2017 River Friends public eco-recreation and cleanup events

River Clean-Ups: 

Keep checking for new River Clean-Up dates. 

The Riverside Patriots is a group of friends and coworkers who joined forces three years ago to adopt and clean boat launches. The group, a partner with Chemung River Friends, hopes to expand this year and is looking for more volunteers.

Volunteers are asked to provide their own transportation. Car pooling is encouraged.

Helping with cleanups is a good way to meet the regulars and see what the cleanups are all about,” said River Friends Executive Director Jim Pfiffer. “You have fun, with good people and you improve the environment. Not bad, for a few hours of fresh air adventure.”

The Riverside Patriots do seven cleanups, each one on the second Saturday of each month, at 9:30 a.m. until noon, from April through October, weather permitting, said Brian Layton, of Columbia Cross Roads, Pa., one of the group’s founders.  "We start at Dunn Field boat launch at 9:30 then we move to Fitches Bridge, then Miners/William Smith boat launch. Sometimes we stop at other spots in between depending on how many volunteers we get. Any cancellations and contact info will be on our facebook page (Riverside Patriots) or contact me Brian at whykot@yahoo.com," said Layton.

We like to see kids involved, but we ask that they be accompanied by an adult,” Layton said.

August 12, 9:30 a.m. to noon

September 9, 9:30 a.m. to noon

October 14, 9:30 a.m. to noon

Guided public paddles: 
Chemung River Friends sponsors guided kayak and canoe trips in partnership with Southern Tier Kayak Tours of Ithaca. Each trip costs $25 per person and includes a kayak or canoe, life vest, paddles, guides, bus transportation, river squirt guns and plenty of fun. The trips are 3-7 miles long (2-3 hours) and feature a safety talk, basic paddling instructions and a stop halfway along the river to stretch your legs and explore.

Along the way, River Friends provides educational talks about river plants and animals, history, local lore and river tales.

The paddles are held in the rain, but will be cancelled if there is lightning or high water.

We stress safety. You must wear a buckled life jacket (provided) at all times.

Each paddle is limited to 23 customers and four guides; and is filled on a first-come-first serve basis. To register, contact Southern Tier Kayak Tours at 607-220-3642 or mail@stktours.com.

Half of price of each trip is financed by River Friends through a Xerox Foundation grant.

The scheduled paddles are: 

• Aug. 31, 6 to 8:30 p.m.: from Fitch’s Bridge Boat Launch, Big Flats, to the Grove Street Boat Launch, Elmira.

Chemung dam reservoirs paddles

Paddle three of the five reservoirs located behind manmade dams in Chemung County, guided by Chemung River Friends staff and volunteers. Learn how and why the dams were built and explore and learn about the reservoirs and their wetlands. Fee: $10/person. Provide your own canoe or kayak, life vests and transportation.

  • July 12: 6 to 8 p.m.: guided paddle on the Hoffman Street Dam reservoir, Big Flats. Mallory Barrow talk  about wetlands
  • Aug. 17, 6 to 8 p.m.: guided paddle on the Marsh Creek Dam reservoir, Erin. Mallory Barrow talk about wetlands.


2017 Audubon-River Friends Nature Strollers schedule

The Audubon-River Friends Nature Stroller walks are easy and short (less than a half-mile), family-oriented walks designed for children, toddlers in strollers, parents and grandparents; to help them discover places for outdoor recreation and a chance to get back in touch with nature and stewardship of our environment.

All walks begin at 10 a.m. and end by noon. Adult guides talk about environmental issues as the walk progresses. Each walk includes binoculars, snacks, water and a visit by a live or stuffed animal native to the area.

The walks are led by Chemung River Friends, funded by the Chemung Valley Audubon Society and organized through the Horseheads Family Resource Center.

Please wear sneakers, hiking boots or comfortable shoes (no flip flops). Bring sun screen and insect repellent. The walks are on dirt and paved trails and grassy levees and meadows. The walks are rain-or-shine events and are only cancelled for lightening storms.

For more information contact, Joan Ostrander 607-483-1067, jostrander@cseop.org or Jim Pfiffer, 607-846-2242 or riverfriends@stny.rr.com

More information: Chemung River Friends 607-846-2242 or riverfriends@stny.rr.com