More than 680 volunteers participate in rain-soaked River Sweep

Photo of River Sweep 2008 courtesy of

Rain failed to squelch volunteers’ enthusiasm for the River Sweep shoreline and roadside clean up the day after Earth Day. According to the following press release, more than 680 volunteers turned out to participate in the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway’s 11th annual event April 23:


Darlington, Md., May 2, 2011 – Despite heavy rain, more than 680 volunteers spent the morning of Saturday, April 23, participating in River Sweep, Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway’s 11th annual volunteer shoreline and roadside clean-up in honor of Earth Day.

“The response to our call for volunteers was very strong despite the challenging weather conditions,” said Mary Ann Lisanti, executive director of Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway. “Nearly 450 people registered online to help us remove trash and debris from area waterways and roadsides and close to 700 people showed up. Some volunteers drove two hours to be part of this community effort.”

Twenty-four tons of trash were removed including tires, propane tanks, glass, toys and textiles. Over the first 10 years, River Sweep volunteers removed more than 50 tons of trash from area waterways.

River Sweep volunteers checked in at Exelon Trail at Octoraro Creek in Conowingo, Tydings Park in Havre de Grace, Community Park and Boat Launch in Perryville and Marina Park in Port Deposit—and then fanned out and spent the morning removing trash and other debris from the Chesapeake Bay, Susquehanna River and tributaries that feed into the Susquehanna River. Garrett Island was also included in this year’s River Sweep.

Coordinating the volunteers in Havre de Grace were Joe and Sarah Kochenderfer, Peter Green, Karen Green, and John and Carolyn Narvell. In Perryville, Mayor Jim Eberhardt and Commissioner Barbara Brown oversaw the volunteers; in Port Deposit, Mayor Kerry Abrams and Commissioner John Leeds. Fred Smith of Exelon led the Octoraro Creek team.

Sponsors of the 2011 River Sweep were Exelon Power, Sierra Club (Maryland Chapter), Greater Perryville Chamber of Commerce, Paramedical Personnel of Maryland, Cecil Whig and Delmarva.

Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to stimulate local economic activity by developing a linkage to natural, historic and cultural resources through land and water recreational trails. To date, 22 miles of continuous public recreation trails connecting Harford and Cecil counties have been constructed. The organization’s goal is 40 miles of trails. The trail system was recently designated as part of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. More information may be found at