9th Annual HRRP Pell Sanctuary Clean Up

The Hutchinson River Restoration project will be holding our 9th Annual Clean Up of the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary in Pelham Bay Park on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 from 9 AM — 3 PM.

The Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest salt marsh ecosystem in the Bronx and the second largest in NYC (the salt marsh in Jamaica Bay Park in Queens is the largest).

This annual event is a great way to:

  • learn about an important and crucial ecosystem right in our own backyard,
  • gather with friends and neighbors to support our community,
  • do your part in protecting the environment,
  • feel a sense of accomplishment and pride,
  • and have some good, clean(up) fun

Volunteers will assemble on the southwest corner of City Island Rd. and Shore Rd., Bronx, NY (across from the Pelham Bit Stables). The BX29 bus stops right there. Gloves, waterproof shoe coverings, and light refreshments will be provided.

Parking will be available in the Turtle Cove Driving Range parking area on City Island Rd.
For more information, call 718.885.9653
“Like” us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HutchinsonRRP
Follow us on Twitter: @Hutchinsonriver
Hashtag: #RestoreTheHutch
This project is supported by American Rivers, the American Littoral Society, and the Urban Park Rangers.

About Salt Marshes and the Thomas Pell Sanctuary*:

“Salt marshes play a critical role in the support of human life, acting as natural filtration systems by trapping pollutants that would otherwise contaminate our bays and oceans. Salt marshes have the ability to absorb fertilizers, improve water quality, and reduce erosion. They are also among the richest wildlife habitats.”

“The Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary and the Hunter Island Marine Zoology and Geology Sanctuary in the northeast Bronx consist of a total of 489 acres of marshes and forests within Pelham Bay Park. The City began landfill operations near this area on Tallapoosa Point in Pelham Bay Park in 1963. Plans to expand the landfills in Pelham Bay Park in 1966, which would have created the City’s second-largest refuse disposal site next to Fresh Kills in Staten Island, were met with widespread community opposition led by Councilmember Mario Merola, later Bronx District Attorney. This struggle resulted in the creation of the sanctuaries by a local law, signed by Mayor John V. Lindsay on October 11, 1967.”

“The Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary makes up the westerly part of Pelham Bay Park (2,764 acres). Included within its bounds are Goose Creek Marsh and the saltwater wetlands adjoining the Hutchinson River as well as Goose Island, Split Rock, and the oak-hickory forests bordering the Split Rock Golf Course. The area is home to a variety of wildlife including raccoon, egrets, hawks, and the occasional ibis or coyote. The Sanctuary is named for Thomas Pell, the first European to control the land. Pell signed a treaty with the Siwanoy, the Native American tribe that previously occupied this area, in 1654, marking the first time a Briton owned significant property near Dutch New Amsterdam.”

*courtesy of the NYC Parks Dept.

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C’mon out to the 8th Annual HRRP Sanctuary Clean Up

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A scene from our 2015 Cleanup

You’re invited to join HRRP for our 8th Annual Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary Cleanup. The event will be held on Sunday September 17, 2017 from 9am — 3pm. Volunteers will assemble on the southwest corner of City Island Rd. and Shore Rd., Bronx, NY (across from the Pelham Bit Stables). The BX29 bus stops right there.

Parking will be available in the Turtle Cove Driving Range parking area on City Island Rd.
The goals of the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary Cleanup Project are to bring the existence of the Sanctuary. located in Pelham Bay Park,  to the community’s attention and to continue the cleanup of the debris (bottles, plastic,tires, etc.) that is found on its one and a half mile shore on the east bank of the Hutchinson River. The Pell Sanctuary is the largest salt marsh habitat in New York City outside of Jamaica Bay. It is only accessible from the Hutchinson River. It is impossible to reach this shore from the land because the land is swampy and devoid of trails. Because of this limited accessibility, the only way to approach the cleanup area is by boat. So that the sanctuary nesting cycle is not disturbed, access is limited until Summer’s end. The third limit is overall working environment, weather and tides. Experience has shown that rising tide is the major factor. Considering these limits, Sunday September 17, 2017 has been selected. The volunteers will be taken to the cleanup sites by canoe or power boat. At the sites the cleanup parties will place recovered trash in bags which will then be placed in the power boats and taken to the shore processing point. The power boats will continue to return to the cleanup sites until all bags and volunteers are recovered.
For more info, contact Hutchinson River Restoration Project (HRRP) at 718 885 9653 or HutchinsonRRP@aol.com.
“Like” us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HutchinsonRRP
Follow us on Twitter: @Hutchinsonriver
Hashtag: #RestoreTheHutch
This Project is supported by American Rivers, the American Littoral Society, and the Urban Park Rangers.

