At GW office: 22 Main St., 2nd Floor, Yonkers, NY 10701 unless otherwise noted). Call (914) 375-2151 for the meeting location for this week.


April 12           Tour of Wave Hill Visit Riverdale's Garden Gem. Meet at Wave Hill, 675 West                                 252nd Street, Bronx, New York 10471     

April 19           Genetically Modified Foods: Why All the Fuss? 

April 26           Film The Garden  

May 4              (Wednesday) Tour of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture  

May 7              (Saturday) Volunteer Opportunity Aboard the Science Barge: Eat Well Yonkers! 

                       We will be handing out free vegetables and providing information on healthy 

                       eating.  Free Tomato Plants!  

May 10             The History of Magical Foods

May 17             Film "Yosemite, Fate of Heaven" - Award winning film on balancing preservation                            and recreation            

May 24             Tasting: Edible Flowers 

May 31              Remember When II:  Foods and Fashion 

June 7              Tasting: African Food Cooking Demonstration  

June 11             (Saturday) Volunteer Opportunity Aboard the Science Bare: Eat Well Yonkers!

                        We will be running an activity for youth and speaking to parents about nutrition 

                        during our Water Sculpture Event. 

June 14             Imperial Mongolian Cooking: Even Invading Hordes Swap Recipes (GWHV)

Science Barge Opening Thursday, April 14th 5:30pm-7:30pm
Barge Glow


Join us to celebrate the Science Barge's 3rd year in Yonkers! Spring is  here, and the seedlings are settling into their hydroponic homes. Staff will give free tours, and refreshments will be served. This is a great time to meet and mingle with your neighbors and learn about our innovative model of sustainable urban agriculture.


The Science Barge is located at 99 Dock St., Yonkers, NY 10701 on the Yonkers waterfront. We are open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-6pm.    



Sunset Blessing of the Hudson River, Thursday, April 21st 5:30pm-7:30pm

Barge sunset


Lenape Native American tribal leader and other spiritual guides gather for the annual Blessing of the Hudson River at the Science Barge


Participants are invited to share their music, poetic prose or thoughts about Earth Day following the ceremony. Refreshments served. Call Bob  Walters for more information, 914-513-7354.


The Science Barge is located at 99 Dock St., Yonkers, NY 10701 on the Yonkers waterfront.


Sarah Lawrence College, Groundwork Hudson Valley and the Greyston Foundation Enviro-Earth Club, would like to extend and invitation to you to attend our Earth Day celebrations!


All events are FREE!


*Most of the Activities will take place at the Buena Vista Community Garden, weather permitting.


*Friday, April 15, 2011, at 4:00 p.m   * "Mother Earth Needs Help"

Help us to re-build Mother Earth. Dress in old clothes.


*Friday, April 22, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.* Earth Day Celebration":

Help clean the sidewalks and the community. Meet in front of the Buena Vista garden.

*Friday, April 29, 2011 at 4:00 p.m (Arbor Day) * GARDEN Clean Up"

Help prepare the Buena Vista Garden for the summer growing season.  


For more details, call Lucy at the Greyston Community Garden office at 914-376-3900 EXT. 294.


Invasive Vine Action Workshop: Thursday, April 28th (rain date Wed., May 4th)

TIME: 10am-2pm

PLACE: Westchester Manor, 140 Saw Mill River Rd. Hastings-on-Hudson, New York   


PURPOSE: Develop an action plan to eliminate invasive vines that pose a threat to the parkway and trailway and degrade river habitat that plants and animals depend on.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Parks officials, DOT officials, municipal leaders/staff, landscapers, conservationists, ecologists, business owners, community members, volunteers, students.


Special Guests: Greenburgh Nature Center's Hungry Goats! See them eat up the nasty invasive vines!  Even thorny multi-flora rose!

  • Opening Remarks. Light refreshments.
  • Walking Tour: Farragut Ave. Restoration Site with Sven Hoeger, Ecologist.
  • Speaker Series: Save money and people power while saving local habitat. Light lunch.
  • Keynote: Ken Kleinpeter- Director of Farm Facilities at Glynwood Institute. ken is a foremost practitioner of strategic grazing using goats, including large scale projects targeting invasive species at Ward Pound Ridge and the Glynwood Institute.
  • Robert DelTorto, Member of Board of Directors, Bronx River Parkway Reservation Conservancy. Bob worked for Westchester County for 33 years as Head of Volunteers.
  • Break-Out Session: What we can do to maintain a safe, healthy habitat and Parkway.
  • Discuss Results and Closing Remarks from Groundwork Hudson Valley.

