10 Jul THE RIVER CLEANUP SOJOURN
Recently I had the chance to work alongside/ 3 people on my team to guide the Upper Delaware’s Sojourn River cleanup. This was a fun event where people volunteered to join us on a trip along the river to clean up litter and keep our river clean. In this case, we were joined by a fantastic group of girl scouts and a few other women from the public.
The cleanup was set up so that we would canoe a length of the river and stop alongside the shores to pick up anything that didn’t belong. Occasionally we would find objects in the river at shallow points where we could reach the rocks underneath our canoes.
First thing in the morning, Paige (a fellow intern) and I were picked up by Joe (a seasonal park ranger). He brought us down to the site, where we gathered any needed gear and headed to the river access.
This was the Damascus River access point, where we would launch onto the water to begin our journey. Here, we waited, joined by a Law Enforcement ranger named Ryan. Soon enough, a bus full of our volunteers arrived along with our Supervisor Ingrid and a 4-tier trailer full of canoes.
After gearing everyone up with gloves, trash grabbers, garbage bags, and paddles, Luc (another seasonal ranger) delivered a safety talk. Then we headed on to the water.
The journey itself was very nice. I was tandem canoeing with Paige and had a great time hanging out with her on the water.
The weather was a bit overcast, and there was some slight drizzle at the journey’s beginning. This made for a beautiful and somewhat romantic perspective of the river instead of canoeing under the overbearing sunshine and heat.
In terms of the work we did, the volunteers were so amazing. They were dedicated to the cleanup and didn’t lose steam during the entire journey. We canoed all 4 miles from the Damascus access point to the Skinners Falls access.
Firstly, I was very impressed with how clean the river and shorelines were, to begin with. However, there is always something to pick up, and in the end, we gathered a few bags of garbage and stuff left behind by other people. Most impressively were the tires we gathered.
I was very surprised by how many tires get left behind in the river and along the shorelines, and I’m still not too sure how they even got there in the first place. Either way, the river cleanup was a success. I had a great time getting to know everyone and canoeing the river. The cleaning litter part didn’t even feel like a chore, it was nice being able to get out there and walk around the shorelines, keeping the river beautiful.