Early on a Saturday morning in April, SWEP joined Saw Mill Run Watershed Association (SMRWA) for the first stream cleanup of the year. The air was brisk at 9am, but the sun was shining, and the coffee was hot. A total of 39 volunteers assisted with the Earth Day cleanup to improve the quality of Saw Mill Run which flows through Castle Shannon Borough. The volunteer demographic gives an insight about the people who care about the local environment. Volunteers included municipality employees, fire and police staff, residents, SWEP members, environmental consultants, and members of local clean water agencies such as ALCOSAN. Before venturing into the stream, the volunteers gathered for a group photo - chanting “WE DO” when asked “Who cares about Saw Mill Run?”
Lisa Werder Brown, Executive Director of SMRWA, provided coffee, donuts, and a brief safety lesson for the group. The volunteers divided into smaller groups to tackle 1.6 miles of stream between Rockwood Avenue and Killarney Drive. The Great American Cleanup of PA provided safety vests, gloves, and trash bags – enough for this event and several stream cleanups to come.
Tackling the stream is exactly what this group did! The bed of the Castle Shannon Borough truck was overflowing with bags of “non-natural” items pulled out of the stream. The bulk of the trash collected was small items such as cups, bottles, cans, food wrappers, and plastic grocery bags that made their way into the stream getting caught in branches and under rocks. The volunteers also pulled out heavier abandoned items, such as broken pipes, parts of old manholes, construction debris, and even a few granite headstones.
The hard work of the day was rewarded with pizza, snacks and beverages provided by local vendors:
Special thanks to The Pizza Company and SHOP ‘n SAVE in Castle Shannon Borough!
Additional thanks to Chuck Christ for his wonderful photos and videos of the event:
Upcoming events for SMRWA can be found here.
To report maintenance issues for Saw Mill Run, please download the “Water Reporter” app and join the Saw Mill Run Watershed group page. The app can post photos with geotags to be send to SMRWA to handle environmental or other concerns.
The SWEP 3 Rivers Public Service Committee needs you! Interested in joining? Email Amanda Love: Alove@moody-S.comOr visit the SWEP website at: www.swep3rivers.org