BRONXVILLE, N.Y. At a kick off, held Wednesday morning on Paxton Avenue in Bronxville, County Executive Robert Astorino announced that volunteers will be stationed at five locations along the Bronx River in order to clear tree limbs, garbage and other debris.
Dubbed "River Rescue," the clean-up of the flood-prone river, scheduled for this Sunday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., is an effort to help the river flow a little more smoothly,
"After Hurricane Irene hit, residents asked what they can do to prevent floods," Astorino said. "River Rescue will not cure our chronic flooding problems, but it is a positive step forward, based on the idea that small steps especially when there is a collective energy behind them can make a difference."
Volunteers will be given gloves, bags and small tools at five locations: the stream behind the County Center and along the pathway north of the centers lot, a portion of the river near Main Street in White Plains, a portion of the river near the county tennis courts, near Anne's Way in Scarsdale, and a portion of the river near Bronxville Lake and a second Bronxville location near Headquarters Field. A shuttle bus service from the County Center is available.
The clean-up comes not a moment too soon for County Legislator Sheila Marcotte (R,C - District 10).
"When I was first appointed to the board I walked along the river, taking pictures near the Garth Road area, and I saw a car bumper in the river with the license plate still attached," Marcotte said. "I immediately brought this to the attention of the county executive and we started talking about what we can do about it."
Marcotte explained that because Westchester County owns the Bronx River, officials did not have to get local permits or permission, which would have delayed the project and cost the county money.
Calling the initiative a good first step, County Legislator Gordon Burrows (R - District 15) vowed to get further help for the portion of his district that covers the Village of Bronxville.
"It is unconscionable to me that a project done four years ago costing millions of dollars did not solve the problem we have in Bronxville," Burrows said, referring to the flooding at the Bronxville High School and surrounding neighborhood.
Astorino said about 50 volunteers had signed up to help and he was hopeful that more would participate.
Those interested can call 914-864-7318 or sign up online .
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