Nearly 200 Participate In Oswego’s Annual Canal Cleanup

OSWEGO, NY – Sunday April 17 was the sixth annual New York State Canal “Clean Sweep.”

Despite some interference from the weather on the planned date (April 16), 180 volunteers met at the McCrobie Building on Lake Street at 1 p.m. on Sunday to clean up the litter on Oswego’s lakeshore and riverbanks.

SUNY Oswego students clean up around Wright’s Landing during the 2011 Canal Clean Sweep on Sunday, April 17.
SUNY Oswego students clean up around Wright’s Landing during the 2011 Canal Clean Sweep on Sunday, April 17.

Groups, teams and individuals from the city, college and town of Oswego worked together to help beautify our waterways for the spring and summer months.

The event is organized each year by the Campus City Relations Committee.

Armed with plastic garbage bags and work gloves, volunteers dispersed to retrieve various kinds of refuse from the shores.

Because of Oswego winds during fall, winter, and spring, plastic bags and other debris can be found even in bushes and trees.

Volunteers discovered plastic, fast food containers, buttons and other evidence of human activity.

One of the most interesting finds was made by Erin Collins from Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, who picked up an old metal radio along one of the lake trails.

Said CCRC chair Bob Close, “We’re grateful in Oswego to have our river and lake to use and enjoy, but that means we need to take responsibility for keeping them clean once the snows clear.”

The brothers of Phi Kappa Tau agree, looking at Clean Sweep day as “a chance to give back” to the community.

Because our city is located on Lake Ontario and the Oswego River, which is part of the NYS Canal System, there is a lot of shoreline within city limits in need of an annual spring cleaning.

Members of the CCRC designated 10 non-residential sections approximately one-half mile in length to be canvassed by volunteers.

“That’s a lot of territory,” Greg Auleta, event organizer, noted. “So we were very pleased to have so many willing workers.”

With so many working together, the job went quickly and efficiently and everyone returned to the McCrobie Building by 3 p.m. to “break pizza” together.

Most volunteers were students.

A number of Greek organizations and other SUNY Oswego groups, organized by Student Association Director of Community Relations and CCRC member Matt Harmer, comprised the majority of workers.

The Oswego High School Environmental Club participated and contributed firsthand to improving the environment in their community.

In addition, there were teams of neighbors, businesses, churches, community groups and elected government officials.

Also crucial to this important work are the key contributions of businesses and organizations:

City of Oswego contributed funds and the services of several employees.

SUNY Oswego Student Association provided key organizational help.

Constellation Energy donated 200 pairs of leather work gloves.

Eagle Beverage provided bottled water for the participants.

CAM’s donated pizzas for everyone.

Lee and Shawn Walker provided transportation for volunteers and trash pick-up.

Valti-Graphics underwrote T-shirts for the first 100 volunteers.

Spring cleaning of our shores and river banks is needed every year.

Mark your calendars to participate in next April’s CCRC Canal Clean Sweep.

1 Comment

  1. THANK you so much!!! SUNY often gets bad ‘press’ about the negative activities “SOME” SUNY students indulge in…but not enough information is forthcoming on how the majority of students, college as well as high school spend their time. Activities such as this environmental effort, as well as working with single parents and their children, tutoring, so much more…are done quietly.

    Well, if you don’t hear it enough, thank you for what you do for your community.
    This includes all the community members that also gave up their free time to help out all of us. I have allergies and other social activities, so I understand that there is some sacrifice going on here.

    And for the guys…remember these activities are often wonderful chick-magnets, so your social life might improve in a very positive way ;0). Ditto the ladies (you might meet a ‘nice guy,’ dad would approve of (big smile!).


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