LOCK HAVEN - Clinton County Clean Scapes encourages river supporters to not only join a half-day cleanup effort on Saturday but also consider other opportunities that directly support the work of the volunteers.
Baking a batch of cookies for the luncheon or driving a truck to transport collected tires are two important services, said Elisabeth Lynch McCoy, Clean-Scapes project director.
"Every year we receive emails and phone calls asking us how someone with limited physical abilities can support the annual river cleanup events, and we want everyone to know that there are three activities that we always need help with," she said. "For someone to bake a batch of cookies for the volunteers to enjoy at the luncheon may not seem really important, but it is. At the end of the event the volunteers are so hungry and being offered a homemade baked cookie versus a store bought one really does make a difference.
"Photographers, we never seem to attract photographers. Almost everyone has a camera, and documenting the day is such a great educational tool in our line of work, in addition to truck transport drivers to assist the volunteers," she continued. "After the tires are up and on the riverbank we need volunteers to drive their pickup truck or trailer so we can transport the tires to the roll-off. The drivers won't load the tires - they just bring their vehicle and drive. All three of these activities greatly support the overall goal and spirit of the project and require minimum physical activity."
For the in-water participants, the river cleanup can be physically challenging at times, and even a little scary at first, but McCoy said all work within their own comfort zone and no one works alone.
"I've been a CleanScapes river safety captain since these events began, and when we're all together, wading in the river and pulling out tires, it really does strengthen and re-energize my belief in people," said Rich Best, PADI master scuba instructor and owner of Sunken Treasure Scuba Center. "The experience is much more than the act of removing the tires... we're working together, for a common cause, we see tangible results and we really do have fun, no matter how muddy we get."
The abandoned tire removal project for the West Branch has a new opportunity for local river lot and land owners, and foir boaters and fishermen as well. Prior to or on Saturday, interested individuals and families can independently collect abandoned tires from the river and deliver them to the cleanup drop-off location in Woodward Township that day between 10 a.m. and noon. To register, contact CleanScapes by noon Friday.
Tires will only be accepted if they are pre-registered and have been collected from the river or riverbank. CleanScapes will not assume any liability for the collection or transport of independently collected tires.
This will be the ninth year CleanScapes and its partners have organized a community river cleanup in Clinton County. Since 2004, paddlers, waders, boaters, divers, and truck transport drivers all work together and have completed a four-mile section of the river.
On July 28 and Sept. 8 they will work on the western tip of the Great Island, just downstream from the City of Lock Haven. For both events, Montours-ville's Country Ski and Sport will provide canoes so tires can be transported more efficiently.
"It's really hard to believe that the participants have taken out more than 8 tons of debris and more than 1,400 tires since we began this river cleanup adventure," said McCoy. To learn how to support the effort and to register for the cleanup event or the tire collection activity, contact CleanScapes at 726-3511 or clinton countycleanscapes@ yahoo.com. All registered river cleanup participants will be provided with the meeting location details, gloves, bags and a complimentary lunch catered by Curt's Smokin' Ribs. Registration closes at noon Friday. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Youth under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a participating adult.
The event is sponsored by Anadarko Corp. and the Clinton County Community Foundation. Donated services, supplies, and discounts are provided by the Clinton County commissioners, the Wayne Township Landfill, Susquehanna Transport, Keep PA Beautiful, Walker's Hardware Store, the Clinton County Correctional Facility, and PennDOT.