Cleanup Crew

TCCS pitches in on the Allegheny

Photo submitted to Times Observer Tidioute Community Charter School teachers Mike Patterson and Matt Irons, and students Tyler Holmes, Ruth Scaife, Jerry Smith, Paige Zofcin, Jenna Hunt, Shelby Proctor, Nakiesha Krouse, Kelsey Nuttall, Adrianna Pierce, Jacob Merritt, Arreanna Anderson, Lexis Drukenbrod and Brayden Toomey, participated in the annual Allegheny River Clean-up on Tuesday.

Sometimes a clean-up isn’t just about cleaning up.

On Tuesday, 13 students and two teachers from Tidioute Community Charter School joined the Allegheny River Clean-up.

While they worked alongside many other volunteers on the stretch of the river from Wildwood to Tidioute boat launch, they were furthering their education, work ethic, and appreciation for their surroundings.

Teachers Matt Irons and Michael Patterson have organized the school’s participation in the clean-up for the past six years.

“We believe it is important to have the students learn to take care of and appreciate the amazing natural resources we have in our area,” Irons said. “We don’t want our students simply standing on the sidelines, we want them working hard to ensure a clean watershed in the future.”

That there was less to do than in past years was good news.

“I’ve participated in river clean-up for the past few years,” junior Jerry Smith said. “Every year, it seems like the river is cleaner and cleaner. This year was amazing. We hardly found any trash.”

It’s not completely pristine.

Junior Paige Zofcin found the front end of a car.

Irons found an ax sticking in a tree. Unlike most of the things cleaned up along the river, that find was put to good use, Irons said. “Further down the river, we had to use it to break apart a dock we found washed up along the shore.”

For a school in a river town named for its place along the river, the clean-up is a natural fit.

“According to the founders of the Allegheny River Clean-up, the mission of the Allegheny River Clean-up is to help keep this valuable resource healthy for generations to come,” Office Manager Heather Cass said. “The goal is to remove garbage found along the Allegheny River and its tributaries for the ecological health and safety of the river.”


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