King Komments By White Plains City Councilman William King, Updated 03/19/02: Councilman William King, the “One Man Environmental protection Agency” on the Common Council, has been discovering to his horror, the shabby state of Westchester County-owned parklands in the city of White Plains. He’s also calling for city annexation of two Hale Avenue lots for parks and extensive cleanup of the Mamaroneck River within the city on April 6. Here are his latest observations with a call to action as Earth Day approaches.
We really have to put some fences up across the streams and stormwater flowages into the Bronx River from White Plains. Greenburgh and North Castle should too.
I just walked the river banks north of the County Center again over the weekend and the litter and trash on the banks is atrocious. Too much litter is flowing into the Bronx River. We have to catch it before it gets into the river. The river is being seriously affected by “non point source pollution.”
Calls for “Litter Catchers.”
We could have volunteer litter cleanups every other weekend all year long and we would not be able to catch up with the new litter floating in.
I will try to sponsor as many volunteer litter cleanups this year in the Bronx River as possible but I need some immediate action by the municipalities that they will do their civic duty in installing the fences and then starting having regular “litter catcher” cleanouts (at least once a week). We should install tight mesh screen fences that go below the water line and several feet above that would be several feet in front of every storm drain that pours directly into the Bronx River or into one of its tributaries. These Litter Catchers will catch the “floatables” before they wash further downstream.
I noticed many birds nesting in this area but it must be so lousy for them nesting amongst all the trash. Needless to say, all the litter in the river and along its banks and tributaries makes it totally uninviting to people, save for a few squatters here and there that I have noticed evidence of, and puts the whole Bronx River area in the “loser” category.
We’ve got to get serious and get on top of this lousy situation.
Storm Drain Mesh Covers Urged
We should also install new steel mesh covers over some of our existing storm drains which we know from cleaning out are in the more problematic litter areas. I noticed such covers recently over the manholes in Norwalk, Ct. which also has a riverfront area they are way ahead of us in reclaiming.
The whole Bronx River Parkway Reservation could be so much nicer and more pristine – otherwise, why have it?
The city of White Plains and the towns of Greenburgh and North Castle have to get more proactive about helping keep this county parkland cleaner. We all have to jump on this one – right now.
City should Annex Hale Avenue Trash Sites
I would also like to mention that there is a really strong argument for the city acquiring the vacant, overgrown lots on each side of the north end of Hale Ave. next to Fortunoff’s and across from the Westchester Pavilion for a neighborhood playground and extra open space/parking space.
The lots have just sat there for years and years and all kinds of trash have been dumped on them and not picked up by the owners, totally blighting the neighborhood. I picked up all the tires there and stacked them along with other major pieces of trash. This can’t be happening in our city while we are on the watch.
“Outdoor Junkyard” in Mamaroneck River
I was checking out this stream that runs behind the 2 lower income apt. buildings on the east side of Lake St and the County DOT garage in Harrison, just below Silver Lake. Just north of the northern building in the little woods there I noticed a big metal desk and other items that make it look like some kind of “outdoor junkyard office” or it could even be used for some kind of rudimentary outdoor sleeping accomodations.
I think this is City land. Can we (the city) check this out and, if on city property, clean this area out? Per the Rec Master Plan, I want to have some Boy Scouts and other volunteers clean out the stream along Delfino Park, from the I-287 bridge north to the Silver Lake dam. But if this big mess in the woods is there, the scouts and volunteers will feel their efforts will be in vain.
I would like to do the stream cleanup on Sat., April 6. Can the (Department of Public Works) guys get that desk and other big junk out there? I also think we need to cut back the dense overgrowth there by the stream so people can get to it and use it and so we can get the litter and trash out of there. Do we have such a crew?
Thanks, Bill King