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CONCERT STILL HAS A STAGE - THE CLEANUP STAGE

The mud is gone, but the Pepsi remains. And the Mountain Dew.

Crates holding thousands of unopened soda bottles are scattered around the farm where the Woodstock '94 concert drew an estimated 350,000 people to upstate New York a month ago.Cleanup crews still need to cart them away, along with piles of plywood, abandoned trailers and a sea of garbage cans. Still, a month of work has almost wiped out memories of the fetid dump left behind when the party ended on Aug. 15.

"We hope to have green grass by October 15th," said Dean Long of the LA Group, landscape architects responsible for restoring the concert site.

That would have been laughable to anyone who saw the 850-acre property after the music stopped.

Heavy rains and more than a half million tramping feet had transformed the clay soil into ankle-deep mud. Overflowing portable toilets and mounds of garbage reeked amid abandoned tents and sleeping bags.

Persistent rain in the days following the concert - and the enormity of the task - slowed the cleanup effort, Long said. More than 1,200 tons of garbage were hauled away.

But between tree boughs laden with the maroon and orange leaves of fall foliage and the tufts of hardy grass poking through the soil, workers are still finding dirty socks, crumpled soda cups and the remnants of campfires.

Woodstock officials said there was no permanent environmental damage, but biologists found that overflowing toilets had polluted a stream running through the property. The state is continuing to monitor the site but are not releasing the results of their tests.

Fences surrounding the stream had been trampled and the wetlands surrounding it became a campground.

Josef Treggor, a biologist, said he tested the water in the Beaver Kill Stream a few days after the concert and found it "toxic to aquatic life."

He said the mess left behind was all the more shameful considering the Greenpeace tent within sight of the stream and all the talk about making this an environmentally friendly Woodstock.

"They got (garbage) off-site pretty fast," he said. "That's to their credit. Not having the protection there in the first place is to their discredit."

Much is left to be hauled away. Signs on light towers still point to the backstage area. Wood from vendors' booths is piled high. Dozens of portable toilets remain.

Debate over the land's future has intensified. Concert promoter Michael Lang said he will back an effort to put a performing arts center there, but some Ulster County officials think it should be a giant landfill.

To many local residents, Woodstock weekend provided a dry run for both possible uses.