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Spring Cleanup draws big turnout as volunteers clean up streets, parks and beaches

About 200 volunteers took part in Saturday’s “Spring Cleanup,” picking up litter along approximately 35 streets, parks and beaches in Riverhead Town.

Saturday’s turnout  exceeded that of two prior cleanup efforts, done in the spring and fall of 2019. Deborah Wetzel, chair of the anti-litter committee, who spoke at last Thursday’s Town Board work session, said the last spring cleanup drew about 40 volunteers and the fall cleanup drew about 85 people. (There were no cleanup days in 2020 due to COVID-19).

Saturday’s participants includedlocal Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, the Butterfly Effect Project, the Riverhead BID, Target, the Jamesport Civic Association, the Riverhead High School Key Club and First National Bank, among others, Ms. Wetzel said.

“It’s really gratifying to me that so many people are concerned about the problem of litter,” she said. “We have more than 35 streets, parks and beaches that are filled with litter. That’s gonna be our target locations.”

Gloves, pickers, trash bags, masks and other equipment were distributed on Friday at Riverhead Town Hall and at Wines By Nature in Wading River.

“I am overwhelmed by the turnout that we from the community today,” Ms. Kent said Saturday.

She added that some people even went out on their own to clean up their local streets.

See more photos:

Members of The Butterfly Effect Project.
Members of The Butterfly Effect Project.
Jim Meinecke, Deborah Wetzel, Catherine Kent and George Eldi at Saturday’s cleanup. (Credit: Tim Gannon)
Town officials, including Supervisor Yvette Aguiar and Councilman Ken Rothwell, at Saturday’s cleanup, along with Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (center). (Credit: Tim Gannon)