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Oakwood Cemetery Cleanup – October 28th Cleanup Event

dig the falls cleanup at oakwood cemetery try new york

Oakwood Cemetery is home to several waterfalls (mostly seasonal) and many historic graves, including Uncle Sam’s!

BAM! And here it is, right off the bat. One of our team members was able to explore a little while in the area. What better way to enjoy the time than looking for one of the most famous graves in the state!

Photo provided by Julie Hughes Romano (of Dig The Falls and Show Me Your Falls)
Photo provided by Julie Hughes Romano (of Dig The Falls and Show Me Your Falls)

The day started a bit scattered due to the event being hosted by yours truly (Edward Smathers). I always seem to know exactly how to schedule something with a bit too little notice and just enough information to get people wondering if they are in the right spot! 🙂 What a great turnout though!

We were introduced to many new people. Most of the attendees had never joined us on a hike or cleanup before. This was pretty exciting and also a bit nerve racking as I wanted to be sure they got the best impression of Dig The Falls possible.

Photo provided by Bobbie Sweeting (of Dig The Falls and Bobbie Waterfalls)

We started everything by walking to the main waterfall and quickly came across a mess left by local party-goers. Broken glass bottles and fire debris was everywhere and mashed into the ground. The team recovered much of the glass but had to leave a lot as we did not bring any digging tools for this event.

Below are Russell Dunn and Stash Rusin, scrambling down to the top of the tallest waterfall in the cemetery. When the water is at mid-flow (usually after a good rain), the crest reaches 15-20 feet across. You wouldn’t want to be standing in that spot when that happens.

Photo provided by Bobbie Sweeting (of Dig The Falls and Bobbie Waterfalls)

The rock is made of mostly shale, so it can break free quite easily. These guys are very experienced and logged thousands of hours on trails much more difficult than the one we were hiking this day! It is always important to stay as safe as possible, though. No matter how experienced you may be.

Seen below is a great shot of the entire waterfall, through the woods. This is the best view you can achieve from the trail. This time of year is great for viewing, but not for water flowing over the falls, unfortunately. It is a beautiful location, none the less!

Photo provided by Julie Hughes Romano (of Dig The Falls and Show Me Your Falls)

The following photo provides a pretty good perspective of how far the drop from the top is. It isn’t quite straight down, but you would be lucky to stop mid-way if you had the misfortunate of slipping at the top… Yikes!

Photo provided by Julie Hughes Romano (of Dig The Falls and Show Me Your Falls)

And, just to prove it’s all about the fun, Team Show Me Your Falls opts for a great selfie right before the end of the cleanup. Everyone still looks great, so you can see we take it easy on our cleanup attendees 🙂

Photo provided by Jacky Machell (of Dig The Falls and Show Me Your Falls)
Photo provided by Jacky Machell (of Dig The Falls and Show Me Your Falls)

We were able to grab quite a bit of garbage from the trail, even though Oakwood does a masterful job at keeping the grounds VERY WELL maintained! We were very surprised to have picked up so much but glad to still be able to help. This shows that there is always need for volunteers on these types of events, but also illustrates that it pays to keep a keen eye on and off the trail for litter. You may not even notice how much trash you are walking past otherwise.

Photo provided by Jacky Machell (of Dig The Falls and Show Me Your Falls)

Stats for this particular event

Volunteers:
14 Adults and 3 Children
This included local author Russell Dunn – Please look up his books, which can be found at Barnes and Noble and other leading bookstores, and support a person Dig The Falls has great respect for (and owes a huge set of locations of the Eastern Half of the state to!!!)

Total Cleanup Time:
About two hours

Total refuse collected:
Close to 3 x 40 Galon Bags!
This was mostly glass, but also included cans, random trash, couch cushions, and bike tires.

Costs (rough numbers):
Food and drink – $35
Cleanup supplies – $100
Swag – ~$1,000 (This includes enough materials for other future events)
Donations: The value of everyone’s time, which is priceless!

dig the falls cleanup at oakwood cemetery try new york

“Thank you to all who participated!”

After the event, we will send out a survey asking what everyone’s thoughts were about the event. Thank you to all who participate in the survey! It takes a couple minutes but is very valuable for our team to create even better events in the future.

Overall we were very fortunate to get to meet some new faces and get the support we generated for the cleanup effort. It was a humbling experience for me to see so many people showing passion toward something I feel strongly about.

Please share this blog with anyone you can. The more people we can bring to the next event, the better 🙂
Also, feel free to offer up a dollar if you liked our story and want to contribute to the next cleanup effort.

$1 donation using PayPal
$5 donation using PayPal
Custom donation using Paypal

For other ways to help feel free to contact us directly!

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