Communities across the region were alive with volunteers this April in celebration of Earth Week and the 3rd Annual Susquehanna Greenway Cleanup Week.
During April 12 – 29, 2023, twenty partnering communities and organizations from across the Commonwealth organized 26 events that attracted over 900 volunteers and collectively removed 29,838 pounds of litter from area parks, trails, and communities along the Susquehanna River.
Events organized and led by local groups and organizations were held in the communities of Athens, Sayre, Sugar Run Tunkhannock, Bloomsburg, Danville, Jersey Shore, Newberry, Williamsport, Loyalsock Township, Lewisburg, Milton, Montgomery, Watsontown, Harrisburg, Selinsgrove, Sunbury, Pequea, York, and Columbia.
“The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership created the Susquehanna Greenway Cleanup Week as a means of gathering communities and volunteers together to positively give back to the Susquehanna River and Susquehanna Greenway,” explains SGP Executive Director Corey Ellison. “In just two years, we have seen the number of cleanups triple and spread across the state. We are thrilled with the response of this year’s event and thank the partners, River Town Teams, and the many volunteers for their hard work.”
The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP) supports cleanup efforts and events in a variety of ways depending on the experience and needs of the event host. Assistance includes convening the interested parties, providing promotional assistance, sharing resources for event planning and organization, answering questions and offering support for litter disposal, soliciting volunteers, identifying locations and coordinating with site owners, hosting groups, and securing no-cost cleanup materials such as bags, gloves, and safety vests. These supplies were acquired through the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful initiative, which offers registered events free materials via a collaborative partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, PennDOT, and Keep America Beautiful Program.
The astounding results are as follows:
- Athens & Sayre: 16 volunteers led by Futurescapes cleaned up 100 pounds of trash along the Diahoga Trail between Athens & Sayre.
- Sugar Run: 10 volunteers led by Endless Mountains Heritage Region collected 580 pounds of trash from the Susquehanna River in Bradford County.
- Tunkhannock: 8 volunteers led by Endless Mountains Heritage Region collected 697 pounds of trash from the Susquehanna River in Wyoming County.
- Bloomsburg: 13 volunteers cleared 180 pounds of trash from along Fort McClure Boulevard during a cleanup facilitated by the Town of Bloomsburg.
- Danville: Coordinated by the Montour Area Recreation Commission, 68 volunteers gathered 1,400 pounds of litter from Hess Recreation Area, Hopewell Park / Danville Borough Farm Trail System, Riverside Borough River Access, Montgomery Park River Access, North Branch Canal Trail Trailhead / River Access, North Branch Canal Trail, Montour Preserve, and Washingtonville Borough.
- Jersey Shore: 100 volunteers from the Jersey Shore High School Outdoor Club picked up 600 pounds of trash from several locations throughout the community.
- Newberry: 60 volunteers led by the Newberry Community Partnership cleaned up 370 pounds of litter from the Newberry neighborhood within Williamsport.
- Williamsport: 30 volunteers from Lycoming College, West Branch Valley Association of REALTORS, Kohls, and other volunteers from the Williamsport Area (led by the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership), collectively gathered 295 pounds of trash from along the Susquehanna River Walk.
- Loyalsock Township: 4 volunteers from Verilife cleared 130 pounds of litter from the Loyalsock Bikeway in Loyalsock Township.
- Lewisburg: 15 volunteers with Lewisburg Neighborhoods cleaned up 447 pounds of trash from the Bull Run Neighborhood and 6 volunteers with the Buffalo Creek Watershed Association cleared 470 pounds of additional trash (including 19 tires) from Campbell Mill Road along the Creek.
- Milton: 8 volunteers from the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership staff and board of directors cleared 204 pounds of trash from Milton State Park.
- Montgomery: 9 volunteers from Montgomery Borough cleaned up 800 pounds of litter from Montgomery Park.
- Watsontown: 6 volunteers from RSVP AmeriCorps Seniors cleared 130 pounds of trash from Watsontown Park.
- Harrisburg: 13 volunteers from Schneider Electric cleared over 400 pounds of trash during a cleanup facilitated by Dauphin County Parks & Recreation. 6 volunteers from Barry Isett & Associates, Inc. picked up an additional 27 bags worth of litter along Industrial Road, by HACC Harrisburg Campus and Wildwood Park. Additionally, 400 volunteers led by Tri County Community Action collected 14,000 pounds of trash from the Harrisburg area.
- Selinsgrove: 12 volunteers from Susquehanna University, led by the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, collected 130 pounds of trash from along Penns Creek and the creekside parks of Selinsgrove. An Earth Day Celebration was also held by Citizen’s Climate Lobby at East Snyder Park.
- Sunbury: 175 volunteers led by the Susquehanna River Cleanup Project cleared 2 dumpsters full of litter, totaling 8,500 pounds.
- Pequea & York: Volunteers assisted Lancaster Conservancy by removing invasive plants from Climbers Run Nature Center and Wizard Ranch Nature Preserve.
- Columbia: Sahd Metal Recycling held their 17th Annual Earth Day Celebration.
The Susquehanna Greenway is a corridor of connected trails, parks, river access points, and communities, linking people to the natural and cultural treasures of the Susquehanna River. It is championed by the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP), whose mission is to grow the Greenway by building connections along the Susquehanna River, inspiring people to engage with the outdoors, and transforming communities into places where people want to live, work, and explore.
More specifically, SGP convenes local & state leaders to facilitate community-led projects that connect residents & visitors to the outdoor opportunities along the Susquehanna River and grow the Greenway’s network of trails, parks, boat launches, conserved lands, and natural assets.
They also provide guided experiences to the public, offering a repertoire of outdoor programing and events that include educational workshops, paddling programs, an outdoor expo, and, of course, the Susquehanna Greenway Cleanup Week.
SGP could not be happier with the enthusiasm shown for the cleanup and would like to thank the partnering organizations and dedicated volunteers who helped make this initiative a success!
The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP), established in 2006, is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to advancing the vision of the Susquehanna Greenway in Pennsylvania. SGP’s mission is to grow the Susquehanna Greenway corridor by connecting communities, promoting active healthy living, and facilitating collaborative partnerships along the Susquehanna River. Learn more at susquehannagreenway.org.