Weather doesn’t deter River Sweep volunteers
— 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
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.
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.
Kevin Keene studies something he found on Garrett Island before tossing it into his bag during the River Sweep Saturday.
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.
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.