Specifically, our project is to free our
waterways from harmful pollution by physically removing garbage and man- made
debris. Our program, Pick That Up is an ongoing project that promotes clean
watersheds in Western Pennsylvania by our implementation of waterway cleanups.
In 2012, we formed the Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup Celebration. This annual
event is organized for the restoration of this creek. Tackling 10 mile sections
at a time, we aspire to have all 50 miles of the waterway cleaned in five
years’ time while also maintaining every section annually. This waterway flows
through Butler and Beaver counties and many municipalities. The creek’s source
is Lake Oneida and it is a tributary to the Ohio River. The condition of this
watershed is deplorable. In 2000, it was rated the 2nd most polluted small
waterway in America. For years waste has been directly dumped into the creek.
Annual flooding has brought man-made objects into the creek bed. Tires that
were once used to stabilize the creek banks have fallen into the water. And
illegal dumping continues despite warning signs and fines. Our goal is to
remove the physical pollution consuming this watershed and restore it back to
its beautiful, healthy state. We have been extremely successful in this cleanup
project. In 2 days over a two year period, we have removed 85,000 pounds of
garbage, including nearly 900 tires in just 20 miles of this precious waterway!
Our volunteer attendance is also inspiring as we have recruited 340 volunteers
throughout the community over the 2 year period. Our success is due to our dedication to the
project, support from the community, and outside grant sources. This year we
are focusing on a 10 mile section through Renfrew, PA to the City of Butler,