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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Toolkit Available for Grassroots River Restoration Projects

Nov 30, 2021 12:09PM ● By Marilee Burrell

The Saw Mill River Coalition has created a Model Stewardship Toolkit for grassroots groups wanting to address specific problems along the river, such as flooding, invasive species overgrowth, illegal dumping and lack of public access.

A program of Groundwork Hudson Valley, the Saw Mill River Coalition brings together community members, nonprofit groups, government agencies, municipalities and businesses dedicated to revitalizing and protecting the Saw Mill River, a tributary of the Hudson. Through its river stewardship program, it supports local community groups in restoring their section of the river. The Model Stewardship Toolkit reviews the main steps for establishing a local remediation project, including site research, permitting, outreach and restoration techniques.

Through the toolkit, which is available as a PDF, new community groups can visit the Saw Mill River Coalition Stewardship Groups’ webpage to learn about existing groups and the work they do. They can also explore the coalition’s live map to learn about the main stewardship needs and opportunities around the Saw Mill River.

The toolkit provides logistical help for going through a grassroots restoration project, such as a link to Westchester County tax records, to determine whether a particular site is privately owned and by whom. It also offers step-by-step advice for engaging with and organizing community members and for developing a restoration plan.

To access the toolkit, visit and select Climate Resilience and then Saw Mill River Coalition.