Valley Stream has its fair share of parks, trails and waterways that people enjoy year-round, especially when the weather is nice. But with a large number of people walking or driving by, loose garbage can accumulate over time in even the most aesthetically pleasing areas.
Although it was rainy and cold last weekend, that didn’t stop some local residents from going above and beyond their civic duty to keep Valley Stream clean.
Envision Valley Stream organized a cleanup at a stream between East and West gates in North Valley Stream on March 17. David Sabatino, the group’s president, hosted the cleanup in conjunction with the North Valley Stream Neighborhood Association.
“Our streams and our parks are a source of pride for us and cleaning, maintaining and using them as an educational tool as well, I think is a valuable thing,” Sabatino said. “Anytime we can improve their beauty and their environment the better.”
About a dozen people volunteered their time to collect garbage and debris from a stream which stretches from Stephen Place to Dutch Broadway. According to Sabatino, the group found more than just cans, bottles and paper in and around the stream. Among the items they dug out were brake pads, the bottom of a rolling chair, buckets full of concrete, a mattress cover, a gas can and wood finisher.
After more than three hours of picking up litter, more than a dozen garbage bags were filled, in addition to the odd items that were too big to fit.
Nick Spaventa, a Valley Stream resident for 35 years, lives nearby the stream and participated in an cleanup for the first time last weekend, but he doesn’t plan on it being his last.
“First impressions are important,” he said of people coming to Valley Stream. “The cleanup shows people both from inside and outside the community that we take pride in and care about the place in which we live.
“It also serves as an example and an opportunity for our young people to get involved in something positive that can improve their community,” he added.