marring the natural beauty of in West Hempstead and Rockville Centre has inspired a group of local residents to take action.
Inspired by the efforts of 100 volunteers, who at the park's South Pond in November 2011, West Hempstead residents Chris Carter, Adia Bethel and Joel Ruiz, along with Teresa Reid, of Floral Park, recently formed the non-profit Hempstead Lake State Park Alliance. The group aims is to bring more awareness to the park - showcasing its beautiy and resources, as well as its pollution problem. It also plans to build upon the work performed six months ago by collaborating with state employees to regularly clean-up the park.
“State parks don’t receive the budget they once did and because of that they can’t keep up with maintenance and provide programs for the public," said Carter, president of the Hempstead Lake State Park Alliance. "Who better to help than the people from the local communities?"
The group is planning its first community clean-up effort on May 5, which is "I Love My Park Day" in New York State. On that day they'll be giving Hempstead Lake State Park the much-needed TLC it needs, focusing on picking up the pollution along the shores of the Northwest Pond.
The Parks Department will provide the garbage bags, pick sticks and gloves, but what the alliance needs is some eager volunteers including Scouting troops, environmental groups and other concerned residents. Those wishing to help out should come between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. that Saturday. Once the work is done, you can also enjoy a BBQ, provided by HLSPA.
"It is a great way to meet others who care about the park and want to keep this park open," Carter says. To contact the Hempstead Lake State Park Alliance, email HLSPANY@gmail.com or visit their Facebook Page.
Patch first reported on the pollution at Hempstead Lake State Park in October 2011, where we found thousands of discarded plastic water bottles, tires, T.V.s and other trash stretching across the park's scenic beaches and throughout its wooded areas. to see footage and photos of some of the most polluted parts of the park.