Millcreek Township and a group of over 20 volunteers participated in the worldwide International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). The annual event happened simultaneously across the globe on September, 17, 2022. Recycling coordinator, Jessica Stutzman, stressed the importance of the event.
"It's just so important to be a part of something so large happening internationally" said Jessica.
Jessica Stutzman directing the International Coastal Cleanup at Bridger Park
Millcreek participated at Bridger Park on Saturday morning. Near the busy Millcreek Mall, Bridger Park is a prime target to collect litter from upstream of Walnut Creek.
Volunteers received a safety briefing beforehand. This included information on ticks, poison ivy, dangerous objects and a map of the park. Jessica also passed out supplies including gloves, cut gloves, trash bags and checklists for each piece of litter picked up.
“We’re trying to identify and change behavior by finding the most common items littered ” said Jessica.
Volunteer Carl (above) and Talia (below) collects pieces of plastic from Walnut Creek.
Groups spread out over the park, covering a total of two miles. This included downstream, upstream and through the park itself. Finding primarily small pieces of litter, there were some notable large finds. Volunteers hauled back to the entrance an entire shopping cart, a concrete pipe, a tire rim, a car seat, a rake and a metal beam.
Volunteers with large litter items.
All the trash was totaled at the end via the checklists and some of the most frequently found items were: 141 food wrappers, 64 plastic bags and 58 cigarette butts. Additionally, all the trash was weighed for a total of 482 pounds with over a dozen full garbage bags.
Volunteers at Bridger Park pose with their litter haul.
"The weather was beautiful and we had a fantastic turnout today!" Jessica said after the event.
Volunteers posing with litter to be picked up on Monday.
The litter collected at Bridger Park is now part of the 348 million pounds of trash collected by the ICC in over 35 years. Interested volunteers can participate in next year's ICC. Or, they can contact Millcreek Township for additional volunteering opportunities at 814-833-1111.