|Executive Director David Robertson with board member Kathleen Ernst|
This year's cleanup was last Saturday, April 9. As the date approached, the weather forecast quickly began to deteriorate, with calls for a wintry mix of wet snow turning to rain. Yuck!
When I awoke on Saturday morning, the skies were overcast but there was no precipitation falling. Would we be spared? However, 45 minutes before the start of the event, I heard on the radio that snow was falling to our west and, sure enough, when I went out to help prepare, snow had moved into the area.
Nevertheless, we did not call off or postpone the event, and about 60 volunteers reported for duty. I led my group down to the creek (a 10-minute walk via the Rosebush Trail), where we forded the stream to get to an island that is always a hotbed of trash. This year was no exception. The creek splits at the head of the island and floodwaters push all sorts of debris up onto the point where the stream divides. Most of the flotsam is woody, but it also contains all the detritus of modern life - especially plastic bottles and polystyrene.
|A "before" picture of trash embedded in woody debris (volunteer at right)|
Over the 28 years I've helped with the creek cleanup, it's interesting to note that we hardly ever find aluminum cans any longer (formerly a significant part of the trash collected). Are more people recycling, or are the cans valuable now?
|We decided to call ourselves the Drowned Rats|
In addition to the volunteers who worked along Pennypack Creek in the preserve, two other groups worked in Upper Moreland Township parks along Round Meadow Run, a Pennypack Creek tributary, cleaning up trash headed downstream from downtown Willow Grove. We appreciate everyone's help!
David Robertson, Executive Director