Saturday, April 2nd, 2011, at 10am.

A morning of removing invasive vines, cleaning up trash, and assessing the condition of our park on the Hudson River!

All participants should park their cars in the park’s two lots, and not at the Metro-North train station. If you live in Sleepy Hollow or Tarrytown, please make this no-emissions event by walking or biking.

If you are interested in helping remove the porcelainberry, oriental bittersweet, and other invasives choking the trees between the park entrance and the new Scenic Hudson Katheryn Davis RiverWalk Center, bring your own pruners or loppers (but not hatchets, axes, or any other “swinging” tools, and no chain saws or other power tools), wear long sleeves and pants, and meet by the park entrance booth. Some gloves will be provided, but bring your own if you have them. For this work, adults and children over 12 only, please. For more on how we will control vines, see the Bronx River Conservancy’s VineCutter web site:

To clean trash, wear long clothes and bring gloves if you have them. Trash bags will be provided. Teams can clean the entire park. Please meet near the bathrooms near the parking lots. Younger children should be supervised by adults.

Teams assessing the condition of the park — looking for broken tables, holes in fences, etc. — should wear proper footwear. Younger children should be accompanied by adults.

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The Environmental Advisory Council submitted comments on the joint Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown Broadway Streetscape project. This is a $1 million project to rebuild the sidewalks, curbs, lighting, street trees, and other elements of Broadway between Gordon Avenue in Sleepy Hollow and Wildley Street in Tarrytown. The Westchester County Department of Planning is doing the design work.

You can read the EAC comments here. Walking is a sustainable mode of transportation. We are lucky to live in a very walkable community. This project should use the best available techniques to create a 21st-century pedestrian transportation corridor that makes a positive contribution to the natural infrastructure of our Villages.

Starting October 1st, 2010, the Village of Sleepy Hollow has enacted restrictions on the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers in order to reduce air and noise pollution.

Please see the new Leaf Blower page for more information.

Is it Native? Plant Databases.

September 25, 2010

These databases will help you find plants native to Westchester:

Metropolitan Flora Project (Brooklyn Botanic Garden)
Westchester Native Plants (Native Plant Center)
PLANTS Database (US Department of Agriculture)

The title of this post is a quote from a news article on a recent water crisis that many Sleepy Hollow residents weren’t aware was happening.

When New York City shut down our water supply to avoid contamination during a severe storm, Sleepy Hollow was left with only its inadequate 12-hour emergency supply.

The Department of Public Works improvised with great skill, but despite their efforts there would have been no water available to the fire department had a fire broken out and, had things gone just a little worse, no water to drink.

This is why water conservation isn’t an abstract practice with results invisible to the average person: When we work to reduce our collective water use, it is our own life and property we’re protecting.

Riverkeeper offers statistics on average water use and ways to reduce our water impact.

In the long term, we need to ask why we’re using drinking water to wash cars, water lawns, flush toilets, and put out fires.

UPDATE: Another water incident occurred in early May.

From the USDA Forest Service Northeast Area Watershed Program:

Clean water is one of our most important and valuable forest products. In urban areas, trees and forests reduce storm water runoff, cool the air, and provide critical refuge for fish and wildlife. Forests also help clean the air we breathe.

By filtering pollutants from air and water, storing water and nutrients, protecting soils, flood plains, and streams, and providing aesthetic and other human needs, forests bring significant benefits to our lands, waters, and communities. People depend on healthy and well-managed forest lands. Over 50 million people depend on northeastern forests, in part, to protect their water supplies.

Also see the Northeast Area’s Publications.

The Watershed.

January 8, 2010

“[A watershed is] that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.”

John Wesley Powell

Diagram of a watershed.

Online training in watershed management from the Environmental Protection Agency.