Samantha Feuss and John Fenlon are committed athletes and environmental activists. So when the Woodland Park couple was looking for a way to celebrate their upcoming wedding, they decided to forego the traditional bachelor and bachelorette parties.
Instead, Sam, John and their friends will spend three hours on the morning of Saturday, April 13, picking up trash from the banks of the Capoolong Creek in Pittstown, Hunterdon County. They will be among an estimated 1,700 volunteers participating in Raritan Headwaters Association’s 29th annual Stream Cleanup event.
“We believe you should practice what you preach,” explained Feuss, a social media strategist and mother of three. “We wanted to do something that reflects who we are.”
Feuss, 37, said she has always felt passionate about environmental causes and has volunteered for many years with riverkeeper and baykeeper networks and other groups working to protect water quality.
She and her fiancé, 43, a machinist who’s originally from Ireland, are getting married at an Earth Day event on April 20 in Montclair. They decided that a bridal party stream cleanup the weekend before would fit perfectly with their pre-wedding schedule and set the tone for their future together as good stewards of the natural environment.
With the help of RHA’s stream cleanup coordinator, Jeff Geiss, the couple was able to find a stream site suitable for their group of adults and children.
“We’re really excited that Sam and John and their friends are volunteering for our Stream Cleanup event,” said Cindy Ehrenclou, executive director of the Bedminster-based nonprofit. “We’re grateful for their dedication and passion for protecting clean water and wildlife.”
Dozens of Sites in Three Counties
RHA’s stream cleanup is one of central New Jersey’s largest one-day volunteer efforts and make communities cleaner and healthier. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, at dozens of sites in Hunterdon, Somerset and Morris counties.
Volunteers of all ages are still needed, and the cleanup will be held rain or shine.
“The Stream Cleanup is a great way for people to make huge difference in just three hours,” said Ehrenclou. “Not only does it beautify our streams, but it prevents litter from washing into the river and becoming a hazard to wildlife and human health.”
At last year’s cleanup, over 1,600 volunteers picked up 14 tons of trash from stream banks within the watershed, including 7,643 plastic bottles and 2,688 plastic bags.
To register, go to www.raritanheadwaters.org/streamcleanup to view an interactive map of the 50-plus designated sites for this year’s cleanup, then click the registration link to reserve a place at your preferred site.
Individuals and groups who register by March 26 will receive work gloves and trash and recycling bags. Individuals and groups can still register after March 26, but they may have to provide their own gloves.
Groups of more than 15 people should contact Stream Cleanup Coordinator Jeff Geist at firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-234-1852 ext. 317 to make arrangements.
Raritan Headwaters’ 470-square-mile region includes the North and South Branches of the Raritan River and their many tributaries. The Stream Cleanup helps not only communities within the watershed, but also downstream communities.
About Raritan Headwaters
Raritan Headwaters has been working since 1959 to protect, preserve and improve water quality and other natural resources of the Raritan River headwaters region through efforts in science, education, advocacy, land preservation and stewardship. RHA’s 470-square-mile region provides clean drinking water to 300,000 residents of 38 municipalities in Somerset, Hunterdon and Morris counties and beyond to some 1.5 million homes and businesses in New Jersey’s densely populated urban areas.
Raritan Headwaters recently was accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission, meaning it has been recognized as a strong and effective organization committed to professional excellence and maintaining the public’s trust.
To learn more about Raritan Headwaters and its programs, please visit www.raritanheadwaters.org or call 908-234-1852.