Monroe, Cranbury part of several sites volunteers will clean up streams

Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2 | Apr 10, 2018 | MonroeNow

Returning for the 12th year, volunteers will head to several municipalities in Central Jersey to remove trash and debris from local streams over the next two weekends — just in time for Earth Day and Arbor Day.

The cleanups are related to a national effort by American Rivers, and locally is being spearheaded by the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association headquartered in Pennington.

“Earth Day to us is an annual opportunity to shine the spotlight on what’s a really critical need to take better care of the environment and particularly take care of our water,” Watershed Association Executive Director Jim Waltman said. “And these stream cleanups also provide a great family-friendly educational experience.”

Cleanups are currently scheduled for Cranbury, 9-11 a.m. at Village Park; and Monroe Township, 1-3 p.m. at the community garden on Applegarth south of the firehouse, on April 21. There are several additional cleanups happening on April 14 and April 21 including East Winders, Hightstown, Millstone and Princeton.

“We really like to make this a celebration of the environment and also an educational event so people can learn some tips about protecting the environment,” Waltman said.

Since the first cleanup 11 years ago, 4,625 volunteers through the Watershed Association have removed 93,208 pounds of trash from local streams, according to the group’s website. Last year, volunteers removed 9,092 pounds of garbage, 800 of which came from Cranbury and Monroe.

“Stream cleanups have an enormous impact on our water quality, protecting the environment and removing tons of trash,” said Waltman. “We appreciate the willingness of volunteers, neighbors and families to join forces to help clean up our water.”

To participate in a cleanup, email The organization recommends volunteers wear boats, long sleeves, gloves and bring a water bottle. Event happens rain or shine.