Volunteers needed for Saturday’s River Sweep

June 19, 2014
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Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
Betsy Mallison, right, coordinator of the annual River Sweep in Pennsylvania, makes final preparations Wednesday with Michele Milligan of Weavertown Environmental Group and Milligan’s daughter, Sarah, for Saturday’s cleanup of Chartiers Creek in Houston. Order a Print
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This year's River Sweep T-shirt logo was created by Jessica Dunham of Florence, Ohio, while she was a senior in high school.

HOUSTON – Flash flooding last July washed out some building foundations in the Houston area, leaving behind a trail of concrete blocks embedded in silt along Chartiers Creek.

Removing the debris, as well as litter, will be the focus Saturday when the 25th annual River Sweep makes a visit to the creek behind the American Legion post in Houston.

“There’s a tire there and enough trash here that the kids could come out and help,” said Betsy Mallison, Pennsylvania’s coordinator of the six-state cleanup of the Ohio River and its tributaries.

The Houston event at 124 W. Pike St. is one of two sweep sites in Washington County. The other will be held near the Cecil Township Post Office, 3333 Miller’s Run Road.

“We need help,” Mallison said.

Weavertown Environmental Group of Collier Township is among the supporters of the cleanup, and it will be providing employees to handle the more-difficult challenges.

“We want all of the creeks to be clean so they’re safe for the children to play in,” said Michele Milligan, a facilities coordinator for the company. “Weavertown has a commitment.”

The sweep raises awareness of area rivers and teaches the need to have “respect for our natural resources,” Mallison said.

The cleanup runs from 8 a.m. to noon, and those who participate will receive a free T-shirt.

To volunteer, call Milligan at 724-746-9024, or visit www.orsanco.org/river-sweep. Mallison said volunteers also are invited to simply show up at one of the events.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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