SPONSORED BY: Groundwork Hudson Valley/Saw Mill River Coalition, Greenburgh Nature Center, Westchester Manor
FUNDING PROVIDED BY:  EPA Targeted Watershed, REI Yonkers
FOR MORE INFO/TO RSVP: Contact Emily at 914-375-2151/ or click the register button below!

Register for Invasive Vine Action Workshop in Hastings-On-Hudson,   on Eventbrite
Volunteer Opportunities

Free-A-Tree Invasive Vine-Cutting Clean-Up

Our next invasive vine-cutting will be held on Sunday, April 17th. Come out and work with our AmeriCorps Team and take part in Global Youth Service Day. Established in 1988, Global Youth Service Day is the largest service event in the world, and it is the only day of service dedicated to children and youth. GYSD is celebrated each year in over 100 countries.


Upcoming Dates:

Sunday, April 17th

Saturday and Sunday, May 14th and 15th 


All vine-cuttings will be held from 9:30 am-12:30 pm at the Farragut Avenue Restoration site. Please dress warmly. Volunteers under 16 years of age must be supervised by an adult. Training, tools, and refreshments provided.


From Saw Mill River Parkway going NORTH, Exit 13, Farragut Avenue. Turn right into parking lot.

From Saw Mill River Parkway going SOUTH, Exit 11, left on Tompkins Avenue to Saw Mill River Road and turn left. Turn left on Farragut Avenue then turn left into the parking lot. Access also from Saw Mill River Road (Ardsley side).
We will meet on the Trail North of the parking lot.


If you are interested in organizing an additional date for your group or need more information, please call Emily or Ann-Marie at 914-375-2151 or e-mail


Saw Mill River Spring Cleaning!Suburbia Girls Clean Up

With the onset of spring and Earth Month, now is a great time to get out and volunteer to clean-up our communities. Come pitch in on Sunday, April 17th from 10am-1pm and be part of Global Youth Service Day, the largest service event in the world, and the only day of service dedicated to children and youth. GYSD is celebrated each year in over 100 countries.

AmeriCorps NCCC, in collaboration with Groundwork Hudson Valley, the Yonkers Bike Club, and Coca Cola Bottling Company, is coordinating clean-ups at four locations throughout the watershed.


  • Odell & Nepperhan Ave., Yonkers

    From the Saw Mill River Parkway, take exit 9, Executive Blvd. Turn left on Nepperhan. Parking is available on the west side of Nepperhan north of Odell. 

  • Lawrence Street, between Saw Mill River Rd. & SMR  Parkway, Dobbs Ferry
    From Saw Mill River Parkway going NORTH
    : Make a right at exit 16, Lawrence Street. Make immediate left onto frontage road to park.

    From Saw Mill River Parkway going SOUTH
    : Make a left at exit 16, Lawrence Street.
    Make immediate left onto frontage road to park.
    Meet on the South County Trailway where it crosses Lawrence Avenue. 
  • Farragut Ave., Hastings  

    From Saw Mill River Parkway going NORTH, Exit 13, Farragut Ave. Right into parking lot.

    From Saw Mill River Parkway going SOUTH, Exit 11, left on Tompkins Avenue to Saw Mill River Road and turn left. Turn left on Farragut Avenue then turn left into the parking lot.  We will meet on the Trail North of the parking lot.

  • Elmsford (Coca-Cola Bottling employees)  
Call Emily at 914-375-2151 with questions or to RSVP. Download flier.


If you are interested in organizing an additional date for your group or need more information, please call Emily or Ann-Marie at 914-375-2151 or e-mail


Volunteer on The Science Barge
Barge volunteers

Sundays, 10am-12pm
Every Sunday, Barge Director Bob Walters will be on board coordinating volunteer projects between 10am and 12pm, before the Barge opens to the public. For more information call 914-375-2151 or e-mail

We will no longer be holding Thursday evening volunteer hours so that we can launch our Thursday Evening Lecture Series. These will be informative, fun events covering topics like Renewable Energy Systems in the Home, Canning and Pickling, Hydroponics, etc. We will distribute the schedule as soon as it is finalized!

