Category Archives: event

2019 Clean Up Countdown: C U @ the C. U. tomorrow

Here’s today’s Hutch Fact:

Hutch Fact #8:

The old expression, “out of sight, out of mind,” applies to the Hutchinson River. It’s easily the most hidden waterway in the Bronx, if not the city. Many area residents are not even aware of the Hutch, never mind strangers. There are few paths where you have access to the river. Most paths are overgrown or in disrepair. Some are makeshift. In most places, fences, walls, and commercial and residential developments prevent access.

You can catch glimpses of the Hutch as you drive along the Hutchinson River Parkway or cross one of the six bridges that span the river in the Bronx, but access to the river from these locations would be illegal and dangerous. In Westchester, except for Lake Innisfree, which was developed for recreational uses, the Hutch flows through the backyards of private residences.

Because of this inaccessability, the Hutch has been subjected to all kinds of projects that have endangered life in and along it’s waters.

The dredging of the Hutch by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to turn it into a shipping channel in the late 19th century damaged and irrevocably changed the character and the ecosystems of the Hutch.

Storm and sewage conduits are continually spewing waste into the Hutch.

The commercial development of parts of the area — first, with Freedomland and then with Coop City — further compromised the Hutch.

The old Pelham landfill and dump (dubbed “Mt. Garbage” by some) on the West bank of the Hutch was used for decades by the Dept. of Sanitation until it was ordered closed in 1968. It was responsible for all types of toxic and noxious pollutants leeching into the Hutch and Eastchester Bay. These toxins were also responsible for many cases of leukemia and other diseases in nearby residents, particularly children. In 1967, the creation of the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary was signed into law to prevent any more parkland from being threatened.

Now the Hutch is being threatened by rising sea levels due to climate change, and by two man-made projects: a proposal by the USACE to build a sea gate across the mouth of the Hutch, which could destroy the salt marshes, and a plan by the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection to construct a water chlorination plant to deal with storm and sewage effluent. This could harm much of the aquatic life in the river, especially at a time when we’re just starting to revive it.

This where HRRP comes in. It’s our mission to educate the public about the Hutch’s history and importance as a vital ecosystem, to work with our communities to make the Hutch safe for recreation and nature, and to raise awareness and calls to action to prevent any further threats and damage.

Tomorrow, Sept. 15th 2019, we’ll be holding our 10th annual Clean Up of the Thomas Pell Sanctuary. It’s one of the most direct ways in which the public can help spread the message about this wonderous resource in our own backyard and keep it “In sight, in mind.”

#RestoreTheHutch

2019 Clean Up Countdown: 2 days to go

Here’s today’s Hutch Fact:

Hutch Fact #7:

Our HRRP Clean Ups are done in conjunction with the American Littoral Society and the Ocean Conservancy. We submit detailed reports to both groups after every clean up as a way to monitor the overall health of our waterways. The reports are divided into different categories of refuse we collect: Most Likely To Find Items, Fishing Gear, Packaging Materials, Other Trash, Personal Hygiene. There are also sections for: Items of Local Concern, Tiny Trash, and Dead /Injured Animals. The Ocean Conservancy Report has an additional space for “The Most Unusual Items Found.”

Last year we filled 79 large trash bags of refuse (in addition to large bulky items) collected from the different sites we visit and the area from which we launch. We separate what we’ve collected into recyclables and non-recyclable trash. You can see the complete reports under the Documents section of our website.

#RestoreTheHutch

 

2019 Clean Up Countdown: 3 Days to Go

Here’s today’s Hutch Fact:

Hutch Fact #6:

Although the Hutch has been called the dirtiest river in the Bronx, it teems with life and is slowly becoming cleaner and healthier. Walk along the banks of the river and you’ll still find mussels, oysters, and horeshoe and fiddler crabs in the shallow waters near the shoreline just as the native Lenape people (mistakenly called the Siwanoy) and the later Dutch and English settlers did, and depended upon. They were an important food source for both the human and animal inhabitants. We sometimes find fiddler crabs living in abandoned tires during our clean ups. Due to the efforts of local residents and groups like HRRP, the oyster  and mussel beds are beginning to thrive once again.

#RestoreTheHutch

2019 Clean Up Countdown: 4 Days to Go

Here’s today’s Hutch Fact:

© 2018 Nathan Kensinger for CURBED New York

Hutch Fact #5:

The Hutch serves as a commercial waterway for businesses and utilities around the Bronx / Westchester border. To bring commerce to the Hutch, at the request of businessmen in Mt. Vernon in 1895, the US Army Corps of Engineers, widened, straightened and dredged the river turning it into a ship canal. But by doing so, much of the surrounding ecosystems were harmed, with many native species dying off. Through the efforts of groups like HRRP, the river is slowly being restored.

#RestoreTheHutch

2019 Clean Up Countdown: 5 Days to Go

Here’s today’s Hutch Fact:

© 2019 Meagan Dwyer, Lake Innisfree Conservancy

Hutch Fact #4:

From it’s source in Scarsdale, the Hutch flows South between Eastchester and New Rochelle into a manmade lake called Lake Innisfree. Originally constructed as a series of three reservoirs supplying water to New Rochelle and Eastchester in the late 19th / early 20th century, it was later developed into a recreational lake for swimming, boating and fishing.

One Week Until the 2019 Hutch Clean Up

Here’s today’s Hutch Fact:
Hutch Fact #2:
Like the Bronx and Hudson Rivers, the Hutch is a tidal estuary. The fresh water from upstream meets with the salt water of the Long Island Sound right around the Bronx / Westchester border. The Hutch is affected by tide cycles and has very strong currents at this point. This determines when our clean ups are scheduled and where the clean up sites will be.
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I-95 overpass spanning the Hutch. This is the Bronx / Westchester county line.

#RestoreTheHutch

8 Days Until Our 2019 Clean Up

Hey, everybody. Don’t forget: only 8 days until the 10th Annual HRRP Clean Up. If you’re going to help with the work, make sure to wear old clothes. We’ll supply gloves, shoe coverings, and trash bags. And even if you can’t help with the clean up, drop by anyway to learn more about the Hutchinson River and take in the scenic views of the Bronx’ hidden treasure.

As a lead up to our annual clean up on Sept. 15th, we’ll be posting some interesting facts about the Hutch each day: Hutch Facts.

Hutch Fact #1:
The Hutch begins its journey as a fresh water spring located in Scarsdale (center of pic).

#RestoreTheHutch

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.

Volunteer for the 7th Annual Hutch Cleanup

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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.

Pics from our 6th Annual Cleanup

The weather was perfect this past Sunday for our HRRP 6th Annual Shoreline Cleanup. The event was very well attended, with more participation by local youth groups than ever before, and coverage by the local press. A video crew was there to record the event for a documentary / promotional video.

Below are some of the pics from the day. If you participated in the cleanup and took your own pics, please feel free to post them to our Facebook page –  www.facebook.com/HutchinsonRRP – or email them to hutchinsonriver@gmail.com, and we’ll upload them to our website. Be sure to include your name so we can give credit where due.

Thank to everyone who came out. Hope to see you again next year.

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