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Monday, March 30, 2009

Wampum Says Thank You with Big Cleanup Day

junk tires beside road
some of the tires pulled from the woods (photo by Wampum Chapter)
submitted by Dave Brewer, co-trail work coordinator, Wampum Chapter

Removed from the woods over the course of the morning of March 28th were over 180 discarded tires, two couches, numerous other pieces of furniture including two television sets, hundreds of feet of canvass hose, a bathroom sink, and sixty garbage bags of assorted small trash items. It was one of the dirtiest trail work sessions that Chapter has ever conducted, with all of the volunteers becoming intimately familiar with what "tire mud" smells and looks like as it covers clothing, hands, and faces. But, as a result, the infamous "mosquitoes of Watt's Mill" will find a lot fewer breeding places this spring and summer.

As permission is granted for new sections of the North Country Trail to be built across public and private land and construction begins, illegal trash dumps are sometimes encountered. The Wampum Pennsylvania Chapter found itself looking at piles of garbage and dozens of discarded tires as it added three-tenths of a mile of new hiking trail through the woods at PA Gamelands 285 and the Dennis and Cathy Garrett property at Watt's Mill last summer and fall. To pay back for the gift of being able to take the trail off of a road walk and into the woods, the Chapter decided to do something about all of that trash littering the landscape.

a volunteer carries tires from the woods
a volunteer carries tires from the woods (photo by Wampum Chapter)
Saturday morning, sixteen volunteers from the Chapter, the Independence Conservancy, Pittsburghcares.org, and the local community spent four hours cleaning up that section of new trail, the hillside between it and Watt's Mill Road, and along the banks of the North Fork of Little Beaver Creek. Trash bags, work gloves, and safety equipment were provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation free of charge as the clean up was registered as a Great American Clean Up of PA event. PennDot is also picking up the trash that was retrieved from the woods and piled neatly along the road, and will haul it away free of charge.

At noon, after the troops were retrieved from the woods and hands and faces were cleaned somewhat, a light lunch was provided for all. The morning was capped off by a local resident stopping and thanking the group for all the hard work done to get the area cleaned up. A rewarding finish!

See more about the Wampum Chapter
See more pictures from the work day

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Folks:

That volunteer in the photo is our Peg Schweinsberg, a director with Independence Conservancy. The picture must have been taken pretty early inthe morning - she's still clean!

Vicky - Independence Conservancy
www.independenceconservancy.org

Cathy said...

To All Participants:

The Clean-Up Day at Watts Mill was a tremendous success! Thanks to all of you who came out on a Saturday morning to give of your time to make a North Country Trail section area clean-up. The roadside and trail eyesore of trash and tires literally disappeared!!!! Keep up the good work to make this area a place of experiencing the beauty of nature. Our best wishes and kindest regards to all of you.

Thanks again for all you do...

Watts Mill Landowners -
Cathy and Dennis Garrett

Dave said...

I've been informed that PennDot made the trip out today (Monday) and all of the collected trash has been carted away. "I love it when a plan comes together." Thanks again to everyone!

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Thanks for the visits and all the top-notch feedback everyone. It's things like this that help make us a great trail community. What a lot of work you all did!