Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Isaak Collins, 8, clears trash from the banks of the East Branch of the Tioughnioga River on Saturday near Riverside Plaza. Volunteers also cleaned up along Otter Creek and at Dwyer Memorial Park in Little York.
Cleanup spruces up county waterways
Wading into the Tioughnioga River on Saturday with13 other homeschoolers and their parents, one little blond girl grabbed onto a large black plastic sheet and yanked it out of the river behind Grange Place in the city.
The 4-H group of home-schooled children from ages 5 to 15, as well as their younger siblings, were taking part in a river and waterway cleanup as a service project.
The Tioughnioga River and area creeks and streams were scoured by teams of cleaners, ranging in size from two to 25, who fanned out across the city, as well as to sites in Blodgett Mills and Little York, said Shawn Murphy, a natural resource conservationist with the Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The agency has organized the event for the past 18 years, Murphy said.
Signups to clean up trash — including shopping carts, tires and other garbage -— drew130 people, he said.
A group of about 20 people were assigned to clean along the Tioughnioga River at Yaman Park, and 25 people were sent to pick up trash along the west branch of the river behind the Soil and Water Conservation District’s office at 100 Grange Place, Murphy said.
Other groups cleaned up Otter Creek between Groton Avenue near the Byrne Dairy convenience store and Madison Street, Durkee Memorial Park in Homer, along the Tioughnioga in Blodgett Mills and Dwyer Memorial Park in Little York.