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Posted Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Bethel Church and Whippany River Watershed Committee River Lead Clean-Up Effort

Morris County Volunteers Sought for Whippany River Cleanup

Whippany River Watershed Action Committee is partnering with the Bethel Church of Morristown for a river clean-up on Saturday, April 21 from 8:30 a.m. 12 noon

Get muddy for a good cause.

Volunteers are welcome from throughout Morris County to get their hands dirty for an environmentally good cause: Cleaning  debris from the Whippany River as it runs trough the Morristown area.

The cleanup is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to noon next Saturday, April 21 for the 8th annual Whippany River cleanup, sponsored by Bethel Church of Morristown and the Whippany River Watershed Action Committee. Recruits will meet in the parking lot behind the church at 59 Spring Street in Morristown.

“The commitment of the volunteers, Bethel Church and the Whippany River committee and their efforts to improve the environment are an example of what makes our county a great place to live,” said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “We thank Rev. Williams, WRWAC and all of the volunteers for their efforts.”

Scout troops, church groups, families and individuals are all welcome to get involved. Wear sturdy shoes and layered work clothing. The organizers will provide gloves, plastic bags, tools and drinking water.

Tires, furniture, shopping carts, bowling balls and thousands of bottles are among the refuse that volunteers pull out of the riverbed every year, said organizer Len Cipkins of WRWAC. Once they even dug out a full-size plastic palm tree. During the spring, melting snow, flooding, and major storms deposit trash and other debris in and along the river.

A before and after look at a previous cleanup day

A before and after look at property along the Whippany on a previous cleanup day

Morris County Volunteers Sought for Whippany River Cleanup

Previous cleanups in this area, where the riverbed makes a U-turn, have yielded 60 bags of garbage, weighing more than 3,000 pounds.

“The section of the Whippany River that runs along our property is often littered with trash and debris that is not only an eyesore, but an impediment,” said Reverend Sidney Williams, Jr., pastor of Bethel AME Church of Morristown. “The annual clean-up with the Whippany River Watershed Action Committee provides an opportunity for community members to work collaboratively to make a difference in keeping the river clean.”

photo of volunteers cleaning up the river

Volunteers cleaning up the river

With headwaters in Mendham, the Whippany River watershed covers 69.3 miles in 16 municipalities in Morris County. It contains all of the streams and tributaries that drain into the Whippany River, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

The 16-mile long river, which is a tributary of the Rockaway River and eventually flows into the Passaic River, is a key source of drinking water for systems that serve more than one million people in North Jersey.

Whippany River Watershed Action Committee is a Morris County-based nonprofit organization comprised of members from 13 municipal governments, the Morris County Board of Freeholders and other stakeholders. Visit the WRWAC’s website ( or Like them on Facebook (