POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, America’s flagship environmental organization was awarded a Year 2009 Project Grant from the Dutchess County Arts Council yesterday. The grant, which totals $1,230, will go toward the creating a unique public art project called Reviving the Fall Kill: Creating Treasure from Trash that Jennifer Rubbo, Fall Kill Watershed Coordinator at Clearwater, and Rachel Collet, a Tivoli, New York based artist, are collaborating on with the help of a number of volunteers.

Thanks to the grant from the Dutchess County Arts Council, Clearwater will work with volunteers made up of youth, residents and community groups from the City of Poughkeepsie to clean up the glass that presently litters the Fall Kill Creek on Saturday, April 25 (rain date: May 2). The volunteers will also assist Collet, primarily a fine arts painter whose work has been exhibited at the New York State Museum in Albany, in cleaning all the glass found in the creek and prepare it for the final artwork—an expressionistic cube illuminated from within that filters light through special panes containing the glass salvaged from the Fall Kill.

The Fall Kill Creek, a direct tributary of the Hudson River, has been plagued by illegal littering and dumping for decades. The creek flows through the City of Poughkeepsie and is full of high quantities of broken glass, along with other trash, in its channel. Reviving the Fall Kill: Creating Treasure from Trash will help remove some of the hazardous glass and garbage from the creek while bringing attention to the problem and giving participants in the project a sense of ownership of our water resources during an educational, hands-on learning experience.

“My hope is that this project will give city youth and community members a first hand look at the trash problem that exists in the Fall Kill, provide them with an opportunity to rectify it and allow them to participate in the creation of a piece of art that will teach others about what they have learned,” said Rubbo, who has been working with the Fall Kill Watershed Committee, a coalition of local water resource professionals, cultural and social community organizations, and active individuals to protect and revitalize this historic Dutchess County creek.

Reviving the Fall Kill: Creating Treasure from Trash will be installed outside the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, located in Poughkeepsie at the mouth of the Fall Kill, in May 2009. An unveiling ceremony is scheduled to take place on July 11, 2009 in conjunction with Fall Kill Creek Week.

This project is made possible (in part) through a grant from the Dutchess County Arts Council, administrator of public funds through NYSCA’s Decentralization Program. Rubbo said she is still hoping to find some sponsors to support the project and defray costs.