Declaring April “Earth Month,” Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino has announced a wide variety of “green” initiatives to celebrate conservation and to strengthen and improve Westchester’s local natural resources.
While all residents should be stewards of the environment all year long, April serves as our reminder of this civic duty and helps highlight some specific initiatives we can all participate in,” said Astorino.
Throughout April residents can learn daily “green” facts and tips by following @WestchesterGov on Twitter. The environmentally friendly facts and tips will also be made available on www.westerchestergov.com
Calendar of Earth Month events:
- Thursday, April 11 – Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Household Material Recovery Facility (H-MRF) in Valhalla with extended hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Sunday, April 14 – “Pitch in for Parks.” The county’s largest one-day volunteer clean-up of our local parks.
- Sunday, April 21 – Earth Day Celebration at the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla. A day of fun, food, environmental awards and the unveiling of a new green initiative to protect our environment.
- Friday, April 26 – Arbor Day. Encouraging the re-planting of trees to replace those lost during Hurricane Sandy, complete with expert instruction, at Saxon Woods Park in White Plains.
Highlights of the upcoming events:
One-year anniversary of Westchester’s Household Material Recovery Facility, or H-MRF
In the past year, this state-of-the-art facility at the Grasslands Reservation in Valhalla has collected more than 300,000 tons of items such as hazardous chemicals, tires, Freon-containing appliances and electronics, all for environmentally-sound recycling and disposal. On Thursday, April 11, the H-MRF will have extended hours for collection from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Astorino will hold a press conference at 12 p.m. (noon) to highlight the successes of the H-MRF.
The H-MRF operates three days a week on an appointment-only basis and is the place to responsibly discard hard-to-dispose household products, such as cleaning solutions, pesticides, tires, motor oil and other automotive fluids, re-chargeable batteries, electronic waste, propane tanks, medications and confidential documents for shredding. It is open to all county residents – although people in the seven communities that are not part of the county’s Refuse Disposal District (Bedford, Lewisboro, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers) pay a small fee (for example, 75 cents per pound for most items; $5-10 for each appliance). Westchester residents in all other municipalities can use this service free of charge.
Westchester residents can go to http://environment.westchestergov.com/new-h-mrf to make an appointment; or call the Westchester Recycling HelpLine at (914) 813-5425.
Pitch in for Parks
Each year as many as 1,500 volunteers come out for the Pitch in for Parks event, sponsored by the county’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation. This year’s event will take placeSunday, April 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers in this program play an active role in the stewardship of the more than 18,000 acres of Westchester County parks, trails and nature centers. They can choose a favorite park and help with such tasks as trail clearing and pruning, flower bed preparation, debris removal, staining, painting and sweeping.
Astorino will be volunteering on Sunday, April 14, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. to clean up Glen Island Park in New Rochelle, which was particularly hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.
For more information, visit www.westchestergov.com/parks. To sign up to help clean up a specific park call (914) 864-7318.
Earth Day Celebration
The county’s Earth Day celebration will take place at the Kensico Dam Plaza on Sunday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.It is sponsored by the county’s departments of Environmental Facilities and Parks and Recreation as well as the Friends of Westchester County Parks. There will be live entertainment, kids’ activities, informational exhibits and a farmer’s market, among other things. At 12 p.m. (noon), Astorino will present the county’s annual Earth Day awards for environmental achievements and successful grassroots efforts in school and community programs. Astorino will also unveil a new green initiative for residents to help protect our local environment.
Friday, April 26 is Arbor Day, and this year the day takes on added significance in Westchester as the county lost hundreds of trees during Hurricane Sandy. To celebrate Arbor Day and to help rebuild the local “tree inventory,” on Friday, April 16, at 1 p.m., Astorino will be planting a young Winter King Hawthorn seedling at Saxon Woods Park in White Plains. Local residents are welcome to attend and learn from a tree expert on hand how to properly select a location, plant and nurture a tree in their area.