Upcoming season features online Eco-Cruise registration, expanded Guided Paddles, River Cleanups & more
Hackensack Riverkeeper is pleased to announce its 2020 Eco-Program schedule. The clean water advocacy group is again poised to provide 10,000 people with enjoyable and educational experiences of the river, its watershed and wildlife.
Riverkeeper’s famous Eco-Cruises, Guided Paddles, canoe & kayak rentals, River Cleanups, Bird-Walks and indoor presentations combine environmental education with public service and fun. The season begins April 17 with the re-opening of the organization’s Overpeck Park Kayak Center in Teaneck, NJ and the following day with the opening of the Paddling Center at Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus, NJ.
“Because of the (so far) non-winter we’ve had, we’ve already been getting phone calls inquiring about the upcoming season,” said Riverkeeper Captain Bill Sheehan. “Nothing warms my heart more than knowing the days are getting longer and we’ll soon be launching kayaks and leading volunteers at River Cleanups; and I’ll soon have a moving deck under my feet.”
Hackensack Riverkeeper offers a series of seven distinct Eco-Program opportunities:
Eco-Cruises Forty-three Open Eco-Cruises - the organization’s foundational program - are scheduled from May 2 through October 11 aboard the 30-foot research vessels Geraldine Theresa and Robert H. Boyle II. Open trips are great for individuals, couples and families and the like. Three distinct Eco-Cruise itineraries are offered: Meadowlands Discovery, which explores the wetlands & creeks of the river’s estuary; Boating through Bergen, a nature / history trip that runs upriver to the center of Hackensack; and Excursion Around the Bay, a maritime history tour down Newark Bay to Staten Island and past Ports Newark and Elizabeth. The complete schedule is available on the Hackensack Riverkeeper website.
Reservations: Starting March 1, Open Eco-Cruise reservations can be made online at www.hackensackriverkeeper.org by clicking links to eventbrite reservation pages or by calling 201-968-0808.
Group Eco-Cruises can be arranged for private groups of up to 22 adults for any available date/time May 1 through October 16. Group trip leaders have their choice of itinerary. In addition, half-day Combo Programs, which include a pair of 1.5-hour Eco-Cruises plus age-appropriate landside environmental education activities, can be arranged for schools, camps and other youth groups. Most Eco-Cruises take place at Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus, NJ.
Reservations: Group Eco-Cruises can only be arranged by speaking with Program Director Captain Hugh Carola at 201-968-0808.
*Donations: A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Hackensack Riverkeeper depends on donations to support its work and mission. The group does not charge fees or sell tickets for Eco-Cruises, but donations from program participants are customary. All donations are 100% tax-deductible. Riverkeeper staff can discuss donation options anytime.
Additional information: For any and all information regarding Eco-Cruises – including donation options – Program Director Carola is available at 201-968-0808 and via email at: [email protected]
Paddling Center at Laurel Hill Park Located directly on the river, the Center is open weekends Sunday, April 18 through Sunday, October 28 conditions permitting. It offers the use of canoes & kayaks for a donation of $25 per paddler (2-paddler minimum) for up to four hours for independent exploration. In addition, Center manager Russ Wilke and staff will conduct two different types of Guided Paddles:
· Twelve Moonlight Paddles – two each month from May through October – will take place on (or adjacent to) the Full moon; leaving the dock between 7 and 8PM, depending on the specific trip. “Mooners” are adults-only events.
· Thirty-six daytime Guided Paddles – focused on either wildlife or sightseeing – will be conducted on every Sunday from May 17 through September 13; 9AM and 11AM. The complete schedule is available on the Hackensack Riverkeeper website.
Reservations: Guided Paddle reservations can me made online at www.hackensackriverkeeper.org by clicking links to eventbrite reservation pages. Guided events are appropriate for individual paddlers as well as couples and small groups.
Donations: $30 per paddler / $15 per paddler for those their own boat(s).
Overpeck Park Kayak (and Canoe) Center 2020 marks this paddling venue’s ninth year of operation at this popular central Bergen County Park. Starting Saturday, April 17, the Center will be open weekends from 9AM-6PM and Fridays / Mondays 10AM-7PM. Beginning Fathers Day it will be open seven days a week through Labor Day, conditions permitting. Call or check www.hackensackriverkeeper.org for complete Center info. Like Laurel Hill, the season ends October 28. Unlike the tidal waters of the Hackensack River however, the impounded waters of Overpeck Creek are generally calm and easy for novice paddlers and families with children to enjoy.
Program donations: $20 per paddler (2-paddler minimum) for up to two hours; $10 per paddler for each additional hour; $10 per adult canoe passenger. Up to two children ages 5-8 can ride free as canoe passengers.
Private Group Paddles can be arranged at either Center. For more information, call Capt. Hugh Carola at 201-968-0808 or e-mail: [email protected]
River Cleanups These active conservation events give people of all ages the opportunity to give back to the environment and their communities. River Cleanups are scheduled at eleven different waterside locations within the Hackensack River Watershed from Saturday, March 28 through Sunday, November 1. Riverkeeper provides cleanup tools and supplies as well as refreshments for all volunteers. All they ask is that everyone pitch in and help rid local waterways of litter and other debris. The complete schedule is available on the Hackensack Riverkeeper website.For more information about River Cleanups including, group participation and the organization’s Corporate River Stewardship Program, call 201-968-0808 or send an e-mail to [email protected]
Bird-Walks For groups interested in birding and nature study, Captain Hugh Carola is available to lead Bird-Walks or hawk watches at local hotspots within the Hackensack River Watershed region - your choice of location. For more information, including itinerary options, call him at 201-968-0808. Costs: $200-$300 depending on location and duration of trip. These programs work best for groups of 12 or less.
Indoor Presentations Captains Bill Sheehan and Hugh Carola conduct multimedia presentations for groups of any size or age range. They have a wealth of materials including PowerPoint slideshows and video screenings that are appropriate for all age groups. Presenters will provide informational literature for all attendees. Costs: $150 - $200 if presented within the Bergen, Hudson, southern Rockland, eastern Passaic or greater Newark areas; $200 - $300 if presented further afield. Free for Rotary Club meetings. Call 201-968-0808 for more information.
Passaic River Eco-Cruises & Paddling Hackensack Riverkeeper is a longtime partner of Newark Riverfront Revival (NRR), and conducts Eco-Cruises and paddling events on the Passaic River out of Riverfront Park, located in the Brick City’s historic Ironbound District. Unlike Riverkeeper’s Hackensack River programs, reservations for these activities can be secured by emailing NRR Program Director Marcy DePina at [email protected] Info for all Newark-based Passaic River events is available at www.newarkriverfront.org.
“All of us at Hackensack Riverkeeper can’t wait for the new season to start,” said Program Director Captain Hugh Carola. “Soon folks can do, learn, work out, explore, or just sit back and let the boat and captain do all the work. Whichever people prefer, we know that they’ll go home with a new appreciation of our Hackensack River. See you dockside!”
All Hackensack Riverkeeper Eco-Program info including schedules and links to eventbrite reservation pages is available at www.hackensackriverkeeper.org.
Founded in 1997 by Captain Bill Sheehan, Hackensack Riverkeeper is the leading environmental organization working on Hackensack River issues. A founding member of Waterkeeper Alliance, the group engages in a four-point strategy of environmental action, advocacy, education and litigation in its ongoing work to protect, preserve and restore the Hackensack River.