This past Mother’s Day, The Hutchinson River Restoration Project led a walk along a segment of the Hutchinson River Greenway Trail. Organized in conjunction with Jane’s Walk, this annual event honors the life and legacy of author and activist Jane Jacobs. Our walk almost didn’t happen – with the rain and wind on Saturday soaking the area, the cold and blustery weather on Sunday morning, and having the walk scheduled on Mother’s Day, we didn’t expect much of a turn out. However, fifteen participants showed up, much to our surprise and relief. Our intrepid and undaunted walkers came by car, bus, bicycle, and on foot, expressing great interest and enthusiasm for the adventure that lay ahead.
The 1.5 mile walk, led by HRRP Board members Amelia Zaino and Carl Lundgren, took off from the Bartow Avenue entrance to the Greenway in Co-Op City and ended at the site of our annual Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary Clean-Up at Shore Road and City Island Road. Before heading out, Amelia gave a brief talk to the group explaining the purpose of the walk and that stops at various locations along the trail that would serve to illustrate the topics on which she would speak. This included information and facts about the flora, fauna, geology, and history of the Hutch system, as well as problems associated with development and neglect of the area over the past century, and the steps that are now being taken to correct them. Participants added their own insights, observations and knowledge making the walk much more than a pre-planned nature hike.
Nature itself seemed to join in with us. At one of the stops near cell towers erected alongside the Metro North tracks, we witnessed an egret with a fresh caught fish in its beak flying up to a nest it had built atop one of the towers, eliciting oohs and aahs from the group.
Our final stop was a walk down to the site of our annual clean up, near the Bronx Equestrian Center. The path down to the Hutch had been full of puddles the day before but was clean and dry for us. The clean up site is the only location along this walk where participants could actually see the Hutch up close. Amelia pointed out the egrets and cormorants that were fishing across the way from us. Some members of the group were surprised to see oyster, clam, and mussel shells on the beach, testifying to the fact that the Hutch, while threatened in so many ways, is still a living, breathing, and thriving ecosystem. It was here that we got into the more serious discussions about the state of the Hutch, the problems that just about all participants were aware of, and what the next steps are for HRRP and the future of the Hutch. HRRP will be planning more events like this on a regular basis. Planning for our September Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary Clean-Up is already underway.
Thanks to all who participated and made the walk a truly memorable event:
Amy G, Anne K, Bruce B, Carol D, Deb & Arne A, Ebony L, Jerry P, John C, Kevin D, Regina K, Tim F, and our HRRP Co-Chair Adjie Henderson.
Submitted by Carl Lundgren, HRRP Secretary-Treasurer and Social Media Admin