Contact: Vic Benes
7th Annual CleanUpMillburn
Begins April 15th
The Girl Scout Council of Millburn Township Inc. received its charter from the organization in 1930 and since then has made a lasting impression. Participation in the week long string of events that make up the annual CleanUpMillburn effort is among their contributions. The week runs this year from April 15 to April 22. Various locations are cleaned by volunteers of all different varieties. Coordinators supply gloves and garbage bags to all sites as long as you’ve scheduled to receive them.
The annual cleanup project was initially inspired by the Rahway River Association, which schedules and organizes cleanup projects throughout the year and over the years. Locations such as the railway stations, parking lots, parks, and Rahway River in the Millburn and Short Hill areas are all targeted. In Millburn on Essex St. an area exists near the Department of Public Works where wind often blows the garbage into the railway stations, parking lots, Rahway River, and parks. The Rahway River is an important location to many fish and the pollution heavily affects their reproduction and spawn, which are dependent on the river.
The CleanUpMillburn effort is organized by the Millburn Environment Commission, chaired by Vic Benes. The effort is usually scheduled around Arbor Day, Earth Day, and the Taylor Park Green Fair. The effort is to encourage the community to get involved with keeping their town and public areas clean and educate children on the importance of the environment.
Volunteers can be individuals, families, organized groups, businesses, companies, Girl Scout groups, Scout groups, and school groups. Companies can participate in alternate ways by advertising the effort or allowing employees time off to participate for a few hours. Many organizations get involved, and so far this year the Short Hills Garden Club, Downtown Millburn Development Alliance, and the Millburn-Short Hills Chamber of Commerce have promised their involvement. Often local conservation groups also partake in the event, such as the South Mountain Conservancy and the Rahway River Association. In 2009, there were a total of 206 registered volunteers helping out during the week.
Getting the young community involved is key to the CleanUpMillburn initiative, according to Benes."The mission is education, so we concentrate on the younger kids," said Benes. "It's hard to change adults' habits. But if you can get kids into a repeated clean up event of some sort that is fun, it will stay with them."
This year on April 20 at 2:45 pm the tradition Taylor Park cleaning will take place, which is an event incorporated into the CleanUpMillburn effort. The Taylor park cleaning is left for the children who are willing to participate. In past years the Downtown Millburn Development Association chips in ice cream vouchers for all children who take a role.
The week long CleanUpMillburn effort is important to the community and hopes to build and grow in the future. All volunteers are expected to be ready to get dirty, wearing boots and long pants. It is advised to bring water and snacks to keep hydrated and energetic.
The Millburn Environment Commission (MEC) meets at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall on the first Monday of the month and welcomes active involvement from the community. To find out more about the MEC, visit the Millburn Web site, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Lauren Haag