Riverkeeper was founded in 1966 under the name of the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association and was originally a coalition of commercial and recreational fishermen who wanted to unite to protect the Hudson river. At the time, the Hudson river was devalued by local organizations and businesses, which used it as a means to get rid of waste, thus polluting it and making it not only unsafe for fishing, but virtually unsafe for the public to enjoy. In Ned Rorem’s The Lordly Hudson, poet Paul Goodman writes “This is our lordly Hudson and has no peer in Europe or the east.” Most of these workers would not ever be able to afford vacations to national parks and landmarks like Yosemite and Yellowstone, so the Hudson river was for them not only a workplace but their entire context for environmental pleasure. Since its founding, Riverkeeper (which became known as such in 1986) expanded to include local volunteers, environmental activists, and legal counsel. It has successfully won many cases forcing businesses to treat the Hudson river with the care it deserves. Today, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. serves as the Chief Prosecuting Attorney.
Patchwork Project feels that there is no better time than the present to support a localized environmental organization. Pollution of environmental landmarks is one of the many causes of global warming. Because environmental concerns have taken a backseat to other national issues, organizations like Riverkeeper will become increasingly significant in the quest for an improved planet. It is our hope that by improving our planet, we can help improve our America. While many parts of the Hudson river have been cleaned up thanks to Riverkeeper’s influence, many parts are still heavily polluted, causing them to continuously pollute the air, smell bad, and remain unsafe for swimming and fishing. But, let’s let the parts of the river that have improved be our guide and inspiration for what still needs our help. Turning our attention to the Hudson for this concert, which by no coincidence falls the day after Earth Day, will give Riverkeeper the means to continue its work, which will allow us to better serve our environment, which, in turn, will better serve us.
Kendra Wieneke, the director of “Our America,” and Executive Artistic Director of Patchwork Project, will be donating her time to Riverkeeper.
For more information, visit https://www.riverkeeper.org
To donate to Riverkeeper, visit our donation page and specify that you would like your donation to benefit Riverkeeper. https://patchworkproject.co/contribute/