2017 HRRP Jane’s Walk

Join HRRP for our 2017 Jane’s Walk, as we hike along the trail to the top of the Pelham Bay land fill, to view the Hutchinson River and surroundings from a unique perspective. This year, we’re proud have Pelham Bay Park’s Natural Areas Manager, John Grayley, lead our walk. John will talk about the history and current condition of the Hutch.


From the Jane’s Walk website:
What is a Jane’s Walk?: Jane’s Walks are free, locally organized walking tours, in which people get together to explore, talk about and celebrate their neighborhoods. Where more traditional tours are a bit like walking lectures, a Jane’s Walk is more of a walking conversation. Leaders share their knowledge, but also encourage discussion and participation among the walkers.

A Jane’s Walk can focus on almost any aspect of a neighborhood, and on almost any topic you can think of. Walks can be serious or funny, informative or exploratory; they can look at the history of a place, or at what’s happening there right now. Anyone can lead a walk — because everyone is an expert on the place where they live!

Our Mission: To develop urban literacy and a community-based approach to city building by encouraging citizen-led walking tours that make space for every person to observe, reflect, share, question and collectively reimagine the places in which they live, work and play. In this way, we honour the legacy of Jane Jacobs whose writings championed the voices of local residents in neighborhood planning.

Why did we start Jane’s Walks?: Jane’s Walks can be educational, and a lot of fun. You can meet your neighbours, make new friends, and exchange business cards with new contacts. You can learn something new, and share what you know. But there are some big ideas behind these walks as well — and they come from Jane Jacobs, the organization’s namesake.

Jacobs was not a city planner by training; she was just a concerned citizen who spent a lot of time observing city life around her, first in New York City, then in Toronto. From her observations, she developed some theories about what makes a city a great place to live. After she passed away in 2006, Jane’s Walk was founded in Toronto by a group of her friends and colleagues who wanted to honour her ideas and legacy.

In her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jacobs wrote:

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”

Jacobs believed in walkable neighborhoods, urban literacy, and cities planned for and by people. That is, for a city to work, the people who live there must be involved in decisions about how the city grows and is run. Staying informed about civic issues, learning the basic concepts of urban planning, and meeting the people who make the decisions are all good ways to do this — and are all things you can do on Jane’s Walks.

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The event is free and open to everyone, however, the NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation (which runs the site) has asked us to limit participants to no more than 40, so registration is on a first come / first served basis. You may sign up on our Jane’s Walk 2016 website page: https://hutchinsonriver.wordpress.com/janes-walk-sign-up/ or you can use the sign up button at the top of our FB page.

DATE & TIME: Saturday, May 6th, 2 – 4 pm.

LOCATION: Assemble at the entrance to the landfill located just before the Pelham Bridge on Shore Rd.

DIRECTIONS:

By Public Transportation:
Subway: #6 Pelham Bay Line to Pelham Bay Park (last stop)
Bus: BX5, 8, 12, 23, 24, 29, Q50, #45 Bee Line to Pelham Bay Park #6 station
Cross over Bruckner Expwy. to Pelham Bay Park and follow road Northeast passed Bronx Victory Memorial to land fill entrance just before traffic light.

