Allegheny Reservoir cleanup scheduled for May 11

Over the past nine years, hundreds of volunteers have given thousands of hours to make the Allegheny Reservoir a more beautiful place.

The ninth annual Allegheny Reservoir Clean-up will take place from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11.

The reservoir, the second-largest body of water in Pennsylvania, is home to at least 71 species of fish, including several game-fish species: walleye, smallmouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, yellow perch, and others.

It attracts a variety of water fowl and fishing birds: bald eagles and osprey to ducks, geese, and mergansers.

Swimming, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, and sightseeing are popular activities in and around the reservoir.

At summer pool, the reservoir is 24.2 miles long, has 91 miles of shoreline, covers 12,080 acres, and reaches a depth of 130 feet.

Agencies that partner in the event include: U.S. Forest Service Allegheny National Forest, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and Warren County Adult Probation and Parole. Other partners include: Allegheny Outfitters and Indian Waters Canoe and Kayak; Northwest Savings Bank; PNC Bank; Warren County Visitors Bureau; Warren County Council on Tourism; Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry; and Young Professionals of Warren County.

The event has a number of goals in addition to beautifying the waters and shore of the reservoir.

The clean-up: provides “regular hands-on volunteer opportunities that foster environmentally friendly attitudes and motivations”; raises “awareness of environment issues and opportunities in our local communities”; and promotes “environmental conservation and encourage individuals and organizations to work independently and collectively to address problems and prevent new ones.”

Those interested in participating in the event must pre-register by Friday, May 3, by calling 728-6163 or sending email to event organizer Nathan Welker of the Allegheny National Forest Ecosystems Management Team at nwelker@fs.fed.us.

Volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at Red Bridge Campground.

Participants are asked to bring rain gear, layered clothing in case the temperature changes dramatically during the day, and their own lunch and snacks. Long pants and closed-toe footwear are required.

Trash bags and gloves will be provided.

Volunteers under the age of 18 are allowed to participate with adult supervision and signed parental consent and liability release forms.

Food, including hot dogs, chips, and drinks, will be provided to volunteers at the end of the day.

“Thanks to the hard work of our partners and volunteers, the shorelines and waters of the Allegheny Reservoir are safer and cleaner places for the wildlife and recreationalists who use them,” Welker said.