2008-11-14 / School News

Local Students Keep Dune Preserve Clean

A student works with Sharpe to tie off the area for GPS mapping. A student works with Sharpe to tie off the area for GPS mapping. As part of the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance Environmentor after-school program, students from Beacon PS 43 and KAPPA VI take part in creating the Arverne Dune Preserve every Thursday at Beach 32 Street near the boardwalk.

Education Coordinator Devon Sharpe and RWA Conservation Educator, Zakhia Grant lead students to the preserve each week to identify the indigenous and invasive plants and teach students about using GPS technology to map the habitat of the dune preserve.

"Taking inventory of the plants and animals that live here is valuable to protecting these natural resources from future development," said Grant. "Last week while we were working we saw a family of wild turkeys run across the street to hide in the low lying brush.

Neighbors came out to tell students of the many birds and animals they see here on a regular basis."

This program is part of a project Rockaway Waterfront Alliance has taken on with the support of New York City Housing Preservation and Development and funding from the Hudson River Foundation under the NYC Environmental Fund. The program will continue through the end of the year, when students will display their work from the project.

Students stand behind the pile of debris collected during one day of work at Beach 33 Street. Students stand behind the pile of debris collected during one day of work at Beach 33 Street. "It's a tough job but someone has to do it," said Sharpe as she helped haul away debris which will be picked up by the Department of Sanitation.

Students cart away milk crates filled with oil containers that were dumped in the lot. Students cart away milk crates filled with oil containers that were dumped in the lot. Students work together to remove large pieces of concrete and collect debris that will be picked up by the Department of Sanitation. Students work together to remove large pieces of concrete and collect debris that will be picked up by the Department of Sanitation. Vivian Ogu identifies a native plant from the preserve while Grant looks on. Vivian Ogu identifies a native plant from the preserve while Grant looks on.

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