Girl Scouts aim to rout Gowanus pollution

The Brooklyn Paper
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This wasn’t your average pitchfork-wielding mob.

More than 40 Girl Scouts and their parents turned out on Sunday, garden implements in hand, to spruce up a piece of Gowanus in an effort organized by the Gowanus Canal Conservancy. A spokeswoman for the environmentalist group said the young do-gooders were happy to get their hands dirty — and the sunny, 70-degree weather didn’t hurt.

“Kids learning how to use tools is always a fun time,” said Nitasia Sidarta, of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy. “It was a good moment to be outside and doing work outdoors.”

The green thumbs gathered in a lot at Second Avenue and Sixth Street and helped make a compost system, put mulch down around trees, and pick up litter. They also got a primer on making bioswales — landscaped pits layered with sand and gravel that absorb rainwater and pollutants — like the one at the site.

The conservancy has partnered with the Department of Environmental Preservation to build 11 bioswales near the canal and plans to build 200 altogether, Sidarta said. The landscaping is meant to complement the federal Superfund cleanup effort targeting the putrid waterway, she said.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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