Green Team at the Bailey Peninsula

  • Earth Day Cleanup 2008

    April 19th, 2008



    The children came together today.  Eighty strong they carried rakes, shovels, garbage bags and determination.  I was curious so I had to ask them, “Why are you here?”


    “I live here.”  South Park High School Junior Ashley told me.  “This is my community.”


     “I really think it’s important for the sake of the environment and one day for the sake of our children,” added Adam and Hannah, instrumental members of South  Park’s Green Team.


    “It used to be filthy, but we’re trying to clean it up.”  Green Team president Branden chimed in.  “Look at it now compared to just one year ago.  It’s a beautiful spot.”


    “I just feel like it’s a good thing to do.”   David, a fourth grader from Southside Elementary School, told me with pride.


    “I feel like it’s important.  I want to be a part of it.” Said Jay, a sixth grader who led a group of twenty volunteers comprised of students, parents and teachers toward the Seneca Bluffs area for a massive cleanup.


    Today’s cleanup of the Bailey Peninsula and the Seneca Bluffs area was a part of a combined effort of South Park High School, Southside Elementary School and the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.  With over sixty student volunteers and twenty adults comprised of teachers, parents and administrators joining together for this Earth day celebration, this portion of Buffalo is undergoing an environmental and community renaissance.


    Within one year’s time the Green Team has successfully eradicated over 1,500 square feet of Japanese Knotweed, a non-indigenous, invasive bamboo species that chokes out the native plants.  They have planted over 25 trees, replaced damaged park benches and garbage cans and, most importantly, have been able to control the garbage and graffiti through periodic cleanups at the Bailey Peninsula site.


    We could not have accomplished any of this without the help of so many people and organizations.  The Buffalo Niagara Riverkeepers, the City of Buffalo Sanitation department, the Erie County Parks department, Fiskars donated $800 worth of tools and an $800 Home Depot gift card.  Ecology and Environment contributed $500 as did PraxAir.  Several other companies donated $100 and Mineo’s Pizza provides a 20% discount for food and drink.  The Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bisons have recently become involved, featuring South Park on their homepage and giving sporting memorabilia as well as free tickets to professional sporting events.


    The Green Team was honored in front of Buffalo City Hall where the Mayor promised to lend a hand in the future.


    The next project will be May 6th when South Park’s Green Team will be planting 25 trees, 50 shrubs and sowing 2 pounds of seeds from plants native to this section of the Buffalo River. Come join us!