FULTON, NY – Roughly 30 volunteers came together to work with Friends of Fulton Parks to honor Earth Day (April 22) by cleaning the area along the Oswego River and Fulton’s Veterans Park.
As part of the Parks & Trails NY and NYS Canal Corporation’s volunteer event, Canal Clean Sweep, Friends of Fulton Parks organized a local Canal Clean Sweep for the city of Fulton, the fourth year participating.
“I’m just proud to be a part of this community where people come together for things like this,” said FoFP president, Kelley Weaver.
Volunteers of all ages cleaned the Canal Landing Marina in Fulton along the Oswego River from the downtown gazebo to the public library.
Kids and adults alike picked up trash and debris, climbed the hills to retrieve garbage caught in the trees, and cut overgrown branches.
At the same time, volunteers worked at Veterans Park overlooking the Oswego River on S. First St. picking up garbage, raking leaves, removing branches and beautifying the park.
“I think it’s a matter of personal responsibility,” said volunteer, Tim Carroll who has been participating in Earth Day cleanups since 2005. “This shows that individuals can make a difference.”
Together, the volunteer group hopes that the start to their Earth Day pick up can inspire other city residents to do their part.
“It’s more than just the visual amount of trash picked up. People notice when it has been cleaned up and not as messy, but it’s the inertia created when we do things like this. People will see this or notice a cleaner city and hopefully will feel motivated to pick up some trash on their next walk. It comes back to that personal responsibility,” Carroll added.
Robin Kulibert and her husband Rick Kulibert were in search of something local to do for Earth Day this year when they happened upon the FoFP’s Canal Clean Sweep.
Having never heard of the FoFP group, the couple volunteered at the event and made a spontaneous connection in the process.
While volunteers worked at Veterans Park and along the Canal, volunteers were also present at Recreation Park next to Lake Neatahwanta, preparing the park for landscaping to plant native flower species, Weaver said.
Kulibert, owner of Nannyberry Native Plants on Maple Aveenue in Fulton, was able to offer their nursery’s services to provide the native flowers for the park.
“This is what happens, these kinds of connections, when people come out and join together,” Weaver said.
“It feels good, it’s community development, getting to know each other and cleaning up our community,” Robin Kulibert said of the event, noting that the new connection with FoFP was added benefit.
At the same time, Village Shops hosted an Earth Day Chicken BBQ for ten dollar dinners on the corner of West First and Oneida Streets as a fundraiser for FoFP.
Additionally, GRB students hosted a Bottle and Can Drive as a fundraiser for a student led project with FoFP at Lake Neatahwanta of which details have yet to be released. The students’ Bottle and Can Drive is ongoing through the school year, at Great Lakes Bottle and Can Return on West First and Hannibal Streets.
Donors can drop off their bottles and cans and tell them it is for the Friends of Fulton Parks.
FoFP allowed Fulton to join other local municipalities and volunteer groups to also honor Earth Day with a Canal Clean Sweep including Minetto with the Minetto Beautification Committee, Oswego with the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, Friends of Great Bear, and Friends of Battle Island.