Fall Kill Watershed Committee partners with the Casperkill Watershed Alliance, through Vassar's Environmental Research Institute, to offer "Creek Week" filled with educational and fun-filled activities, July 5-12, 2009.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—From the rural farms of Clinton to the City of Poughkeepsie, the Fall Kill Watershed covers a diversity of Dutchess County landscapes. To raise awareness of this important creek as well as the land that filters into our streams, wetlands and groundwater. From July 5 - 12, the Fall Kill Watershed Committee with support from Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program will present the second annual Creek Week. In an effort to expand the outreach for this program, the Fall Kill Watershed Committee has partnered with the Casperkill Watershed Alliance, through Vassar College’s Environmental Research Institute, and will provide a week of educational and fun-filled activities throughout the two watersheds.

“Creek Week is the perfect time for residents to learn about the water resources in their communities through a diversity of family- friendly, free events that focus on education and awareness,” said Jennifer Rubbo, Clearwater’s Fall Kill Watershed coordinator. “Families can learn about the impacts of stormwater, the history of the Creeks, or get more hands-on and clean up a spot in their community.”

A big part of this year’s Casperkill - Fall Kill Creek Week is the Adopt- A- Spot program. Considering that the watershed is made up of more then just the creek, volunteers throughout the city and the towns in the watershed will be taking the initiative to pick a spot and clean it up throughout the week.

Participating groups in this year’s Creek Week include the newly formed Volunteers Improving Poughkeepsie; Catharine Street Community Center; staff of Facial Plastic, Reconstructive & Laser Surgery, PLLC; staff of Rapport, Myers, Whitbeck, Shaw and Rodenhausen LLP; South Avenue Neighborhood Association; and Nubian Directions. A number of other groups are organizing their own volunteers and picking areas in their neighborhoods to clean up. The Fall Kill Watershed Committee is providing bags, gloves and helping to coordinate disposal of the collected garbage.

Picking up garbage is a practical, easy way for groups to take ownership of their neighborhoods and improve their local communities. Jessica Knapp, president of Poughkeepsie’s South Avenue Neighborhood Association, said, “The South Avenue Neighborhood Association is very excited about participating in the Adopt-A-Spot program for a second year. The health and beauty of the Fall Kill Creek is vital to the City of Poughkeepsie, and we look forward to once again doing our part to assist clean-up efforts during this rewarding and enjoyable event.”

A ribbon cutting event hosted by the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce will kick off of Dutchess Watershed Awareness Month on Wednesday, July 8 at 1:30 PM at Malcolm X Park on Mansion Street in the City of Poughkeepsie. (In case of rain, then event will take place instead in the Catharine Street Community Center.) Younger residents of Catharine Street will then begin cleaning up Malcolm X Park as part of the Adopt-A-Spot program, and Rubbo will host a short education program on “Creek Critters” as part of the the Casperkill - Fall Kill Creek Week. Light refreshments will be served.

Other highlights of the week include the unveiling of the “Reviving the Fall Kill – Creating Treasure from Trash” glass sculpture on Saturday, July 11 th , 11 AM at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum in Poughkeppsie. On April 25, over 50 volunteers came out to clean out the Fall Kill and collected glass from the creek that will be used in this new exhibit at the Children’s Museum. The artwork will act to raise awareness about the water quality issues that exist in the creek and educate young people about the watershed. Admittence to the museum will be free of charge until 11:30 AM in celebration of the unveiling.

On Thursday, July 9 at 10 AM, volunteers will assist in marking storm drains along the Main Street Corridor in the City of Poughkeespie. Storm drain markings are small disc-shaped markers that are permanently attached to the storm drains. They alert residents that water and anything else entering the drain goes directly into the Hudson River. The markings are used to deter dumping of waste pollutants, such as paint and oil, and raise awareness of how we can easily impact the water quality of our neighboring streams and rivers.

On Saturday, July 11 at 1:00 PM, a “build-your-own” rain barrel workshop will take place at Vassar Farms. For a $10 fee, participants will leave with their own functional and ready to install rain barrel, which can serve to reduce stormwater on their property. Registration is required and City of Poughkeepsie residents who take part in this workshop will receive free transportation to their home of the completed barrel from the City Department of Public Works. Rain barrels are used to collect rainwater from down spouts, which can then be used to water plants in backyard gardens and containers.

Several guided walks are also planned for the week to encourage people to get out and explore the creek and watershed while learning some new information at the same time. These include a stormwater walk along the Fall Kill in the City of Poughkeepsie on Thursday July 9; history walks at Val-Kill in Hyde Park and Maple Grove in the Town of Poughkeepsie on Friday, July 10; and a bird walk at Vassar Farms on Saturday, July 11.

For more information about the Casperkill- Fall Kill Creek Week contact Jennifer Rubbo at 845-454-7673 or

This year’s Creek Week is part of a much larger effort by the newly formed Dutchess Watershed Coalition and coordinated by Dutchess County Cornell Cooperative Extenstion. Thanks to the efforts of the coalition the entire month of July has been designated as Watershed Awareness Month, with small watershed groups throughout the county sponsoring fun, educational events focusing on our water resources.

“The actions we take on our land—the watershed—directly impact the quantity and quality of water in our groundwater, lakes and streams,” said Carolyn Klocker, watershed educator at the Dutchess County Cornell Cooperative Extension. “With concern over flooding and water quality increasing throughout the county, educational programs and hands-on events such as those occurring during Watershed Awareness Month are necessary to forge a connection between residents and give them an opportunity to understand the impacts they have on the land and estuaries in their community.”

Local business sponsors for watershed awareness month include Dutchess County MS4 Coordination Committee; Ecosystems Strategies, Inc.; Malcarne Contracting, Inc.; Royal Carting; and Rapport Meyers Whitbeck Shaw and Rodenhausen, LLP.

Click here for more information about events occurring throughout the month or contact Cornell Cooperative Extension at 845-677-8223.

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Posted by Office of Communications Monday, June 22, 2009