Spring Shoreline Sweep

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in ComLead, Managing Not-For-Profit Organizations, Organizational Leadership

Today we’re featuring a guest blog written by Jen Kilo, Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry at St. Gregory the Great RC Church in Williamsville and new student into the ComLead program, concentrating in Managing Not-for-Profits. Jen has a passion for community service and writes this blog about her involvement with a nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing the neighborhoods of WNY.


On April 25th, I participated in my first ever Spring Shoreline Sweep sponsored by Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER. Over 1,500 volunteers gave two hours of their Saturday morning to tidy up one of the 40 waterfront sites in Western New York.  For any individual or group looking to be active in their community, this cleanup effort is very user-friendly. Upon arrival I was greeted by the site captain and given my cleaning supplies -gloves, a garbage bag, and a ‘trash grabber’- and went straight to work!  I opted to clean up the Scajaquada Creek since it is part of the neighborhood where I reside and desperately needs some love and care.

The beautiful weather made for the perfect morning as the 25+ volunteers at my site climbed steep terrain, battled branches, overturned rocks and waded in the water to collect every bit of debris.  The most interesting (and largest) finds were a mattress and a two seat car bench. Two hours and a truckload full of garbage bags later, we headed to the after party at the Casino in Delaware Park.

What a splendid event! Sponsored by Great Lakes Brewing Co., the festivities included food, beer, and entertainment by jensblog1Keith Shuskie and Den of Lions.   In the comments of gratitude for the day, it was stated, “you can’t have good beer without clean water”. Very true.  Beyond the beer, it was evident how passionate the organization, staff and volunteers are about preserving the quality and quantity of such a valuable resource.   Brief (and truly authentic) comments were made by a spectrum of leaders from the state level, to the mayoral offices of Niagara Falls and Buffalo, and the director of Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER.

There are a range of options to get involved in the community through Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER.  These include: River Tours, Spring Shoreline Sweep, and Public Forums. Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER offers a few programs such as Young Environmental Leaders Program (YELP), Rain Barrel Sales, and customizable programs for your school, company or organization.

In my day to day, I do my best not to waste water, recycle and to be mindful of the products I’m using.  As a result of the Shoreline Sweep, I was enlightened to the valiant effort of Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER over 25 years in caring for our local waterways and the interconnectedness of it all.

Bravo, Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER.  Count me in for doing my part, and thanks for all you do in the restoration and revitalization of waterways in WNY!

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