Volunteers sought for reservoir cleanup

The Allegheny Reservoir is a treasure of Warren County.

For a decade, volunteers have set aside a day to take special care of that treasure.

“Now in its tenth year, the positive effects of the annual Allegheny Reservoir Clean-up have become very apparent,” volunteer organizer Ron Keeney said. “As a result of this annual community conservation event, the shorelines and waters of the Allegheny Reservoir are much safer and cleaner places for the wildlife and recreationalists who use them.”

The clean-up will start at 8 a.m. Saturday. It is a cooperative effort of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, Seneca Nation of Indians, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Warren County Adult Probation and Parole, Cornplanter Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and other community organizations.

Some of those in charge of the event have already been out, checking out the circumstances and getting a jump on the cleaning needs.

“A crew of three volunteers went on a day-long tour of Willow Bay and the New York side of the Allegheny Reservoir on Friday in order to assess the clean-up needs,” Keeney said. “They found plenty of trash and flotsam and jetsam, large and small, during their reconnaissance.”

“A pickup truckload of trash was also collected during this excursion, which included a child’s ATV and trash found at an illegal campsite at the mouth of Polly’s Run in Sugar Bay,” he said. “Due to the high volume of trash found, there will be plenty of need for volunteers for this cleanup event.”

Volunteers are asked to pre-register at www.alleghenyrivercleanup.com/reservoir.html and meet at Webb’s Ferry Boat Launch at 8 a.m. for sign-in and supplies – gloves and trash bags.

Those who wish to participate should print out the release form on the website, fill it out, and bring it with them. Parental consent forms, also from the website, must be filled out for anyone under 18 who wants to participate. Volunteers will also need to provide their own lunch and drinks for the day.

“For safety reasons, participants will not be permitted to participate in the clean-up if they are not wearing long pants and closed-toe footwear,” Keeney said. “Volunteers should bring rain gear – the clean-up will be completed rain or shine – and layered clothing. Individuals should come prepared for a range of weather conditions, which can change rapidly in mid-May in northwestern Pennsylvania.”

The clean-up is expected to wrap up by 4 p.m. with grilled hot dogs, chips and drinks provided to volunteers then as a thank you.