River Day 2017 set for May 7

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — South Orange River Day is the annual community gathering to clean up the village’s section of the Rahway River and celebrate environmental education and awareness with food, fun, music and art. It’s a family-friendly way to connect with your neighbors and the environment. This year will include the usual volunteer river clean up, music, food, and educational, environmental and watershed exhibits, as well as a few new things.

The fun all takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, at the newly renovated Skate House on the duck pond off of Mead Street in South Orange.

Participants will be greeted with a Lenape Nation traditional welcome. Tribal representatives will be on hand to welcome participants to River Day in the traditional language of the people who have lived here for thousands of years. River Day volunteers can also join local artist Denise Hayden to help create a participatory environmental art piece involving natural and found objects from the river. Last but not least, as part of the Environmental Commission’s ongoing effort to reduce the use of plastic, river cleanup volunteers will be asked to separate plastic bottles from all the other trash they pull from the river. These plastic bottles will then be assembled, onsite, into a collection/exhibit so future visitors to the park can see what one day of plastic bottle trash in our river really looks like.

Participants in the river clean up are encouraged to wear waterproof boots, old sneakers, or footwear that you don’t mind getting wet but not flip-flops, sandals, or open-toed shoes. Filling out a waiver form in advance and bringing it on the day of the event also helps shorten the wait at the check in table. Forms can be found on the Environmental Commission’s website at http://www.southorange.org/522/River-Day.

If you or your group are interested in exhibiting or taking part in River Day, contact the environmental commission via email at environmentalcommission@southorange.org.