ClearWater Conservancy leads hundreds of volunteers in Earth Day cleanup

This weekend, to celebrate Earth Day, more than 300 volunteers braved the wet Centre County terrain to pick up trash in the area’s streams, parks and along its roadsides.

ClearWater Conservancy, along with Centre County Solid Waste Authority, organized the 15th annual Watershed Cleanup Day on Saturday. The amount of junk collected hasn’t been tallied yet, but during the event’s quarter-century history more than 2700 tons of trash has been collected, with more than 100 tons being collected last year alone.

The event, which is part of the Great American Cleanup and Great Pennsylvania Cleanup initiatives, is a big factor in keeping the area’s water clean, according to Nick Schipanski, ClearWater Conservancy’s water resources coordinator.

“Not only is the trash an eyesore, which is enough of a reason to get rid of it, but it’s a public health concern too,” Schipanski said. “A lot of trash winds up in streams and sink holes. And since so much of the drinking water comes from ground water, it’s important to keep the water clean.”

At noon the volunteers were rewarded for their hard work with a picnic. But knowing that they helped make the environment of Centre County better by removing many tons of trash was their real reward.

How did you celebrate Earth Day?

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