May 14th & 15: Second Annual Great Saw Mill River Clean-Up!

stewardship turtle


Last year, over 250 people gathered at 10 sites along the Saw Mill River to remove trash and restore habitat. 


We need your help to make this event a resounding success again this year! Groundwork will help you find a site near you and provide all of the tools, supplies, and training you need.  


Participating groups last year included: Yonkers Bike Club, Westchester Jewish Community Services, Girl Scouts HH Northwest Troop 1755, Hudson River & Beyond Kayakers and Canoeists, Coca-Cola employees, Cub Scout Pack 338, Hillside Nature guides, Ardsley High School Environmental Club and more!  


To participate, contact Emily Eder at 914-375-2151 or e-mail or click on the registration button below.   


Register by May 1st to get your name on the back of the event T-shirt and to get a few T's for free!


Register for 2nd Annual Great Saw Mill River Clean-Up in Several locations from Yonkers to Chappaqua  on Eventbrite 


Start a Clean-Up Team! Plan a Clean-Up!

clean-up signAre you concerned about the trash you see on the streets and on local trails? Have you ever seen garbage or debris in the Saw Mill River and had the urge to clean it up
If so, it's time to plan your clean-up!

If you, your business, school, or community group would like to form a River Stewardship team and adopt a section of the Saw Mill River, a local street in the watershed, or any area along the Saw Mill River, 
contact Emily Eder at 914-375-2151 or e-mail

The Saw Mill River Coalition will help you plan your clean-up and supply all necessary materials. If your group commits to doing two or more clean-ups each year, we will give you your own picker-uppers and other helpful tools. Also, if you are interested in river restoration, we would be happy to schedule a presentation to your group.

Let's think globally and act locally by turning the Saw Mill Watershed into a trash-free zone!

We need your help!

Participate In Our Folks! Let Us Take Care of Your Yard and Make Repairs in Your Home!

Weather strippingIf you are an older adult living in Yonkers and need help with yard maintenance, routine repairs, or weatherizing your home for the winter -- please contact us!
We have trained our team of young "Our Folks" volunteers to efficiently and responsibly complete these tasks.

Call us and let us know what your needs are.  We will send a team of high school students, along with a Groundwork supervisor, to improve your home and help you out. We will bring our own tools!

An equally important part of this program is fostering bonds and friendships across generations. So if you sign up, be ready to chat, share stories, and lunch with the team.

To participate, contact Emily Eder at 914-375-2151 or e-mail

Volunteer Positions:

  • Public Relations/Social Media/Web Development Internship: Under the supervision of the GWHV management team, the intern will participate in the coordination of a comprehensive public and media relations strategy for GWHV. Tasks may include: Creating company blog and managing social media outreach via Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, et al; Collecting information for company newsletter; Writing press releases; Updating/maintaining media lists; General research and office duties. Knowledge of WordPress and Constant Contact a plus.   
  • Receptionist/Office Assistant: Help answer phones, greet visitors, and order supplies. This job is flexible and could lead to involvement with other projects if there is interest. Looking for friendly, mature volunteers with good phone and organizational skills.   
  • Volunteer Vine-Cutter (Hastings): Participate in monthly Free-A-Tree invasive vine-cuttings. Gain knowledge and hands-on experience with urban river restoration. Training and tools are provided. Vine-Cuttings are held one weekend day per month from October-May. Participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.   
  • Organize A Clean-Up: Get a few friends or neighbors together and organize a trash clean-up in your town! Help prevent trash from getting into the Saw Mill River, the Hudson River, and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean! If you organize a team of six or more, Groundwork will provide tools, training, and will help find a location for your clean-up.   
  • Organize A Green Car Wash: Are you looking for an eco-friendly way to raise money for your school group or favorite charity/non-profit? Look no further! Contact Groundwork Hudson Valley to learn about organizing an eco-friendly car wash. We can help provide supplies that will not pollute our local rivers and streams like common car washes do! Download flier.  
Call 914-375-2151 or respond to this e-mail if you are interested in any of these positions.

Groundwork newsletters written by Emily Eder.
Groundwork Hudson Valley, 22 Main St., 2nd Floor, Yonkers, NY 10701