The Friends of Allegheny Wilderness will hold the 2016 Allegheny River Cleanup September 10 to 17. This marks the eighth consecutive year for the cleanup.
The cleanup will take place over five days:
-- September 10: Conewango Creek (Front Street to Point Park, 3.5 Miles) — Meet at Point Park in Warren at 9:00 a.m. for registration and shuttle to the Front Street launch site in North Warren.
-- September 12: Conewango Creek (Larimer Park to Front Street, 5 Miles) — Meet at Front Street launch site in North Warren at 9:00 a.m. for registration and shuttle to Larimer Park launch site. The Front Street launch site is at the foot of Hackney Meadows Lane off of Conewango Avenue.
-- September 13: Allegheny River (Wildwood to Tidioute Boat Launch, 7.5 Miles) — Meet at Tidioute Boat Launch at 9:00 a.m. for shuttle to Wildwood. This portion of the Clean-Up includes the federally designated Courson Wilderness Island.
Courson Island (photo) is part of the Allegheny Islands Wilderness, designated as such when President Ronald Reagan signed the Pennsylvania Wilderness Act into law in October of 1984. It is a 62-acre alluvial island situated about two miles north of Tidioute. It is the island that can be clearly seen while looking north up the Allegheny River from the famous Tidioute Overlook site.
For a more detailed description of Courson Island, see page 76 in the Native Tree Society’s report, Trees and Forests of the Allegheny River Islands Wilderness and Nearby Islands.
-- September 16: Allegheny River (Tidioute Boat Ramp to West Hickory, 8 Miles) — Meet at West Hickory boat launch at 9:00 a.m. for registration and shuttle to Tidioute Boat Ramp. Volunteers will be briefed about island locations, trash hot spots and other information at the launch site. If you’d like to volunteer but do not want to get on the water, shore helpers will be needed beginning at 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
-- September 17: Allegheny River (Point Park to Buckaloons, 7 Miles) — Meet at Buckaloons Recreation Area near the boat ramp at 9:00 a.m. for shuttle to Point Park in Warren. Volunteers will be briefed about trash hot spots and other information at the launch site. If you’d like to volunteer, but do not want to get on the water, shore helpers will be needed beginning at 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
So what do volunteers do? Canoers and kayakers will pick up trash as they paddle downriver. Sometimes they will need to get out along the shore to pick up objects on the riverbank — this is where muck boots or waders come in handy.
When your boat is full of garbage, float to the nearest trash drop-off point. On-shore volunteers will be needed at these points to unload boats full of “treasures” and sort recyclables from trash, and to stack tires.
Other volunteers will be needed to transport all of these goodies to designated dumpsters, trailers, and storage units.
When you register, you will need to know how many people are in your party in order to reserve your canoes. Limited space is available, so don’t delay. If you do not want to canoe, we still need lots of shore helpers to help unload, sort, and stack all of the bounty of our “harvest,” once the paddlers arrive back to shore.
Be sure to show up on the right day and at the correct time and place designated for your trip. Please don’t be late as this can set off a wave of delays throughout the day.You can learn more as well as sign up by visiting the Friends of Allegheny Wilderness 2016 Allegheny River Cleanup webpage.