Tag Archives: NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation

2019 Clean Up Countdown – 6 Days to Go

Hutch Fact #3:

Below the I-95 overpass, the Hutch flows alongside the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary (part of Pelham Bay Park) which includes 195 acres of salt marsh. Once considered, useless swamp land, we now know that salt marshes are vital in creating and maintaining the habitats of many species of flora and fauna.  Find out more by visiting the Pelham Bay Park pages of the NYC Parks Dept. website.

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10th Annual Thomas Pell Sanctuary Clean Up

 

Students from SUNY Purchase at our 2018 Clean Up

The Hutchinson River Restoration project will be holding its 10th Annual Clean Up of the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary in Pelham Bay Park on Sunday, Sept. 15, 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.

Report from our 9th Annual HRRP Clean Up

HRRP had another productive and lively day, this past Sunday, with its 9th Annual Clean Up of the Hutchinson River & Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary.

Clean Up Crew from the Boys & Girls Club of Mt. Vernon, NY

Volunteers came from as far away as Brooklyn and Connecticut. We were joined once again this year by an enthusiastic group from the Boys & Girls Club of Mt. Vernon. They’ve been participating for the past three years now.

And, for the first time, a group of students from the Environmental Studies Program of SUNY Purchase, led by faculty advisor, Gareth Hougham, came down to volunteer, fresh from a beach clean up earlier in September.

SUNY Purchase Environmental Studies students with faculty advisor, Gareth Hougham

One gentleman who was just out for a walk decided to take a break and pitch in for a while.

As usual, quite a few bags of trash, recyclables, and larger pieces of discarded junk of various kinds were collected. One volunteer found two perfectly good baseballs. Inventories of what we collected will be sent to the American Littoral Society and Ocean Conservancy for their annual reports. The inventories will be posted to our website.

We want to thank everyone who helped organize and staff the event, with a special thanks to all our friends and neighbors who put in their time, commitment, and elbow grease to help us protect and preserve this important and unique ecosystem in our own backyard.

Here are some pics:

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.

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