Less than one year ago the Peekskill’s McGregor Brook leading to the waterfront was filled with debris and invasive plant species, and was at risk of damaging erosion and flooding. But since the city’s Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) was created in July 2011, a stretch of about 300 feet of the brook has been cleared and restored. The area is now more aesthetically pleasing and protected against harmful natural occurrences.
About 10 active members of CAC presented their successful efforts to the Peekskill City Council at the March 19 work session.
A group of 70 local volunteers from ages two to 90 helped out, they said. Clearwater members from around the region and Hudson River HealthCare’s AmeriCorps members also helped over the last year to clean up the south bank and plant appropriate native trees and shrubs. They pulled out bulky trash, like decayed bicycles, and smaller litter and then planted the healthy plants.
“It was a huge community project,” said Carol Capobianco, the CAC chair. “Everybody loved it.”
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation provided trees that the volunteers used to plant a buffer zone that will help protect the area from erosion and flooding.
Capobianco noted that he group planned their cleanups on Wednesdays over the summer so they could enjoyafterwards.
CAC member Chris Gomez gave a presentation of the map and inventory work the group completed. Using Geographic Information Systems, they created a database the includes comprehensive information on topography, flood zones and more throughout the city as well as ownership records, square footage and zoning info of what they called empty lots.
At the end of the presentation the group presented the Council with a large photo of a 180-degree view of Peekskill from a look out point off Route 202 on the South side of the city. They discussed protecting this spot and honoring the view.
The council commended the dedicated group on its hard work and success.
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