Saturday morning is the time most students sleep in to catch up on the sleep they’ve missed throughout the school week. Not Mike Heffner, Ngan Thai and Dakota Famalaro; they were up bright and early at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. They joined together to keep the Saucony Creek free of trash.
Saucony Creek, located behind Turkey Hill, is a place where people can go to jog, walk their dogs, fish, or hang out and enjoy the surrounding nature.
Mike Heffner, a Criminal Justice Major with an Anthropology minor, has been helping clean Saucony Creek the entire spring semester as a member of the Environmental Issues Program at Kutztown University. He goes out every two months to take care of the littering problem that surrounds Saucony Creek.
“The first time we came out it took around four hours, and we gathered four huge trash bags and two large boxes filled with trash,” he said. “The university recently planted saplings, and with student housing not far away the university wants to keep this area looking as nice and possible” said Heffner.
Onlookers and fisherman showed their appreciation for the group’s efforts. Bob Biese was fishing early Saturday morning when he stopped to give the group his thanks. “Growing up around here I remember what it used to look like,” Biese said. “What doesn’t get cleaned up around the creek always ends up in the creek. Your efforts are extremely appreciated.”
Not only did fishers give their thanks, but people driving by would slow down and wave to show their appreciation.
“The people that live around here really appreciate what we do,” Heffner said. “While cleaning up during the cold winter month, four people stopped their cars and rolled down their windows to thank me. One elderly couple walked over and gave me a cup of coffee.”
The group started cleaning along Constitution Boulevard and ended at Turkey Hill. The area has been taken care of for the past three months. Two trash bags were filled, which showed how the creek’s appearance has improved since the original clean up.
“We had a smaller group than we were expecting with Easter being this weekend, but we still got the job done,” Heffener said.
Ngan Thai, a Finance Major at KU, came out early Saturday morning to help clean and also bulk up her resume with volunteer hours.
The CEO on Main Street provided the proper equipment for the volunteers. This included bright yellow vests, gloves and long sticks to help get trash that gets stuck in the brush. The equipment helped keep volunteers safe and recognizable. The gloves had to be worn to keep hands from getting contaminated and also to prevent injuries that may occur while picking up the trash.
The group picked up anything that is not biodegradable including glass and plastic bottles, styrofoam, plastic wrappers and much more. The group’s efforts took just over an hour.
By Cassandra Kosielowski