Photo by Flickr user St. BarnardProject
Debris along the Susquehanna River
Photo by Flickr user sundakofax

Volunteer Corps Help Cleanup

SGP in partnership with the Appalachian Coal Country Team (ACCT) will be hosting a National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) Team to help river communities that were impacted by the September 2011 floods with river, park, and trail cleanup.

 “We are grateful to the ACCT and NCCC for providing a Team to help river communities recover from the flood and keep our public areas and waterways clean and accessible for the enjoyment of local residents and tourists,” says Erin Pierce, Program Coordinator with SGP. “Furthermore, we hope that this work can inspire others to volunteer with the Greenway and their local community to identify and work towards improvements to public parks and river accesses in their area.”

The NCCC Team consists of 11 young men and women, 18 to 24 years old who have earned their place on an NCCC Team by demonstrating a commitment to serve their community and to develop practical skills. The Team will be volunteering from March 11 to April 4 along the North Branch of the Susquehanna in the communities of Shickshinny, Berwick, Bloomsburg, and Falls. This volunteer work is part of The Great American Cleanup of PA, a state-wide initiative to beautify the state through local events.

During their time along the Susquehanna, the Team will be working in downtown Shickshinny to pick up litter and clean the streets. The team will partner with the Susquehanna Warrior Trail Council for two days to remove flood mud and restore the riverside trail. The volunteers will spend four days in Berwick conducting riverbank, litter, and brush cleanup in Test Track Park. The team will assist with recovery work in Bloomsburg’s Town Park, which has been closed to the public since the flood. Finally, the volunteers will assist with riverbank cleanup and local playground restoration in Falls.

Partnership with and support from the Borough of Shickshinny, the Borough of Berwick, the Town of Bloomsburg, Exeter Township, Susquehanna Warrior Trail Council, Columbia Montour Boy Scout Council, EIHAB Human Services, Inc. of Tunkhannock, Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, First United Methodist Church of Berwick, Ardee’s Foodrinkery of Falls, and the retired teachers group in Bloomsburg, has helped to host these volunteers and make this work possible.

Those interested in assisting the NCCC volunteers can attend a public cleanup day, or provide a meal or snack for the volunteers. The public is invited to help the team: Friday, March 16 in Berwick’s Test Track Park from 1:00-3:00 p.m.; Saturday, March 17 along the Warrior Trail between 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Saturday, March 31 in Falls 9:00-11:00 a.m. For more information about volunteering, or providing a snack or meal to the team, contact Erin Pierce at epierce@susquehannagreenway.org.

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 and its West Branch. Over 500 miles in the length, the Greenway is one of our state’s greatest resources, conserving the environment for all living things, and creating recreational opportunities for healthy communities.

The ACCT is a coalition of change-minded grassroots-level watershed improvement groups determined to repair the environmental degradation left from historic coal mining while creating economic stability needed in our rural communities. The ACCT is a partnership between the Office of Surface Mining and AmeriCorps VISTA, sponsoring 25 OSM/VISTAs throughout seven states in the Appalachian Region and is headquartered in Beckley, WV. For more information, visit www.coalcountryteam.org