Kayakers, Canoeists Pick Up Trash Along Ten Mile Creek
Washington PA Observer Reporter
19 April 2014
by Scott Beveridge, Staff Writer
MARIANNA – Wildflowers were beginning to bloom and chirping
warblers announced their spring arrival as kayakers and canoeists
set out Saturday morning for an adventure along Ten Mile Creek
The volunteers returned by boat about noon with a small mountain
of trash, including vehicle tires, bedsprings and the back of an
old plastic television – items they had removed from the banks of
the creek in the first large-scale effort to clean up the
tributary of the Monongahela River.
“It feels rewarding,” said Jessica Dodson of Milton, a Washington
& Jefferson College sophomore who was among 27 people using 16
boats in the beautification project.
“I found a bag of dog food. It was very random,” added her friend,
Tatiana Johnson, a W&J senior from Cleveland.
The Marianna Outdoorsmen Association has held smaller annual
cleanups of the creek since 2001, but this year’s was the first to
draw a large number of people and groups in an effort that
followed about four miles of the creek’s banks, said its
president, Jason White.
“People need to realize the beauty they have here,” White said,
while inmates eligible to work in Washington County jail’s
Furlough to Service Program cleaned a park-like area beside the
creek in West Bethlehem Township.
“It’s like having a bar of gold in front of your face and you
don’t see it,” he said of the creek, which is home to a large
variety of fish.
Members of the nonprofit Paddle Without Pollution of Pittsburgh
managed the cleanup effort by boats. Those volunteers returned to
shore smelly, soaking wet and partially covered with mud.
“We love to paddle and we always pick up trash when we go out,”
said group member Melissa Rohm of Scott Township.
Its members were out on the water in Pittsburgh in 2011, when “the
amount of trash was incredible downtown,” she said. The friends
soon formed a nonprofit organization, which now receives inquiries
from people worldwide seeking advice on organizing such cleanups,
She is friends with Lisa Scherer of Ten Mile Creek Watershed, who
joined the effort Saturday. Scherer said West Beth Township agreed
to pick up and dispose of the trash.
“It’s a beautiful creek,” Rohm said.