It was outdoor spring cleaning day on Saturday as about 100 friends of the environment pitched in to help clean up the first state. The Nature Conservancy in Delaware and First State National Historical Park organized a collaborative Earth Day stream clean-up at two locations – along the Brandywine River at the Brandywine State Park (at the Smith Bridge picnic area) and at Rocky Run. Volunteers managed to collect 64 heaping bags of trash and 25 bags of recycling at both sites!
The clean-up was part of Stream Stewards, a Citizen Science program designed to engage people of all ages and backgrounds in watershed stewardship. Participants learn about watershed ecology, water quality monitoring and data collection techniques and contribute toward conservation.
Richie Jones, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Delaware, and Superintendent of First State National Historical Park Ethan McKinley kicked off the Stream Stewards Program clean-up at Smith Bridge by giving a safety talk and thanking the volunteers for attending.
The future looks bright for Delaware’s environment, as about half of the volunteers were high school age or younger. Several families pitched. But there were also several large groups, including Tower Hill School, The Pilot School, Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, Boy Scout Troop 70, JP Morgan Chase, Leasure Elementary School’s B.E.A.R.S. Care Club, the Nature Conservancy’s Stream Stewards Program, Public Allies, the Ursuline Academy Alumnae Association, Chesapeake Utilities, the Brandywine Conservancy and Mt. Cuba Center.