On September 8, 2018, the Keep Centre County Beautiful (KCCP) Intercoastal Clean Up event took place along Bald Eagle State Park’s 1,730-acre lake, which is surrounded by miles of forested shoreline.
“At the start of the day the eagles and ospreys soared above the Howard pavilion area, what a beautiful way to start the day. The cloudy and damp weather was a factor, but I’m extremely pleased with the turnout for this event,” said KCCP Director Rod Fye, who also noted that Bald Eagle State Park has 23 miles of shoreline and only a few miles were touched on September 8.
“We focused on collecting litter and the volunteers’ determination made such a big difference in getting those plastic items out of the lake,” he said.
To warm up the volunteers and help keep them energized, Clinton County CleanScapes – KCCP’s neighboring Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful affiliate – provided morning coffee and donuts.
After 3 hours of litter removal, the boaters returned to a grilled picnic-style luncheon provided by the Fye family.
While flipping burgers, Fye was already looking forward to returning, “Next year we need to include more areas of the lake that we didn’t addressed this time. Today we had six canoeists and two kayakers on the water team. They concentrated on the Hunter Run and the Lower Greens Run launch areas near the Route 26 causeway bridge. Three volunteers concentrated on the lake shore trail from the Marina to the Foster Joseph Sayer Monument and two volunteers concentrated on the southwest shore from the causeway to the private marina operated by Howard Borough. Next summer I want to increase the cleanup locations and we’ll need a lot more boaters and hikers.”
Joining Saturday’s cleanup team was Ron and Heidy Johnson, Scott and Shelly Mato from the Moshannon Sierra Club, Dave Ziegler, Susan Puchgba, Denny and Rebecca Whitesell, and Amanda Richardson.
Fye beamed as he singled out a group from the Beech Creek-Blanchard area, Boy Scout Troop 54, “Having scouts join us for their Environmental Merit badge is so personally rewarding – their work ethic and drive reinstates my faith in our area’s future.” Scout troop and family members were Lee and Wyatt Corman and John and Jonathan Killinger. Also attending were Amy Schrif, Jeia Frosyth, and Deanna Afflitto, staff from the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority.
In less than 3 hours, 18 participants collected over 1,000 pounds of litter and 13 tires.
Making volunteer tasks easier, the PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources supplied a motor boat operated by Keith Peters and a dump truck driven by the Environmental Education Specialist Zach McCloskey.
Fye added, “Since the cleanup, the rainfall has caused the water level to rise again and I’ve seen new litter floating onto the causeway. We’re a little frustrated, but not discouraged because we knew years of people littering would not be fixed after three hours of work. We’ll do this cleanup again. In the mean time, I’m hopeful that the handful of park visitors that litter will choose to become responsible citizens and dispose their rubbish in the park’s trash cans and not in the water.”