Eco18’s Intern, Kayla Schulte got the chance to attend the 46th annual Clearwater Festival in Croton, NY to benefit the historic Hudson river.
The Clearwater Festival was an exceptional family affair on one of the most beautiful days yet this year. The atmosphere was peaceful, but alive with excitement of people of all ages. This festival had everything, from musical performances to eclectic vendors and there was even a farmers market. Rows upon rows of tents lined the park along the river housing educational and activist demonstrations, creative products for sale fashioned from recycled materials like tin cans or silverware and of course delicious, exotic food. The guests had the option to hop in a canoe or onto a boat to enjoy great views of the Hudson River valley and the various stages from the water!
My favorite part about the festival by far was that there was an opportunity to learn about the environment and the various issues that plague it these days. I passed dozens of tents that allowed for both kids and adults to visualize and take part in demonstrations about everything from the preservation of the Hudson River to understanding solar, nuclear and geothermal sources of energy.
For many of us here in New York, the Hudson River runs right through our backyards. Not often enough is the history and value of this incredible piece of the natural environment recognized. The Hudson River has a tremendous history of exploitation by English and Dutch colonists as well as a more recent history of initiatives to restore the natural health and beauty of the waters. Back in the 1600s, the Hudson was an important channel used for the transportation of goods to and from Europe throughout the North East United States. Consideration for the environment and the health of the river was left unaddressed until the late 1960s when a group of American citizens living along the Hudson joined forces with folk legend Pete Seeger to voice their dismay over the mistreatment of the river. By the 1980s, major strides towards environmental preservation and restoration in the United States were underway with the establishment of the EPA, Clean Air and Clean Water Acts and the Hudson River Clearwater Sloop group as important advocates for the natural environment.
Like many of the citizens, Pete felt an emotional and spiritual connection to the river. The natural environment is just as much a part of us as we are a part of it. To see it suffer at our hand is devastating. The Clearwater Festival is a heartfelt collection of individuals who respect and care for the natural environment in which they reside.
For more information about how you can get involved with the efforts to keep the Hudson River healthy and thriving, please consult: