Sustainability and Marketing firm SummitSMT is pleased to announce the third annual Raritan River Week! Just as the Raritan River connects towns and communities, Raritan River Week was established to show a unity in the efforts of organizations and towns, and to focus attention on the river. Raritan River Week is April 22nd-29th, 2017. (There are many events scheduled outside of these dates)
Residents will have an opportunity to volunteer to help organizations clean up the river ‘from the Headwaters to the Ocean’. The week will start with the 17th Annual Stream Cleanup organized by the Raritan Headwaters Association and 11th Annual Stream Cleanups with the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association. These large cleanups will be followed by other events sponsored by all of the partners throughout the period. Also this year, Clean Ocean Action will be holding their Annual Beach Sweeps on Saturday, April 22nd.
A new initiative for Raritan River Week this year is a program co-sponsored by the AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassadors and the Bridgewater Environmental Commission, called “Slow the Flow”. Slow the Flow is a series of tree-planting events in the three watersheds around the Raritan. The Ambassadors are partnering with several townships (Bridgewater, Somerville, Readington, Clinton, Montgomery, West Windsor). Approximately 1,400 trees were given by the NJ Tree Foundation to carry out this planting.
The AmeriCorps program is hosted through the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, and the Ambassadors are then stationed throughout NJ at various offices. The Watershed Ambassadors working on this project are Watershed Ambassador Carmela Buono, Katee Meckeler, and Anna Marshall . Follow this link for more information about the program: http://www.nj.gov/dep/wms/bears/americorps.htm
Residents can volunteer and get date and location information by registering at this link: https://goo.gl/forms/huC18BobZ5XVFcov2
Through the website, www.raritanriverweek.com, residents will have the opportunity to connect to many great organizations, find information on the calendar of events, and donate to the efforts of these groups. Additionally, an opportunity to increase awareness on a variety of topics is available through the website’s “Resources” page. Last year a “Photos page” was added. People are able to view a growing gallery of photographs, or upload their own, in one or more of these categories: nature, wildlife, recreation and pollution”.
“I wanted to give people a chance to see all of the aspects of this great river, as well have a means to participate even if they could not make one of the events”, said Jim Rokosny, President of Summit SMT, and architect of the project. Adding, “I wanted to find a way to unite all of these great organizations, and give focus to this vital resource in NJ. The Raritan is a treasure and many people don’t know a lot about it, and what it offers.” Rokosny said. “This is our second year at this and everyone is very excited, all of our partners support the idea of cross-promoting each other”.
Sustainable Raritan River
Raritan Headwaters Association
Raritan Valley Community College
Central Jersey Stream Team
Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association
Clean Ocean Action
Somerset County Library System
Somerset County Parks Commission
Hunterdon County Parks Commission
Clean Water Action
Americorp Watershed Ambassadors
We will be using social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to inform people about the events, the resources and the organizations
Raritan River Week won a Sustainable Raritan River Award for Public Education in 2015, and Jim Rokosny was awarded a NJ Senate Citation by Senator Kip Bateman for his work on Raritan River Week.