The Chadakoin River is a lot cleaner today than it was Saturday morning.
Around 25 volunteers dedicated their day to pulling all manner of debris from the river. The event was organized by the Conewango Creek Watershed Association for the second consecutive year. When the group finished compiling all the trash fished from the river, the result was overwhelming.
"Considering the incumbent weather conditions we had, I was very pleased with the amount of volunteers that showed up," said John Gallagher, chairman of the CCWA. "As you can see by the pile of trash and rubbish and metal, I think we did quite well."
Above, volunteers pull a car seat from the Chadakoin River on Saturday.
P-J photos by Nicholena Moon
A pile of junk collected throughout the day.
A volunteer shows off a jawbone he found in the river.
The pile included dubious finds from shopping carts to car seats to jawbones. Gallagher had expected more volunteers, but the weather proved to be a slight deterrent to the public.
"Last year was the same, it happened to rain on that day and this year it rained as well," said Gallagher, "but we are very pleased with the volunteers who showed up. We are very pleased with the sponsors and everyone who was involved with it."
The group plans to continue the project next year. Gallagher hopes to attract more volunteers and continue the effort a greater distance along the river.
"We are very enthusiastic and looking forward to next year and picking up where we left off and continuing down the Chadakoin," he said. "Our eventual goal is to get as far as Levant, and that's a long ways."
Aside from the pollution's impact on the environment, cleaning the Chadakoin is an important step towards revitalizing downtown Jamestown.
"The main importance of it is to keep our waterways from being polluted," said Gallagher. "And with all the revitalization that's going on in Jamestown in terms of the riverfront project and all the bicycle path initiatives and the changes in Jamestown we want to have a clean environment for people to go to and for families to come to. If the water is dirty, no one is going to want to go near it."
Sponsors for the event included Ecklof Bakery, Tim Horton's, Domino's Pizza, Rudy's Pizza, Honest John's Pizza, Wegman's, Pepsi, Warren Tractor Supply, True Value, Jamestown Ice & Storage and Jamestown Awning.