Volunteers Help Corps Tidy Recreation Areas

Article excerpt

Every September, hundreds of families, Boy Scout troops and others who enjoy the area's public campgrounds, trails and waterways turn out to collect litter and trash and plant trees and shrubs as part of National Public Lands Day events.

Hundreds of volunteers came to 15 locations in the Pittsburgh District of the Army Corps of Engineers last year, providing 2,179 hours of work, valued at $47,000, said corps spokeswoman Sheila Tunney.

"This really benefits the visitors to these miles of shoreline and recreation areas, and it saves a tremendous amount of money," said Dan Jones, public affairs specialist for the corps.

Nationwide, the 170,000 volunteers worked at more than 2,080 sites across every state, the District of Columbia and many U.S. territories in September 2010. The volunteers removed an estimated 450 tons of trash, collected an estimated 20,000 pounds of invasive plants, maintained 1,320 miles of trails and planted about 100,000 trees and shrubs, Tunney said.

Events in the Pittsburgh region include the annual Allegheny River Cleanup program, in which 31 miles of the Upper Allegheny River near Kinzua Dam in Warren County will be cleaned up, along with two tributaries. …