UNIONTOWN – Members of the Laurel High School Ecology Club met Saturday morning along Vances Mill Road in North Union Township for a cleanup near Rankin Run.
The Greater Redstone Clear Water Initiative sponsored the event that drew about 20 students and members of their families to the area to clean up the area around the tributary of Redstone Creek.
GRWI president John Piwowar said the site was chosen because it is a known dumping area.
Ecology club sponsor Kelly Kruper said the club works at a cleanup each spring and fall; this is the fifth clean up the GRCWI and the ecology club have worked on together.
Kruper, who teaches chemistry, biology, and watershed education at Laurel Highlands is also a GRCWI board member, said one of the ecology club’s goals is to encourage young people to respect the environment, and she was pleased to see so many students and their family members participate.
Laurel Highlands senior D.J. John gave up his Saturday morning to help at the event.
“I do it to help clean my environment and because I hunt this land,” he said.
John, who participated in other GRCWI cleanups said, “We’ve made a big difference.”
John said by document their work with before and after pictures, “We’ve opened some people’s eyes.”
Laurel Highlands senior Matt Kusniar has also participated in other cleanups as well as many other ecology club activities.
“I think it’s terrible how dirty everything is – when people just throw garbage along the road,” Kusniar said.
The GRCWI and the ecology club also worked at the site along Vances Mill Road in June, but Saturday, with vegetation dying and many leaves fallen, the workers were able to find more items requiring proper disposal such as an oven, a trash compactor, television sets, bedsprings, dozens of tires, and many bags full of bottles, cans and other trash.
Although workers had plenty to keep them busy, Piwowar said he has noticed less dumping since North Union Township instituted mandatory garbage collection.
He thanked the supervisors for their work on the problem and for arranging to pick up and dispose of trash collected during the clean up.
The GRCWI has received PADEP Growing Greener grants for several projects including assessing and treating acid mine drainage in the Redstone Creek Watershed.
The GRCWI meets at 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the offices of Kania and Associates, 71 N. Mount Vernon Ave., Uniontown. New members are always welcome.
For more information, e-mail Kruper at [email protected] .