WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Volunteers from four watershed groups are gathering on Saturday for West Springfield’s Third Annual Westfield River Cleanup.
The cleanup will take place on Saturday, November 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to Heather Wyman, a member of both the Westfield River Watershed Association (WRWA) and the Western Mass Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC).
“Along with the West Springfield Environmental Committee and the City of West Springfield, volunteers will collaborate to make a significant difference in our watershed,” said Wyman. “We’ve made a huge dent in the amount of dumped trash and abandoned encampments. Our combined efforts improve the recreation ability for hundreds of local residents and their families who enjoy visiting the River and walking its banks.” Wyman went on to explain that there are three abandoned campsites that are targeted for this cleanup including remaining trash at an area called “The Bunker.”
According to the Westfield River Watershed Association, it was founded in 1953 to protect and improve the watershed’s natural resources, as well as to expand recreational and other land use opportunities to make it more enjoyable and ecologically sound.
Families and teenagers are encouraged to participate, as well as organized groups such as Scouts and sports teams. “We appreciate everyone who comes out to help,” she added. “Drop-ins are welcome, but we do appreciate an RSVP to let us know who to expect as all participants must sign a waiver.” Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
The volunteers are expected to meet at the River St. dike across from Heywood Ave. Vehicles with low clearance should park on the street. If possible, participants should dress appropriately for the weather and bring their own water bottles.
As part of the event, the City will provide trash bags, the WRWA will provide gloves and grabbers, and the Western Mass AMC will provide water and light snacks. A mask will also be provided for workers who will be working around trash.