By Car:
Pelham Parkway East: passed I-95 overpass and entrance ramp to I-95 North, first right just before traffic light into land fill parking lot.
Hutchinson River Parkway North: Exit 3E, continue on service road to Pelham Parkway East, passed I-95 overpass and entrance ramp to I-95 North, first right just before traffic light into land fill parking lot.
Hutchinson River Parkway South: Exit 3E on to Pelham Parkway East, passed I-95 overpass and entrance ramp to I-95 North, first right just before traffic light into land fill parking lot.
I-95 North (Bruckner Expwy.): Stay to the right and take City Island/Orchard Beach exit 8B, follow road Northeast passed Bronx Victory Memorial to land fill entrance.
I-95 South: Exit 8B on to Pelham Parkway East, passed I-95 overpass and entrance ramp to I-95 North, first right just before traffic light into land fill parking lot.

Hutchinson River, Bronx

Sergey Kadinsky is the author of the book “Hidden Waters of New York City” and the companion “Hidden Waters blog.” This section on the Hutch gives a detailed account of the history, geography, and current state of the river. Kadinsky will be giving a lecture on the Hutch and other Northeast Bronx waters this Sunday, Apr. 2 at 2pm at the Bartow-Pell Mansion on Shore Road.

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About the author: “Sergey Kadinsky is an analyst at the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and an adjunct professor of history at Touro College.

He is a licensed tour guide who paid his way through college atop the double-decker Gray Line buses.

Kadinsky is a contributor to Forgotten New York, a local history website. His articles on the city’s history appeared in New York Post, New York Daily News, and Queens Chronicle, among other publications.”

Hidden Waters blog

At the city’s extreme northeast is Pelham Bay Park, a vast greensward that is three times the size of Central Park. One could not feel more distant from the city when visiting the park’s destinations: Orchard Beach, Bartow-Pell Mansion, Split Rock Golf Course, and the trails of Hunter Island and Twin Islands. On the inland side of the park is the Hutchinson River, known to most New Yorkers as the namesake of the parkway that follows its course.

hutch pkwy 2.JPG

The river has a history relating to the conflict among Puritan colonists in New England that led to the English annexation of New Netherlands.

View original post 3,357 more words

Life and death on the Hutch

A dolphin was found dead in the waters of the Hutch on Friday. The body was seen floating near Glover Park in a section of the river between Pelham and Mt. Vernon that is heavily industrialized and polluted.

The issue of raw sewage draining into the Hutch by the six municipalities along the river was just discussed at last Monday’s HRRP monthly meeting.

The dolphin’s body was removed by County Police and turned over to the DEC for a necropsy on Saturday. The results haven’t been released yet.

This tragedy serves to underscore the reasons for the formation of HRRP. The Hutch is considered to be the most polluted river in New York State. The efforts of HRRP are helping to make a difference but without cooperation — and funding — from the local municipalities, elected officials, and governmental agencies, our work is considerably more challenging.

The Hutch runs through the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary, part of the last remaining salt marsh ecosystem in the Bronx.

We urge you to consider subscribing to our HRRP Google Group email list so that you can keep informed and help in our efforts: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/hutchinson-river

You can also Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HutchinsonRRP/ and Follow Us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hutchinsonriver

Our next Hutch Cleanup will take place in September, TBD. You can join us on Saturday, May 6th from 2-4pm for our annual Jane’s Walk to the top of the Pelham landfill for a spectacular view of the Hutch and surroundings.

Other articles and videos:


[HRRP President, Eleanor Rae, was interviewed in this video from Fios 1 News]

Click here to view video

Scientists Glimpse New York’s Perilous Path in an Ancient Patch of Marsh

[The Hutchinson River ecosystem, which includes one of the last remaining salt marshes in NYC, has recently come to the notice, interest and scrutiny of scientists and water advocacy groups for various studies, testing and monitoring. HRRP is very pleased that the Hutch is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Our hope is that this attention will lead to greater efforts in cleaning up and restoring the river. Our work has taken on even more significance now. At our January Board meeting, we discussed the possibility of HRRP taking on a larger role by assisting in some of these efforts. We’ll let you know what happens.]


In Pelham Bay in the Bronx, an ancient salt marsh has provided a unique laboratory to study historic sea levels and perhaps see what lies ahead. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

2016 Hutch Cleanup Reports

hrrp-bannerHere are the reports from our 7th annual cleanup on Sept. 18th. We file these reports each year with the American Littoral Society and the Ocean Conservancy so they can record and track the data for surveys and progress reports about the health of our waterways. These files are also uploaded to the “Documents” section of our website.

