Oswego County Legislature Chairman's Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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April 17, 2006

Young and Old Alike Can Celebrate Earth Week in Oswego County

Next Saturday, April 22, will mark the 37th Earth Day. Thankfully, our nation has come a long way since the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. Today we are much more aware of the need to be energy efficient, conserve our resources, and preserve our environment. Many positive changes have taken place at the federal, state and local levels.

Our nationís air and waterways are much cleaner; wetlands are protected; thousands of hazardous waste sites -- including several Superfund sites in Oswego County -- have been cleaned up; and recycling is a household habit.

I have designated this week, from April 17 through April 23, as Earth Week. I am encouraging families, individuals and groups of all ages to set aside a few hours during this period for a cleanup activity. Many people have already started by picking up garbage along roadsides and in their neighborhoods. Families can make it a family activity by cleaning up their favorite park or playground area. All efforts are commendable, and we all can make a difference.

As part of their Earth Day and Arbor Day programs, the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County will again give away thousands of seedlings and educational materials to elementary school students across Oswego County. This annual project is sponsored by Entergy Nuclear Northeast and the Oswego County Federation of Sportsmenís Clubs.

Again this year the Oswego County Environmental Management Council is encouraging people to take part in Earth Day projects. The New York State Canal Corporation is encouraging cleanup along the entire canal system. Dick Drosse, a resident of Minetto, has been in communication with canal officials and has volunteered to keep track of projects along the Oswego and Oneida rivers. Young and old alike have stepped forward to clean a section of the canal. They include the Bridge House Brats and National Honor Society from Phoenix High School, who will work from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon, April 23, at Lock Island in Phoenix. Kevin Connelly, a resident of Granby will lead neighbors of Great Bear Farm in a cleanup at 9 a.m. on Earth Day at Great Bear Farm.

Drosse and other area residents will meet around 2:30 Saturday afternoon near Chalone Drive in Volney, to remove debris along the old lock 4 area of the Oswego River Canal. Naneen Drosse will lead Hickory Grove residents and neighbors in a clean sweep of Battle Island State Park at 11 a.m. Sunday. In Minetto, the Minetto beautification committee, led by Nancy Prarie, will start working at 9 a.m. Saturday.

A group of SUNY Oswego technology students, led by instructor Donna Matteson, will clean up debris between locks 6 and 8 in Oswego from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 26. In Fulton, Barry Ostrander will lead a group of volunteers from Prince of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church on Thursday, May 4, between locks 2 and 3.

People with questions concerning the canal cleanup may contact Drosse at 343-4565. The EMC will be keeping track of Earth Week projects throughout the county. Groups are asked to contact coordinator Sandra Bonanno, phone 598-4063, to let her know of areas cleaned up, how much debris was collected, and how many volunteers were involved.

Oswego County comprises 968 square miles. We are blessed with beautiful scenery, sparkling rivers, streams and wetlands, and more than 150 lakes and ponds. We have thousands of acres of pristine parks, wildlife management areas, and forestland. We each need to do our part to keep our own section clean.

I would like to commend all volunteers and the members of the EMC for setting the example and taking pride in our countyís appearance. By working together, and teaching our children to treasure our environment, we can each make a difference.

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