The Restorative Center
Reclaim Justice

Newburgh Water Circles 2017

A note from Gabby.

I am Water



Who Stole Our Water?

This is the burning question Newburgh’s residents have been asking themselves since discovering Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (a toxic fire retardant known as PFOS) and other pollutants have contaminated their drinking water for decades. Feelings of anger, distrust and grief are just a few of the emotions rippling through the community.


A group of volunteer residents, named the Newburgh Clean Water Project (NCWP), joined together over this common concern. The group has worked to get answers and to hold the responsible parties accountable. NCWP is asserting the human right to clean water and working to protect drinking water now and for generations to come.


The NCWP reached out to the Restorative Center to hold space for the community to air concerns and frustrations, with the hope of reclaiming their power and finding solutions. In the month of October, Circle Keeper, Gabrielle Burton-Hill, facilitated a series of weekly circles, titled I Am Water. The circles took place Tuesday evenings in community spaces around town. Residents ranging from 10 to 77 years old showed up, reflecting the beautiful diversity of the city on the Hudson River. On November 4th the circles culminated in a Watershed Tour led by Peter Smith.


The conversation continues…