58 people participated this year, the most ever. We want to thank everyone for your efforts in helping to restore this treasure in our own back yard, and in helping to protect the ecosystem of one of the last remaining salt marshes in NYC.

We’l be posting pictures from the cleanup soon.


Click on images to view full size

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2016_oc-_report_2

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Cleanup Follow up

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We hope you all had an exciting, enjoyable and worthwhile day at our 7th Annual Hutch Cleanup. We’ll be submitting reports to the American Littoral Society and the Ocean Conservancy which sponsor and monitor these cleanups. The reports will be uploaded to the Documents section of the website for you to review.

We’d also like this year’s participants to report back to us as well. We’ve created a form on the website where you can give us your feedback about the event, for example, what site  you went to; the strangest / most unexpected thing you found; what you learned; suggestions and ideas for improving the event; or any other comments you want to make.

Go to our  “2016 Cleanup Participant Survey” page to fill out and submit the form. (your personal information will not be seen on the site). Or you may comment in the “Leave a Reply” box  at the bottom of the page.

Our thanks to everyone who helped out today. You are making a difference. Hope to see you at next year’s cleanup.

Volunteer for the 7th Annual Hutch Cleanup

0920151002d

A scene from our 2015 Cleanup

You’re invited to join HRRP for our 7th Annual Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary Cleanup. The event will be held on Sunday September 18, 2016 from 9am — 3pm. Volunteers will assemble on the southwest corner of City Island Rd. and Shore Rd., Bronx, NY (across from the Pelham Bit Stables). The BX29 bus stops right there.

Parking will be available in the Turtle Cove Driving Range parking area on City Island Rd.
 
The goals of the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary Cleanup Project are to bring the existence of the Sanctuary. located in Pelham Bay Park,  to the community’s attention and to continue the cleanup of the debris (bottles, plastic,tires, etc.) that is found on its one and a half mile shore on the east bank of the Hutchinson River. The Pell Sanctuary is the largest salt marsh habitat in New York City outside of Jamaica Bay. It is only accessible from the Hutchinson River. It is impossible to reach this shore from the land because the land is swampy and devoid of trails. Because of this limited accessibility, the only way to approach the cleanup area is by boat. So that the sanctuary nesting cycle is not disturbed, access is limited until Summer’s end. The third limit is overall working environment, weather and tides. Experience has shown that rising tide is the major factor. Considering these limits, Sunday September 18, 2016 has been selected. The volunteers will be taken to the cleanup sites by canoe or power boat. At the sites the cleanup parties will place recovered trash in bags which will then be placed in the power boats and taken to the shore processing point. The power boats will continue to return to the cleanup sites until all bags and volunteers are recovered.
 
For more info, contact Hutchinson River Restoration Project (HRRP) at 718 885 9653 or HutchinsonRRP@aol.com.
 
“Like” us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HutchinsonRRP
Follow us on Twitter: @Hutchinsonriver
Hashtag: #RestoreTheHutch
 
This Project is supported by American Rivers, the American Littoral Society, and the Urban Park Rangers.

Cleaning Up ‘The Hutch’

[Here’s the article by George Goss for which members of HRRP recently sat for an  interview. It appears in the latest edition  of Science and the City, published by NY City News Service.]

Cleaning Up ‘The Hutch’

STREAMLINED: The Hutchinson River, as seen from Pascap Scrapyard. Photo Credit: George Goss
STREAMLINED: The Hutchinson River, as seen from Pascap Scrapyard. Photo Credit: George Goss

BRONX – Part of the Hutchinson River near Mount Vernon recently earned the distinction of being the most fecal-contaminated of 52 sites of waterway tested in the Long Island Sound watershed by Save the Sound. The Hutchinson River Restoration Project, an environmental group advocating for a cleaner river, said that public access for kayakers and canoeists is necessary to end the pollution.

“Basically, we are interested in and hoping that someday ‘the Hutch’ will be something that people can use. You know, right now it is not accessible,” said Eleanor Rae, president of the Hutchinson River Restoration Project. “Public access is key.” Continue reading