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Tons Of Support

Nearly 100 Volunteers Help Clean Allegheny River

A trailer full of miscellaneous garbage shows the dedication and effectiveness of 2020 Allegheny River Clean-up volunteers. Photos courtesy of Sue Nielsen

WARREN, Pa. — It wasn’t quite business as usual, but the 2020 Allegheny River Clean-up in Warren County featured nearly 100 volunteers pulling assorted garbage out of the river over multiple days.

The final tally over two days of cleaning was 22 cubic yards of garbage, 24 tires, and 2,700 pounds of recyclable metals, according to co-organizer David Snyder.

“Like so many other activities in 2020, this year’s cleanup was unlike any that had come before it,” co-founder Nate Welker said. “Given the ongoing pandemic holding a ‘community conservation event’ this fall would have been irresponsible. Agency offices remain closed to the public, employees continue to work virtually from home, and large public gatherings continue to be ill-advised if not entirely illegal.”

“Still, event organizers believed, with the proper planning and precautions, a smaller cleanup was still needed and could be completed without additional risk to our wonderful volunteers or the local community,” Welker said.

“On Sept. 18 and 19, a smaller, COVID-sensitive cleanup was completed by eighty-nine volunteers who donated 712 hours while removing trash from the 6.4 miles of the Allegheny River between Warren and Buckaloons,” he said.

Land crew volunteers bring order to piles of garbage at Buckaloons after a day of cleaning up the Allegheny River.

Notable finds during the event included “a 344-pound engine, two lawn tractors and a push mower, the top of a pickup truck, part of a camper, and a multitude of other inappropriately dumped and disposed-of detritus,” Snyder said.

There were even two “7-foot Frisbees” — round, plastic picnic tables.

In addition to the volunteers, the organizers expressed their thanks to “Piper and Sue and all the hard-working folks at Allegheny Outfitters, Northwest Bank, and Warren Tire.”

A heavily-laden Forest Service boat rides low in the water as it brings another load of trash to shore during the Allegheny River Clean-up.

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