Com­mu­nity cleanup

Weather doesn’t de­ter River Sweep vol­un­teers

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— De­spite a steady rain­fall, vol­un­teers ar­rived Satur­day morn­ing for the an­nual River Sweep hosted by Lower Susque­hanna Her­itage Green­way.

At lo­ca­tions in Conowingo, Havre de Grace, Per­ryville and Port De­posit, vol­un­teers filled bright yel­low plas­tic bags with sty­ro­foam, plas­tic, metal, glass and other de­bris left

PER­RYVILLE

by ne­glect or the tides in the Susque­hanna wa­ter­shed.

Among the finds were count­less tires, cig­a­rette butts, parts of boats and the rem­nants of a vac­uum cleaner.

“I also found bones,” said Marissa Dean, who worked with her par­ents, Jesse and Belinda Dean, to clean up the Per­ryville Com­mu­nity Park. The Deans were part of a team of some 40 adults, chil­dren and teach­ers rep­re­sent­ing the En­vi­ron­men­tal Club

from Conowingo El­e­men­tary School.

“I wish it wasn’t rain­ing,” Jesse said, a sen­ti­ment echoed by many who kept pick­ing up trash in the soak­ing rain.

This was the 16th year for River Sweep, al­ways held the fourth Satur­day in April. Vol­un­teers that sign up in ad­vance get a com­mem­o­ra­tive shirt. Af­ter the cleanup, all vol­un­teers are fed lunch.

John LoPresto, a teacher at Per­ryville High School, led an­other con­tin­gent of vol­un­teers.

“This park is very dear to us,” LoPresto said. “We go run­ning, pad­dling and cy­cling here. This is our fit­ness cen­ter.”

Crews also worked at Ma­rina Park in Port De­posit, Conowingo Creek, Oc­toraro Creek, Per­ryville Boat Launch, Ty­d­ings Park in Havre de Grace and Gar­rett Is­land.

Bernie Bodt from Churchville took peo­ple from the launch at Per­ryville to the 200-acre is­land in the mid­dle of the Susque­hanna River. Among those pas­sen­gers to Gar­rett Is­land were Eve Keene and her son Kevin Keene from Conowingo.

“We did an­other cleanup a cou­ple of weeks ago,” said Kevin, 10. “I found a bunch of tires and a dol­lar bill.”

Matthew Sun­der­land from Ris­ing Sun looked around dur­ing the cleanup and ap­pre­ci­ated the ef­forts of the many vol­un­teers.

“This kind of makes every­thing bet­ter,” the 11-year-old said.

The Kon­dracki fam­ily from Ris­ing Sun makes the an­nual River Sweep a fam­ily af­fair. Five-year-old Claire said this was her first time on Gar­rett Is­land, but her mother, Libby, added it was just the first her youngest re­mem­bers.

“She’s been here be­fore,” Libby said as she held one of the big yel­low bags open for 9-year-old, Kae­lyn.

While most were pick­ing up trash, 9-year-old Minna Bond was find­ing wildlife.

“Look at the moths I found,” the Conowingo girl said ex­cit­edly, point­ing to two brown-winged spec­i­mens sit­ting on the ground.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Aaron Kostecki and John LoPresto, teach­ers at Per­ryville High School, were among the dozens of vol­un­teers clean­ing up Per­ryville Com­mu­nity Park Satur­day as part of the 16th River Sweep hosted by Lower Susque­hanna Her­itage Green­way.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Kevin Keene stud­ies some­thing he found on Gar­rett Is­land be­fore toss­ing it into his bag dur­ing the River Sweep Satur­day.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Minna Bond, 9, was one of the dozens of vol­un­teers tak­ing part in River Sweep Satur­day morn­ing. A mem­ber of Conowingo El­e­men­tary School’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Club, she was pick­ing up trash on Gar­rett Is­land.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Us­ing tongs, Cali, Anita and Lilly Meenan pick up trash on Gar­rett Is­land Satur­day morn­ing. The 16th an­nual River Sweep brought to­gether dozens of vol­un­teers of all ages.

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