PEC partnered with The Friends of Starrucca Creek (FSC) and the Rail-Trail Council of Northeast Pennsylvania for a two-day Community Illegal Dumpsite Cleanup event in Susquehanna County on April 23-24.
In the days leading up to the event, Dana Rockwell, PEC’s Advisory Committee Member of Keep Northeastern Pennsylvania Beautiful and FSC, recruited volunteers to walk with canoes along Starrucca Creek pulling debris from its banks.
During the two-day event, volunteers cleaned up six miles of the D&H Rail-Trail from Melrose Road to Thompson Township along the Starrucca Creek from the historical Starrucca Viaduct (built in 1848) down to the junction of the Susquehanna River. Volunteers also cleaned up an area from Melrose Road Harmony Township to Starrucca Creek Road Thompson Township and picked up the debris along Starrucca Creek that was gathered prior to the event.
Volunteers, including members of the Friends of Starrucca Creek, NEPA Rail-Trail Council, Boy Scout Troop 89, Girl Scout Troop, The Armitage Foundation, the Roaring Run Hunting Camp, and family and friends gathered at the Melrose Rail-Trail each morning at 8 a.m. for registration, refreshments, and instructions.
In total, 59 volunteers, (21 were under 18 years old) worked 450 hours, removed 5.77 tons of trash, and recycled 1.50 tons of metal and 361 tires. The group of volunteers came prepared, bringing their trucks and ATV’s bringing with them to pull out tires, fences, appliances, and any other large item within the creek and along the trails.
In PEC’s fifth year of partnering with FSC, one of the major goals is to remove all debris from the 14-mile Starrucca Creek. Nine miles have been cleaned to date.