Volunteers clean up woods behind Philadelphia Mills

Fifteen volunteers showed up for the Friends of Poquessing Watershed’s first park cleanup event of 2016 and were greeted by mountains of discarded tires.

The workers gathered in the parking lot of Bethel Church at Philadelphia Mills and walked into the woods only to find old tires strewn about the banks of the creek. They pulled 160 tires from the undergrowth, including 149 car tires (five of which were still attached to the rims), along with 11 truck tires (two with rims).

In addition, volunteers collected 21 trash bags of debris from the park, along with many large items such as a section of carpeting, window blinds, the hatchback door from a minivan, a shopping cart, a soccer ball, a section of hose, a crane hook, a fuel pump, a cell phone, almost four tons of waste concrete and something that they described as “bigfoot decoy legs.” They also found countless plastic water bottles and plastic shopping bags.

Among the volunteers were eight people who work at Philadelphia Mills: Matt Veneziale, Sanford Mitchell, Tim Bryant, Yanel Torres, Kiara Agosto, Tyrell McCall, Imani Cauthorn and Norril Ingram. Olivia Toth and her mom Stefani also took part, as Olivia earned community service credit toward her upcoming confirmation at St. John’s Lutheran Church. The other volunteers included Matt Darragh, Jackie Ruczynski, Hans Brolinson, Rich Glaser and Joe Mellon.

The next Friends of Poquessing cleanup will be on Saturday, April 9, at the end of McNulty Road (approximately 14405 McNulty), where the Poquessing Park bike path meets the street, then continues into Benjamin Rush State Park. This gathering will coincide with the Great Philly Cleanup, a Streets Department program.

One week later, on April 16, the Friends of Poquessing will participate in Volunteer Days at Benjamin Rush State Park, a program of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. That day, volunteers will mulch trees and remove invasive plants from the park.

For additional information, visit www.friendsofpoquessing.org ••