ROXBURY, NJ — Volunteers recently scoured Roxbury’s parks, trails and ponds, removing thousands of pounds of debris, said township officials.
More than 200 people helped in the township-wide cleanup — organized by Roxbury Clean Communities Coordinator Kellie Ann Keyes — that took place last weekend. The weekend before that saw a cleanup — by township and Roxbury High School environmental committee members — of several ponds and lakes.
The efforts resulted in the removal of nearly 4,000 pounds of debris and litter, officials said.
“Another example of what a great place Roxbury is to live, work and raise a family,” said Roxbury Mayor Bob Defillippo. “Over the last two weekends, residents — including lots of our amazing Roxbury students — have been around town cleaning up parks, paths, walkways and waterways. I want to give a huge shout-out now to Kellie Ann Keyes for again organizing this year’s clean communities event.
Keyes said “the harsh winter and high winds intensified the accumulation of litter and debris everywhere,” noting that the volunteers at last weekend’s cleanup tackled about 30 areas throughout the town.
“This was our most extensive clean-up to date,” Keyes said. “This time, we had several large school groups sign up, many of whom needed community service hours. Many volunteers commented that they were surprised by the amount of litter they collected.”
Among those pitching in were member of the Roxbury High School National Honor Society.
“What surprised us most was how much trash we drive past every day without ever realizing it,” said society president Monique Whitfield. “For instance, all the areas we cleaned up looked trash-free from the outside, but if you took a few more steps in, you would see all the trash that people left on the ground. This has made us all more aware of our environment and how we treat it.”
Whitfield helped remove debris from several areas along Center Street in Landing.
DeFillippo said the volunteers’ efforts did not go unnoticed.
“The best part about this was a social media comment about how clean the parks looked after they were done, especially because we got a lot of complaints about how tired the parks looked after the tremendous amount of use they got during the pandemic,” said the mayor at Tuesday’s meeting of the township council. “I urge residents to help us keep the parks clean by not littering and by cleaning up after your pets.”
Roxbury Councilman Fred Hall said the “massive environmental commission cleanups” at Ledgewood Basin and at Triple Lakes saw the removal of about 700 pounds of garbage. Keyes said about 3,000 pounds of litter and debris were collected during the township-wide cleanup the following weekend.
“Among the other materials gathered were dozens of tires, wood, car parts, a range of plastic pails and cans, a chandelier and one perfectly good (real) Conch shell,” Keyes said. “Environmental challenges are a global concern, but litter is something each person can personally address. Every piece of trash we pick up helps to clean up our community and keep our environment beautiful for all.”
Keyes offered thanks to a long list of local organizations and individuals helped:
Boy Scout Pack 60
Boy Scout Troop 188
Cub Scout Pack 54 Cub Scout Pack 168
Ferro Monto Chapter NSDAR
Girl Scout Troop 96186
Girl Scout Troop 97181
Girl Scout Troop 97748
Girl Scout Troop 97749
Girl Scout Troop 98208
Lake Hopatcong Foundation
Lake Rogerene Civic Association
Maya Remembrance-Guberman family
Mrs. P. Chandra
RHS Football team
RHS Lacrosse team
RHS National Honor Society
RHS Project Graduation
Roxbury Interact Club
Roxbury Township Democratic Committee
Turnkey Exchange LLC
Visions Federal Credit Union
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