Warwick Beacon Onlne, Warwick, RI
Cleanup for Mother Earth
by Russell J. Moore Apr 15, 2010

REMNANTS OF A FLOOD: Debris hangs on the trees alongside the banks of the Pawtuxet after the extensive flooding from two weeks ago, yet another sign that the cleanup will be extensive and time-consuming.slideshow

Though Warwick is still recovering from the floods that left portions of the city underwater, local environmental groups will be out this weekend and the next for annual Earth Day Cleanups.

Earth Day is Thursday, April 22, but groups will be out this weekend – assuming it doesn’t rain. For Paul Earnshaw, the current president of the Buckeye Brook Association, that’s a real concern. The forecast calls for showers Saturday and Sunday.

“I’m a little concerned about the weather but I’ll just pray that the weathermen are wrong as usual,” joked Earnshaw.

Earnshaw said the show would go on.

“Unless we get a real deluge, we’ll do it. If it’s just a mist or a sprinkle we can just wear rain coats and get this done,” he said.

If rains cancel Saturday, the group will clean up Sunday.

The 13th Annual cleanup will start at 8:30 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus at the corner of Sandy Lane and Warwick Avenue. After registration, the group will be divided among 6 to 10 team leaders. The cleanup should take about two hours.

Each team will designate a person to inventory what’s collected to create documentation of pollution trouble spots.

“It allows us to have some accurate records,” said Earnshaw.

Earnshaw said that anyone interested in helping out should just show up.

Earnshaw said he’s left messages at the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) asking for help with the cleanup. Earnshaw said he’s following the precedent set by the late Steve Insana, the group’s founder and long-time leader. Insana invited officials from RIAC as a gesture of goodwill even though the two groups were often at loggerheads over environmental issues.

Earnshaw also pointed out that the cleanup costs nothing for the city, so taxpayers get the benefits free of charge.

There are a few other cleanups slated to take place in the upcoming week.

On Saturday and Sunday, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the Apponaug Area Improvement Association, in conjunction with the Warwick Historical Cemetery Commission, will hold their Spring Cleanup of Brayton Cemetery in Apponaug. Anyone interested in taking part should show up with gloves and a rake. In case of rain, the cleanup will be pushed forward one weekend.

On Saturday, April 24, the ninth Annual Spring Shore Cleanup, sponsored by Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers, will begin at 9 a.m., rain or shine, on the Chepiwanoxet peninsula in Cowesett.