Annual Easter egg hunt encourages sustainability


The Easter bunny is putting down its foot when it comes to leaving hazardous eggshells for kids and dogs to chew on.

The annual Riverdale Easter Egg Hunt at Sid Augarten Field took a different approach this year when it came to the environment and sustainability.

The event, organized by The Padernacht Real Estate Team, 4Bronx Project, and Cleaning Wand encouraged 500 to 700 participating kids to exchange eggs they collected for prizes. The measure helps both the environment and organizers in being able to recycle eggshells for next year.

“Because I do have a cleaning company, I want to make sure we stay eco friendly and these plastics are not around so that dogs can eat them in the field or children can get hurt,” Christina Farrell of Cleaning Wand said. “They do put these things in their mouths, so we collect the eggshells and when they turn in their eggshells they gain a prize. They either gain a teddy bear or a beautiful balloon.”

The event was organized with sponsors in November. Those included HNY2, Downey’s Bar and Grill, Stone Home Inspections, LLC, Studio Delaj, Lloyd’s Carrot Cake, Addeo’s Riverdale Pizzeria, OceanFirst Bank, Bouncy Clouds Rentals, Triple S Programs, Inwood’s 9/11 Memorial Garden and Blackstone Bar and Grill.

“We collected Easter eggs, Easter shells, Easter candy, along with the entire community,” Farrell said. “It took an entire community to do this. We did not do this alone. Nothing happens alone. It takes a village.”

New Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corp., interim executive director Laura Levine-Pinedo said that Amazon donated more than 10,000 plastic eggs. Volunteers from the company also helped set eggs up and ran crowd control to make sure things ran smoothly.

About 500 people registered for the hunt, with another 200 showing up. Kids were split into seven sections.

Martin Difed, his wife, and toddler were one of the many families to participate. He came to the event last year, but his son couldn’t walk and had to be lowered down to the eggs. This year was a little different.

“He actually loves it, we practiced at home,” Difed said. “And then he runs around and does it. So he got himself a couple of eggs. He really enjoyed it. It’s really well put together and Laura and the team ran a fantastic event.”

In addition to the egg hunt, there also was a bouncy house, face painting and music.

Obe Quarless, who moved to the neighborhood only recently, said this was his first Easter in the state. He appreciated the pre-activates while waiting in line.

There was much praise for KRVC and Levine-Pinedo from those in attendance.

“I want to publicly congratulate this amazing woman for her new position as executive director of KRVC,” state Sen. Gustavo Rivera said. “Because this woman was born for this type of stuff. I love it.”

His praise was shared by members of the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club and Unity Democratic Club, as well as elected officials like Councilman Eric Dinowitz.

“I think incorporating environmental justice and teachable moments into everything we do is really important,” Dinowitz said. “And KRVC and 4Bronx is exemplifying that.”

The lesson of recycling and sharing was one that could be seen with Allonzo Jovine and his 7-year-old daughter, Alonia. He encouraged her to be “benevolent” and give away as many eggs as she could.

“You saw your friends, how happy they were,” Jovine said to Alonia. “They were giving you hugs, right? Doesn’t that make you so happy?”

Riverdale Easter Egg Hunt Sustainability Environmentally friendly Community event Recycling Kids activities Eco-friendly prizes Community involvement Local sponsors Easter celebration