Driven by volunteers, CleanScapes finds tons of debris; next cleanup Sept. 7

PHOTO PROVIDED Thomas Boob, left, and his father Tom Boob maneuver their boats during the July 27 Bald Eagle Creek cleanup.

LOCK HAVEN – Every successful nonprofit organization works with a team of dedicated volunteers. Together they power the program’s mission. CleanScapes mission is to restore uncared-for public outdoor spaces by removing abandoned tires and picking up discarded stuff.

This year, 138 CleanScapes volunteers picked up 4.82 tons (9,640 lbs.) of discards and 161 tires. They will reassemble for CleanScapes’ 127th community cleanup event on Sept. 7. The goal is to remove the remaining old and weatherworn tires from Bald Eagle Creek in Castanea Township.

CleanScapes board members became aware of Bald Eagle Creek’s 13-mile long, tire-strewn legacy in 2004. The following year, the first cleanup events began on the creek’s floodplain followed by instream “tire hunts”. The 17th cleanup occurred this past July. Thomas Boob, his wife Bette Toth, and family friend Thor Frazier powered the event.

They scouted the creek for tires, gathered friends, brought boats, and planned the volunteers’ luncheon menu.

On event day, Sunken Treasure Scuba Center owner and Master Diver Rich Best brought his team of scuba divers.

From the creek’s deep, lightless bottom they extracted over 60 tires and hundreds of pounds of corroded metal objects.

On the water, Tom Boob, his son Thomas Boob, and Crystal Beach Road property owner Joshua Day powered their boats to transport collect items to the shoreline. Instream, volunteer extraordinaire Joanne Heimer and CleanScapes board member LaKeshia Knarr led two volunteer tire hunting teams.

Creekside William “Bill” Ely drove his truck with trailer and transported 92 tires and 2,225 pounds of trash to the roll-off dumpster donated by the Wayne Township Landfill in cooperation with the Clinton County Commissioners. Lunch for the volunteers, at the Fish and Boat Commission’s Bald Eagle Creek boat access, was arranged by CleanScapes Board Member Colleen Xethakis-Lacey and her husband Gerry.

Homemade salads, pickles, and deserts accompanied Hublersburg Inn handcrafted beef patties grilled on-site by Brother’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant Chef Sean Geraty.

CleanScapes 20th anniversary occurs in 2020.

With funding secured from the Clinton County Economic Partnership’s Tourist Promotion Agency, we are planning a springtime 5K hike/run that will include a milkweed seed dispersal venture and baking contest followed up by a buffet luncheon on the Bald Eagle Valley Rail Trail. The event’s location will take place where CleanScapes PPL right-of-way cleanup programming began back in spring 2008. This truly is a celebration.

After years of removing old dumpsites and hundreds of tires Cleanscape will provide a day of family fun on one of our region’s greatest land reuse transformations.

On behalf of the CleanScapes Advisory Board and Project Director Elisabeth Lynch McCoy, “we wish to express our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the thousands of volunteers, hundreds of partners, and financial supporters powering our mission’s goals. You make CleanScapes community cleanup events successful, regionally valuable, and fun to accomplish!” the nonprofit said.

Take a moment to be uplifted; and see them in action at www.cleanscapes-ncpa.com. Again, thank you CleanScapes volunteers and partners – you’re making our region of the PA Wilds a wonderful place to live, work, and substantially safer to enjoy!

Next Bald Eagle Creek cleanup event is this coming Saturday, Sept. 7.

Both events are made possible by a grant awards to CleanScapes from the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies on behalf of the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, and the Clinton County Community Foundation.

To learn more visit www.cleanscapes-ncpa.com or reach CleanScapes’ Project Director Elisabeth Lynch McCoy at 570-726-3511.