CLARK, NJ – The Clark Environmental Commission is seeking volunteers for their upcoming Clark Reservoir Cleanup, which will be held on Saturday, October 13 from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Those interested in volunteering for the cleanup can do so by contacting Environmental Commission Chairperson Marc Hayden at marchayden@msn.com or (908) 510-7334.

The cleanup has been a longstanding tradition in the Clark community. Hayden explained that, according to Councilman and Environmental Commission Liaison Brian Toal, the cleanup began as an annual event around 2001 or 2002 and was based on the Rahway River Cleanup held annually on Earth Day.

At Monday’s Town Council Meeting, Toal further expanded on the reservoir’s origins. “The reservoir cuts through the center of town,” said Toal. “It was actually man-made. It was a stream there that they dammed in 1907, and they expanded it, cut the tree line back, and created what they call the reservoir.”

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On the morning of the cleanup, volunteers will meet at the Municipal Building at 8:30am and will be split into groups. “[Volunteers will] go out with group leaders [who will] take [them] to different branches of the reservoir,” Hayden told TAPinto Clark. At the Council Meeting, Toal added that refreshments, buckets, gloves, and other supplies will be provided for all volunteers.

Hayden first participated in the cleanup in 2016 and was surprised by the reservoir’s condition at the time. “We had [collected] 30 [or] 40 bags of trash [two years ago],” he said. “I was shocked at how much garbage we pulled out of there.”

“You’d be surprised, when we get heavy rains,” he continued, “[at] how much garbage gets washed down and gets pushed to the sides of the reservoir.”

The Reservoir Cleanup did not take place in 2017 due to low volunteer turnout, and Hayden is focused on preventing this from happening again this year. “We couldn’t get enough people together last year, but this year were actually advertising it [and] trying to get the word out a little more,” said Hayden, who has already secured the support of the Clark Boy Scouts, Clark Girl Scouts, and Arthur L. Johnson Key Club.

Overall, Hayden believes the goal of the cleanup is simple yet important. “[The cleanup will help] keep the waterways clean,” he explained. Those who wish to support this goal by volunteering for the cleanup are encouraged to contact Hayden by phone or email using the above contact information.