Hands-On Effort

Virtual clean-up encourages local participation

Photos submitted to Times Observer The Conewango Creek Watershed Association announced that a virtual spring watershed cleanup will run from May 1 through May 31.

Large-scale clean-ups have done a lot of good to waterways in Warren County over the years.

And, those events bring people with common interests together.

But, for some, it’s just hard to set aside the right time on the calendar.

COVID-19 has disrupted the Conewango Watershed Clean-up. The alternative may provide opportunities for people who would not otherwise been able to participate.

“The Conewango Creek Watershed Association (CCWA) announces its first Virtual Spring Watershed Cleanup which will run from May 1 through May 31, 2021,” according to a release from CCWA Chairperson Liz Dropp. “Many things were disrupted in 2020 due to COVID 19 and we had to cancel our events.”

A group of volunteers shows their haul during a previous Conewango Creek Watershed clean-up.

“This year we are going ahead with our cleanups but they are going to be virtual cleanups,” Warren County Conservation District Watershed Specialist Jean Gomory said. “What’s a virtual cleanup you ask? Well, individuals or families can hold their own cleanup. There’s no gathering like usual, which is part of the fun of participating, but we can still have fun with family and help the environment, too.”

“The best thing about a virtual cleanup is that the time and place is up to you,” Gomory said.

“You can go out when you want, where you want and for a length of time that fits your schedule. It’s completely flexible. You can do more than one if you like. Take the kids along and give them a lesson on trash and litter.”

Anywhere in the watershed counts. “You can hold your cleanup anywhere: your yard, your neighborhood, a park, a trail, anywhere,” Dropp said. “Litter and trash dumps are only a rain or two away from entering our streams and lakes. So by getting it while it’s on the ground in our neighborhoods, it won’t have a chance to get to the streams and lakes.”

“To participate in the virtual cleanup, we will ask that people register ahead of time on our website so we know who’s going when and where,” she said. “We would also like you to report your results when you’re done via a brief online survey so we know how everyone did.”

“We are planning some challenges through social media to make it more fun and give away a few prizes,” Gomory said. “We would like everyone to share their fun and success via our Facebook page too.”

Those who would like to share photos of themselves with their collected trash (or just the trash) may do so on the CCWA Facebook page or by emailing them to info@conewangocreek.org.

“But you don’t have to use social media if you don’t want to,” Gomory said. “You can still participate. So mark your calendars for our CCWA Spring Virtual Watershed Cleanup, May 1 thru May 31, 2021 and start planning. Let’s make this a great community event.”


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