Paddle Without Pollution Cleans Up Slippery Rock Creek

pile“Low impact, big results” is the mantra of Paddle Without Pollution, a non-profit based in Pittsburgh, PA, and it was in action on Saturday, April 27 on the Slippery Rock Creek.  Paddle Without Pollution, in partnership with Jennings Environmental Education Center, organized a group of 15 volunteer paddlers to remove trash and debris along a five mile section of stream – from Camp Crestfield to Studebaker Road bridge.  The group met at Jennings to check in and gather snacks, maps, and other supplies, and to learn about the efforts of the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition and Stream Restoration, Inc. from Cliff Denholm.  After carpooling to the put-in location, almost immediately, the group encountered a large plastic pallet of some kind.  Thankfully, the experienced volunteers recognized that, while the debris was entangled in a tree, it was fully possible to extricate it and carry it downstream.  With a little muscle and a few tools, they removed the first of many large objects from the creek.  Along the way, the group picked up tractor, truck, and car tires, several lawn chairs, a living room chair, a picnic bench style glider, an air conditioner, at least nine bags of assorted trash and recycling, and more, all totaling approximately 900 pounds! Many in the group paddled their own craft – some in kayaks, some in canoes, while others paddled boats supplied by Paddle Without Pollution.  After all of their hard work, the volunteers were rewarded with a lunch back at Jennings, provided by Jennings, 3MJC, and Paddle Without Pollution.  While the clean-up was very successful, there are more sections to tackle in the future, and Jennings and Paddle Without Pollution plan to work together again next year on a new stretch of the stream.  In the meantime, Paddle Without Pollution, under the direction of Melissa and David Rohm, are hard at work on other streams and rivers in the region.  The group has since cleaned up Ten Mile Creek in Washington County, the Allegheny River near Tarentum, and the Three Rivers near Point State Park.  Upcoming clean-ups include several on the Ohio River, as well as on the Allegheny near Franklin and near Allegheny Islands State Park near Harmar.  For more information on Paddle Without Pollution, or to sign up for a clean-up or to receive their information, visit

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