Sunday, April 25, 2010


So, what did you do this week to celebrate Earth Day? It was the 40th anniversary of the annual event which started in 1970 by a Wisconsin Senator as a national "teach-in" on environmental issues. Look what it has become.

While it was difficult for many people to take part in group clean-ups on Thursday, some of us got to tackle some hot spots solo. Likewise, we did see plenty of communal action this past Saturday throughout the City of Kingston under the title: "Kingston Clean Sweep" and what a successful day it turned out to be.

In what looked like swarms of bees with clear garbage bags, we saw eager folks sweeping sidewalks and rooting through bushes to reveal and collect debris from the uptown stockade district to the Rondout and everywhere between. Even the forgotten parks got a little attention.

I found myself rooting for recyclables down in the rail Chunnel along Hasbrouck & Delaware Avenue. There is a plan to really attack this mess in the near future. I'll get the details out there soon.

You may wonder what source of inspiration caused this surge in Kingston Pride. I would look no further than the resurgence of some citizen's interest groups that have developed in the last few years. The Neighborhood Watch Groups, Business Groups and the Kingston Digital Corridor as well as the emergence of technical connectedness that has bonded many of the faithful together in ways we'd never experienced before.

It doesn't end here in Kingston either. For the first time since the original Earth Day began, State lawmakers in both the Senate and Assembly pushed out environmental packages on the same day to mark the event.

From limiting state emissions of greenhouse gas to the more everyday issues like banning of a dangerous chemical from baby bottles and recycling of rechargeable batteries, and requiring recycling for items such as cellphones and computers. Many of these measures may not have happened had buses full of people not journeyed to Albany and lobbied our officials to do so.

Although several state environmental programs are expected to take a financial hit this year due to the wreck of a state budget, I expect concerned citizens will find a way to help bridge the gap through action and money. I think our experience this past weekend here in our city is a good indicator of that.

Glad to have taken part in what turned out to be a terrific start in keeping Kingston clean and welcoming for 2010.


debbie brown said...

It was heartening to see the many citizens out and about cleaning the streets. A happy bunch of "green shirts" doing their thing. I actually got some great exercise in reaching & bending for bottles and cans in the bushes. I must say that I was amazed by the number of cigarette butts that lined all of the streets of Kingston. I collected a 1/4 bag just on butts,cellophane and empty cartons of cigarettes and cigar plastic tips. Are we a city of massive smokers??? If so, we really need to concentrate on getting that figure down. It would certainly go a long way in keeping health costs down .But if you have to smoke, PLEASE deposit butts in a trash receptacle or if one is not around carry it with you until you find one!! Or better yet, give up the habit. You will definitely make Kingston's city streets a lot cleaner.
Also a big thank you to the Rondout House in Ward 9 for providing us a delicious BBQ after the Clean Sweep and to Hayes Clement for organizing our zone,dispensing T-Shirts plus carting our full bags to City Hall.

Mike, I am definitely interested in helping to clean up the railroad tracks on Delaware avenue. I could not believe the garbage that has accumulated in that area. Your picture does not do justice to the crap laying around. What a shame!

Anonymous said...

Amazing that on a chilly drizzly day like this, you can still appreciate what the Clean Sweep crews did this weekend. I see a difference at the curb throughout the Broadway corridor. Thank you so much.

Now the challenge will be to inspire the folks who thrive in our business districts to maintain the clean sidewalks. It's going to be tough. Has the city ever thought to purchase one of those sidewalk vacuums like they have in Poughkeepsie? That would help.

Anonymous said...

All of the cleanup is great and much appreciated - and I hope the example folks are putting forth is an inspiration to any others that aren't quite "there" yet.

Me? I'm focusing on our place --- and doing a lot of planting and such --- learning as much as I can (about doing it right) as I go.

I'm still not much of a "joiner" - so to speak... But I bet there were a lot of other people - like myself - that quiety tried to [and will continue to do so...] do their part.

Thanks everyone!


Anonymous said...

PS: There is an awesome video on You Tube - which I also placed on my blog - by (let's forget everything but his musical talent for a moment...) Michael Jackson. It is titled "Earth Song".

Check it out if you get a chance at --- or [it is down a ways now...] on my blog.