Photo: Participating in a Westfall Township clean-up were, from the left, UDC Resources & Land Use Specialist Shannon Cilento, Janet Klimowich, UDC Secretary Ashley Hall-Bagdonas, Dawson Smith, Heather DePietro, and Sarah Hall-Bagdonas, along with their photographer, Jacob Lerner.
NARROWSBURG – More than 300 volunteers fanned out among the 15 bi-state communities surrounding the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River over the course of nine days to reclaim the region’s natural beauty.
They were participants in the Upper Delaware Council’s (UDC) first-ever, land-based Upper Delaware Litter Sweep held from April 17-25.
A total of 21 clean-up events were organized that involved all ages from children to senior citizens, individual residents to organizations, elected officials, student clubs, beautification groups, scouts, business representatives, camps, and enemies of roadside trash.
When the UDC’s supply of 250 neon, customized t-shirts purchased through donations was depleted, that didn’t deter latecomers from turning out to join local teams.
Providing the means to the end was funding that the UDC allocated from its “Townships, Technology and Sustainability” grant administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to purchase litter pick-up supplies, the loan or donation of materials and services by the Departments of Transportation in Pennsylvania and New York, and the free disposal stickers and bags contributed by Sullivan County’s Litter Pluck.
Ultimately, though, people power prevailed by answering the UDC’s call for community champions to step forward to do volunteer outreach, arrange the pick-up and disposal areas, distribute equipment, provide safety briefings, and rally their forces to collect a mass of trash marring the Upper Delaware’s scenic byways, country roads, and river accesses.
Designated “Litter Leaders”, from north to south in the river valley, included:
Town of Hancock, NY – Sherri Resti Thomas and Richelle Dufton (Friends of the Upper Delaware River)
Buckingham Township, PA – Chris Calabrese (Delaware River Club)
Town of Fremont, NY – Bill Templeton and Maureen Casey-Bryant (Sullivan West Central School District National Honor Society and Student Council)
Manchester Township, PA – Aranka Hoosein (Camp IHC)
Town of Delaware, NY – Tess McBeath (Town Clerk) and John Erik Karkula (Beautification Committee)
Damascus Township, PA – Don Hamilton (National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River)
Town of Cochecton, NY – Larry H. Richardson (Town of Cochecton UDC Representative)
Berlin Township, PA – Ashley Hall-Bagdonas & Shannon Cilento (Upper Delaware Council)
Town of Tusten, NY – Evan and Cherene Padua (Evan-Town of Tusten UDC Alternate and Sweetwater Guide Service), with Wanda Gangel (Narrowsburg Beautification Group) and Maura Mullally-Caycho (SUNY Sullivan)
Lackawaxen Township, PA – Jeff Thompson (Growing Lackawaxen)
Town of Highland, NY – Andy Boyar (Town of Highland UDC Representative), Sara Velasquez (Delaware Highlands Conservancy), and John Pizzolato (Greater Barryville Chamber of Commerce)
Shohola Township, PA – Bethany Davis Kearney (Cub Scout Troop Pack 105)
Town of Lumberland, NY – Nadia Rajsz (Sullivan County Legislator and Town of Lumberland UDC Representative) with Anne-Louise Scandariato (Sullivan Renaissance)
Town of Deerpark, NY – Dave and Michele Dean (Dave-Town of Deerpark UDC Representative) and Margaret Spring (Port Jervis Area CommUNITY Action)
Westfall Township, PA – Shannon Cilento & Ashley Hall-Bagdonas (UDC)
The Upper Delaware Council offers appreciation to all Litter Leaders and volunteers for the gracious donation of their time and extraordinary efforts.