Teatown Hudson River Eaglefest Hosts Record Turnout

Over 4,000 attended EagleFest, a banner year for Teatown’s event

Brian Bradley flying raptors for a large crowd (Photo by Austin Schatz)

Teatown Hudson River EagleFest, the annual festival celebrating the bald eagle’s winter migration to the Hudson River, took place once again this past Saturday, February 8. The 4,000 participants included event attendees at Eagle Headquarters in Croton Point Park, program collaborators, volunteers, and visitors to the event’s 7 partner sites located along the river.

This year’s partner sites included Groundwork Hudson Valley’s Science Barge, The Echo Boat Launch in the Village of Croton (sponsored by Saw Mill River Audubon), George’s Island Park in Montrose (sponsored by Saw Mill River Audubon), the New Croton Dam (sponsored by Bedford Audubon), Steamboat Riverfront Park in Verplanck (sponsored by the Town of Cortlandt), the Riverfront Green in Peekskill (sponsored by the City of Peekskill), and the Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison.

Bill Clinton with Christine Peyreigne of Christine’s Critters (Photo Courtesy of Christine Peyreigne)

The event even drew some special attendees! Bill and Hillary Clinton accompanied by their daughter Chelsea and grandchildren, to see the live bird shows! Other special guests included County Executive George Latimer, State Senator Peter Harckham, State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Ossining Town Supervisor Dana Levenberg, Croton-on-Hudson Mayor Brian Pugh, and Westchester County Parks Department Commissioner Kathy O’Connor.

Each year, thousands flock to Croton Point Park to see live bird-of-prey shows and demonstrations, and especially to see wild bald eagles and other birds of prey thriving in their natural habitat along the Hudson River. Bald eagles, once on the brink of extirpation due to chemicals like DDT, have rebounded as a result of federal and state protections, and can now be seen nesting and hunting along the River.

Teatown set an impressive goal for the 2020 event: to only produce one bag of trash for the entire day of EagleFest. Teatown’s Community Environmentalist, Nadya Hall, is led this effort by working with vendors and the Parks Department. “Festivals are notorious for producing obscene amounts of trash,” said Nadya. “As we reflect on our own responsibility as environmental stewards, we are excited to rise to the challenge and tackle this ambitious goal with the help of our extended family of community volunteers.” Teatown nearly accomplished this goal, by only producing 1.5 bags of trash for the event.

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