Earth Day Cleanup of Greenport’s Moore’s Woods planned for Saturday

An area of Greenport once described as its “hidden gem” will get some much-needed TLC during a cleanup event in honor of Earth Day.

The village is hosting the cleanup of Moore’s Woods on Saturday, April 17.

Volunteers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to participate and meet at the flagpole on Moore’s Lane at 9 a.m. Participants are encouraged to bring their own masks, gloves and tools.

Village trustee Peter Clarke helped organize the cleanup and said he views Moore’s Woods as a remarkable feat of both public works and conservation.

“It’s an important and significant part of the village,” he said. “Making sure that those woods are walkable and that they’re litter-free is important to me.”

Cleaning up Moore’s Woods, a 200-acre swath of undeveloped land in Greenport, has been a priority as the Bay to Sound project, which aims to develop public walking trails across the North Fork, continues.

The site has been marred by illegal dumping and existing trails have become impassable in areas.

While cleanup initiatives often focus on local beaches, Mr. Clarke said he felt it was important to shine the light on Moore’s Woods. “What you look for in the woods is different than what you look for at the seaside,” he said. “There really could be, long term, even our own system of hiking trails that are kept clear for people.”

In a June 2000 Suffolk Times article, the late columnist and environmentalist Paul Stoutenburgh mused about the diversity of flora and fauna found within the woods.

“It was all easy walking as far as the pathway went, with only occasional mud holes where small vehicles had tried to go. Yet with a little maintenance they could be filled in and the area could make a beautiful walk or bicycle link between the North Road and the Main Road,” Mr. Stoutenburgh wrote. “Possibilities of this area are endless.”

Civic groups, local businesses, contractors and landscapers have already signed up to participate, Mr. Clarke said, adding that all residents are welcome.

“We’ll have activities for people of all skills and abilities to get involved,” he said. Planned projects range from light to heavy litter removal to brush and branch clearing in order to open up trails.