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Monday, April 24, 2017

Earth Day 2017

   On Saturday-22-April residents of Bogota came to volunteer their services in the support of  Bogota Beautiful's third annual Earth Day clean-up. A group of between  50-60 people gathered at the Bogota Recreation Center to find out which areas of the Borough needed to be worked on this year. Even with a lower than average turnout, perhaps because of the rain, were spread around Bogota to clean, and beautify the Borough.  Their was a mixed of Families, and Couples ranging in all ages, and a few people from other communities who wanted to help as well.  The volunteers were welcomed by Bogota Beautiful's Chairperson Amaru Bustamante, and speaking for the Mayor and Council, Councilwoman Daniele Fede. Both speakers talked about the importance of volunteers taking their time to help others.   After a moment of greeting,  volunteers were assigned to their teams. There were four locations focused on this year. 
   The first being the West Main St business district. here a team of workers first comb the sidewalks and street gathering trash, disposed of improperly, as well as raking, and sweeping old leaves and other debris as they went. Their second task was to clean and freshing the planters with fresh soil, new plants, and a bright coat of mulch. This along with giving the planters themselves a scrub down gave the space in front of the stores a brighter look.
    A second area was to refurbish the World War I Memorial located at the corner of W. Ft. Lee rd and River rd. Crews raked and remove old leaves, needles, branches, and other debris from a large area around the Memorial. Crews even went into the wooded area to pull out dead branches, and vines to help promote a more sunnier, and open area.  A separate workforce started to dig out a path from the sidewalk to the Memorial itself. They next laid a row of paving stones which will hopefully encourage passersby to take the time to look at the history of Bogota and remember the Soldiers who left their homes, and Families to fight for the United States of America. Around the  base of the Memorial  a few new plants were added and a bed of mulch encircles the entire wall  to add colour and to limit weed growth. Finally a row of solar power light were placed to illuminate the Memorial at night.
   Next to the Memorial a different work crew cleaned up at the Bogota Community Garden removing old plants and giving the area a cleaning. This is a prelude to the expansion of the Garden on Saturday 6-May. The Bogota Community Garden  will accept anyone who wishes to volunteer that day to  assist with the work. The Garden will add 6 more planting beds along with other improvements to the garden.    Anyone wishing to reserve at planter for themselves, or as a group should contact the  Bogota Community Garden  at:  bogotacommunitygarden@gmail.com for information on reserving a bed, and  to learn about the requirement will be to be a part of the garden.
   The final area worked on was the drainage creek along Elm Ave. at River rd. Crews went down into the creek removing old tires, use railroad sleepers and other types object that could restrict the flow of water in the creek. Crews also cross the water and remove old and dead stumps and limbs that could cause blockages. 
    At the end of the work period crews returned to the Recreation Center to enjoy a meal together for their effort.  Also at the Rec Center the volunteers were met by U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer,  and Freeholder Tracy Zur. They thanked the volunteers for their effort , and Bogota Beautiful's work in helping the Borough.  Even with the smaller amount of volunteers, this year,  the task of cleaning the area was done in a shorter time. This was due to the dedication of the workers, but also a sign at over the past three years this event has raise the awareness of Bogota Pride to maintain the appearance of the Borough. 
    For more information on volunteering for any of these project. To join Bogota Beautiful as a Active, or Prospective member, or to donate to help Bogota Beautiful please visit their website at : http://www.bogotabeautiful.com/  or email them at: bogotabeautiful@gmail.com 

Bogota Beautiful's Vice Chairperson Chair Isabel Bustamante (L), Councilwoman Daniele Fede
Congressman Josh Gottheimer, and Bogota Beautiful's Chairperson Amaru Bustamante
photo courtesy of Bogota Beautiful

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