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What’s in Lititz Run? Everything from TVs to turkeys
More than 170 volunteers turned out in the chilly, damp weather Saturday morning, meeting at strategic locations in the Lititz Run watershed. Though the day started out with rain, the sun was shining when the volunteers gathered around hot coffee and donuts. Their purpose: pick up trash along seven stretches of the stream to help keep the water clean and the ecosystem healthy.
The stream clean-up, an annual event facilitated by the Lititz Run Watershed Alliance, attracted local businesses, residents, students, and Boy Scout troops 154 and 44. Many of the volunteers participate year after year, finding that the experience is fun and rewarding.
“We like what we do, protecting the environment,” said Todd Kauffman, leader for the Route 501 to Oak Street section. “We pick up along the edge and try not to fall in, hopefully.” He’s been at it for seven years.
Every year, hundreds of pounds of trash are collected and every year there are some interesting finds by the volunteers.
“Everybody gets a garbage bag and we expect that everyone will get a bag full,” said Kauffman. In 2013, over 100 volunteers picked up 1.2 tons of trash along the entire watershed. Some of the things that they’ve found are the expected plastic cups and grocery bags, but there is the occasional rarity.
“We found a sofa and chair one day,” said Carl Kline, a 14-year veteran of the stream clean-up.
“We’ve found everything from mattresses to bicycles and … Butterball turkeys,” Kauffman added. He was the man who had the privilege of putting on waders and walking through the water to pull out trash caught in the branches along the banks.
This year, according to Luba Irwin, who helps run the event, they found tires, televisions and yet another mattress along the banks of Lititz Run. The exact amount of trash that was collected still hasn’t been determined but, as Kauffman said, every bag that is given out to volunteers usually comes back full.
The volunteers were happy to say that the amount of trash they collect is going down every year, and they are seeing improvements.
“There’s been a lot of work done along the stream to help improve the watershed,” Kauffman said.
For individuals interested in volunteering with the watershed alliance, information is available at warwicktownship.org, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 626-8900. Meetings of LRWA take place at the WarwickTownshipBuilding at 315 Clay Road.
Karis Eccleston is a freelance feature writer from Lititz. She recently received her B.A. in English and Professional Writing from KutztownUniversity.