Roadside Cleanup Day in Big Indian

Twenty-six adult volunteers and 10 children from Big Indian/Oliverea assembled Saturday in front of the hamlet’s fire department prior to conducting a morning-long roadside cleanup. The volunteers covered a two-mile stretch along Route 28 running through Big Indian and a four-mile stretch along Route 47 running south past Oliverea. The day’s event was organized by the Big Indian/Oliverea Beautification Committee chaired by Martie Gailes.
“I was thrilled by the large turnout of volunteers,” Gailes said “especially all the children who worked so hard to pick up the wind blown trash around the Big Indian Park and Playground. Overall, the volunteers removed 47 42-gallon bags of debris as well as an old mattress and a truckload of metal junk.
The best find of the day went to six-year-old Big Indian resident Loic Roels who found a five-dollar bill while picking up litter near the Big Indian Post Office. Loic’s response was “Let’s do this every weekend!”
Gailes gave special thanks to Mary Beth and Devon Mills, co-owners of the Peekamoose Restaurant, who recruited four of their staff to help with the cleanup and then hosted a sumptuous luncheon for all the volunteers after the morning’s efforts. The day’s accomplishments were further assisted by the Catskill Watershed Corporation who provided all the volunteers with trash bags and protective gloves. As a keepsake, volunteers received cloth shopping bags or tee shirts with “Keep Our Watershed Clean” logos, also provided by the CWC.
As volunteer Barbara Karatchkov commented at the end of the cleanup, “Maybe if we heaped all the trash bags collected in one tall pile, people would think twice before tossing that bottle, can or candy wrapper out their car window.”
Next on the calendar for the Beautification Committee is a May 18 yard clean-up day followed by a late May hamlet flowerathon project when 27 large pots will be planted with flowers and distributed along the Route 28 corridor. These efforts are in preparation for hosting this year’s Shandaken Day on Saturday, Aug. 29 in the Big Indian Park.
Those participating in Saturday’s event included: Craig Sierra and Zach Appolito, Nate Armstrong, Joan and Larry Bauer, Ashley Bender, Richard Bennett, Wheat Bowers, Dick Cable, Ralph Combe Jr., Gary and Martie Gailes, Danielle Glock, Paul and Dorothy Jennings, Bob Kalb, Serge and Barbara Karatchkov, Kaya, Tierra, Tupelo, Seneca, Haven and Kayti Lathrop, Uroe May, Mary Beth Mills, Pia and Loic Roels, Sarah Rudge and Rafael Santiago.
For more information about the Beautification Committee’s work or to volunteer, call Martie Gailes at 254-5354.