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Rockland County High School Student Creates Initiative To Help Protect The Environment And Shares It Locally And Throughout The World

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Madeline Abrams, a high school junior at Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, has created an initiative to capture rain water using discarded plastic water bottles through an irrigation system she developed for vegetable gardens, farms and landscapes.

During the past year, Madeline has presented her rain harvesting system virtually through Rotary Clubs to 45 communities in the Tri-State area, California, the Southwest and also to countries in Africa including Uganda, Namibia, Lesotho, Angola and South Africa. Through those presentations, she’s adapted her invention to the needs of the local area. Interestingly on one of the calls with a Rotary Club in Lesotho, she learned that porcupines eat plastic bottles which led to an adjustment in her plans for connecting rain barrels to hold the captured water. Her rain harvest system was published in an article in an international Rotary magazine that covers the country of Uganda.

Last month in recognition of Earth Day, Madeline gave a Zoom presentation supported by public libraries in New York, New Jersey, Boston, Hartford, Palo Alto and San Francisco making her Earth Day program available to their patrons. The attendees engaged in a discussion following the presentation regarding ways to bring Madeline’s invention to their communities. 

On a recent call with a college professor who leads service trips to El Salvador, Madeline learned that plastic water bottles are regularly burned with other garbage releasing toxic fumes in the process. Madeline’s invention helps with water conservation and also helps to reduce the negative environmental impact that can occur from burning plastic. 

Madeline’s goal is to share her rain harvest system with as many communities as possible and to help increase awareness about plastic waste, water conservation and a unique way to repurpose plastic water bottles.  

Madeline has created her Harvest Every Drop website (http://harvesteverydrop.com Madeline is an impressive young woman with a strong sense of service and a desire to make an impact in the world.

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There’s More Great News When It Comes To Parkland In Rockland County.

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The Open Space Institute has acquired 132 acres in Sloatsburg as part of the Eagle Valley Assemblage conservation project, located in the corridor between Sterling Forest and Harriman State Parks. The project will enhance regional recreational opportunities and protect critical drinking water resources in an area facing heavy development pressure.
OSI intends to convey the land to the County, which is exploring opportunities for it, including creating a new county park with linkages between the Sloatsburg train station and other protected areas such as Harriman State Park, the Town of Ramapo’s Liberty Ridge Park, Eleanor Burlingham County Park, and Dater Mountain County Park.
OSI’s Eagle Valley Assemblage includes the 87-acre Eagle Valley property, which OSI purchased on March 14 for 1.6 million; and the 45-acre Cherso Realty property, which OSI purchased on May 17 for $1.275 million.
The newly protected properties, located within the Nakoma Brook drainage basin, play a critical role in safeguarding the Ramapo Valley Aquifer, which provides a third of Rockland County’s public water supply. The protection of these properties will safeguard downstream drinking water resources identified as priority acquisitions in the Rockland County Comprehensive Plan, Sloatsburg Comprehensive Plan, and the New York State Open Space Plan.
The Rockland County Legislature thanks the Open Space Institute for its amazing efforts!

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Protect Yourself and Your Family from Tick Bites This Spring And Summer

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As the warmer weather is welcomed and families spend more time outside, remember to protect yourself and loved ones from tick bites. A bite from an infected tick can cause Lyme Disease and other diseases such as Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Powassan.  The risk of encountering an infected tick in the Hudson Valley region is high.  

“Ticks, like many of us, become more active during warmer weather.  Ticks that carry Lyme disease continue to be found in Rockland; therefore, we advise residents to follow these precautions for an enjoyable and healthy season,” said Dr. Chitra Punjabi, Rockland County Department of Health Director of TB & Communicable Disease Control: 

  • Avoid contact with ticks – stay on cleared, well-traveled trails, walk in the center of trails, avoid dense woods and bushy areas, and avoid sitting directly on the ground or stone walls. 
  • Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors. Brush any ticks off before they attach. Do a complete check of your skin when you go back inside. Be sure to check for ticks on your children and pets, too!  It is easy to check when you bathe or shower, preferably within two hours, to wash off and more easily find ticks that may be on you. Do a final, full-body tick check at the end of the day (also check children and pets) and remove ticks promptly. 
  • Remove any attached ticks using this safe method: Using fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the tick near the mouthparts as close to the skin as possible. Do not twist, turn, or squeeze the tick’s body. Instead, pull the tick in a steady, upward motion away from the skin until the tick lets go. To lessen your chance of infection, remove an attached tick as soon as possible. 
  • Wear light-colored clothing to spot ticks easily. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks, and shoes. Tuck your shirt into your pants and pant legs into your socks. Wear sneakers or boots, not sandals. Tie back long hair or wear a hat. 
  • Consider the use of an insect repellent. Carefully read and follow the directions on the repellent label. 

If you develop a rash or flu-like symptoms after a tick bite, contact your health care provider immediately to discuss any treatment and further prevention options. 

For more information visit these webpages: Rockland County Department of Health and New York State Department of Health.

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