Halls Pond Park was renovated again on October 16 as West Hempstead Community Support and Civic Association organized a twice-yearly cleanup of the park.
Every spring and fall, the association works with many other community groups to clean up the litter. Volunteers roamed the park with rakes, grabbers, and garbage bags, and used leaf blowers to collect the trash and natural debris that had accumulated in the park.
Located in the hollow between Hempstead Avenue and the wide, busy boulevard of Nassau Boulevard, a significant amount of trash and debris can enter the park throughout the year. Halls Pond is fed by the Mill River, which passes behind dense suburban blocks on its course from north to south. The river that winds through West Hempstead also picks up debris that needs cleaning.
Association organizer Santos Welti led the cleanup project.
“We had a very good morning crowd. “I got off to a good start at the memorial at the end over there, then went up the park.”
Celty was happy with the result. “Looks really good. I’m very happy that everyone worked really, really hard.”
Association member Neil Rosenblatt explained why regular cleanups are so important.
“The problem is that it’s not maintained,” says Rosenblatt. “The county doesn’t really maintain it. In some areas you can see that the ponds look very shallow. They have a lot of silt deposits. Summers are dry and water is scarce.” Sometimes you can see all the trash, but when it’s full you can’t see anything.”
Celty explained that many scouts and local students helped clean up. “The 240th has come in. We’ve had quite a few, and it’s been really good,” she said. A lot of West Hempstead high school students came here to help us out. They also need the university’s community services. ”
The 240th’s Assistant Scout Leader, Ron Paracha, was on site all day and his family supervised the Scouts who participated in the cleanup. Paracha also noted the West Hempstead community’s service requirements.
“I think it’s a good thing that middle and high schools are required to have a set amount of community service,” Paracha said. Of course, that goes for Boy Scout records as well.
Brothers Jason, Alex and Sam were in the 240th Unit and helped pick up trash in Paracha. “It looks a lot better than when we arrived,” said Alex. “But knowing our community, we can’t stay clean for long,” he joked. “Lots of exercise.”
“Yeah, we walked a lot,” Jason called out.
Paracha was delighted with the event. “What we do is allow members of our community to come here and enjoy a clean park. It’s an important opportunity,” he said.
Nassau County Councilman John Giuffre sponsors the event twice a year. He spent several hours cleaning the park as well.
Rosenblatt estimates that 90 bags of garbage and other waste were collected. Guests are reminded to keep the gathering area clean in anticipation of upcoming events. Spring 2023 cleanup event.