August 28, 2018
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A cleanup project is restoring the Hudson River—and a third grade classroom’s oyster traps

Trash Hero New York mobilizes volunteers to take action to keep their community, including its waterways, clean

Fourth grader Henry Adelson has been a volunteer with Trash Hero New York. This year, he hopes his fellow classmates will join him in cleaning up the Hudson River. Photo courtesy of the Adelson family

My name is Henry Adelson, and I am 9 years old and going into the fourth grade. I live in New York City and go to the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, which is a few blocks from the Hudson River. Thank you for letting me share how I got involved in volunteering with an organization called Trash Hero and my plan to help them clean up New York City.

When I was in the third grade, my dad introduced me to his friend Denise Rehrig. Denise and her husband are the founders of Trash Hero New York. They learned about Trash Hero in Asia while they were traveling the world, and I learned about it from them. Trash Hero tries to keep trash from going into the water where it can be very bad for the environment. They liked it so much they asked if they could start Trash Hero in NYC. Volunteers meet at the Hudson River a few blocks from my school once a month. I volunteered and picked up garbage along the Hudson with about 50 others just before summer vacation. We all did this to keep garbage from going into the Hudson. I was at camp this summer so couldn’t volunteer, but I’ll be back in September—and I’m bringing friends!

Trash Hero is important to me for many reasons. When I was in the third grade, I studied all about the Hudson River and how the native Americans relied on the Hudson for their food and drinking water. My science teacher Barbara rents out an oyster trap in the river for the third grade, and we study all about these oysters and the importance of clean water. When I volunteered with Trash Hero, I could see our class’s oyster trap, so I was helping our oysters. We learned that when Henry Hudson (who the Hudson River is named after) landed in New York there were so many oysters in the river, but now there are much fewer. The work Trash Hero is doing will help them come back. The more people who help keep the river clean, the better it will be for the millions of people who live near the river. It’s my dream that one day that if we all pitch in to keep the Hudson clean, we’ll be able to swim, fish, and do all sorts of other activities in and around the river.

Trash Hero can help my dream come true. I plan on helping Trash Hero by: 1) volunteering on cleanup days every time I get the chance, 2) asking friends to pitch in and join me, 3) asking my principal Rob if I can hang up posters with Trash Hero volunteer schedules, 4) once school starts in September, by telling our third grade science teacher Barbara about Trash Hero since it is helping our oysters.

Thank you again for letting me tell my story about Trash Hero as part of the Renewal Project, and Thanks to the guys at Next Gen Summit for telling me and my dad about it.

Henry Adelson

Henry Adelson is entering the fourth grade at Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York City. He is also a proud volunteer with Trash Hero New York.