Monday, April 15, 2013

43rd Annual Creek Cleanup

Trash collected by Viridian Energy volunteers
The Pennypack Trust held its annual creek cleanup along Pennypack Creek and several tributary streams last Saturday.  Despite showers on Friday, the streams were not particularly high on Saturday, and the day was sunny and temperatures were perfect - in the low 60s.

With over 100 individuals from Scouts, church groups, and companies volunteering at this event, we needed to spread the workforce over the landscape.  I took a group to Upper Moreland Township's Terwood Park where Round Meadow Run, a tributary draining downtown Willow Grove, originates.  Because of the commercial activity in this stream's headwaters, we can always count on collecting plenty of trash on the floodplain.

Round Meadow Run, the tributary where I worked,  near its mouth
I had volunteers from Viridian Energy, an electric utility supplier in the region, and from Planet Aid, a non-profit organization that re-purposes and distributes donated clothing and housewares.

Viridian Energy volunteers
Because we have not had a major flood since August 2011 when Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee roared through the valley (2012's Hurricane Sandy caused tremendous wind damage but did not produce much rain), there was not an inordinate amount of trash to collect.  Floods wash debris out of the watershed and deposit it on the floodplain, but this year we mostly collected routine stuff, especially plastic bottles and Styrofoam.

Round Meadow Run (foreground) joining Pennypack Creek (right)
Pennypack Creek is too large to ford easily, so volunteers from Planet Aid used a downed tree to access the opposite bank
Heading back for lunch
The three Planet Aid volunteers; it's not apparent in the image, but Dave (center) had fallen in the creek
Lavonne Cain (left), Pennypack's marketing assistant, and Mary Robertson distributed t-shirts
Back at the Visitor Center, we treated the volunteers to lunch provided by Whole Foods Market in Jenkintown, and we gave each volunteer a commemorative t-shirt.

Lunch in the picnic area
The creek cleanup, Pennypack's biggest event of the year, is hectic and chaotic, but it's also fun and satisfying.  Participants always feel good about being able to do something to help the environment.

The Pennypack Trust extends special thanks to our partner in this annual event, Upper Moreland Township, which collects and disposes of much of the trash gathered by our volunteers.

This year's cleanup was also sponsored by Susquehanna Bank, Giroud Tree and Lawn and MLCS Woodworking.

The following local businesses also provided support for the event: Bickel & Scena

General Contractors; BLue – A hair studio; Carr and Duff, Inc.; DeMarco Land Clearing & Tree Service; Rems Automotive; Star Lawn Mower; The Fredericks Company; and Vaporfoxxe.

Submitted by David Robertson, Executive Director

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