Help needed with annual Crick Falls Cleanup effort | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Help needed with annual Crick Falls Cleanup effort

Mary Pickels
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Courtesy of Jacobs Creek Watershed Association
Volunteers work during the 2018 Crick Falls clean-up event with Jacobs Creek Watershed Association.
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Courtesy of Jacobs Creek Watershed Association
Crick Falls clean-up volunteer Laurel Cavalier of Scottdale takes a break on the truck hauling away collected trash from the 2018 clean-up.

A spot popular with ATV-riders and partiers seeking seclusion leads to a mammoth cleanup effort from the Jacobs Creek Watershed Association each year.

The association needs both volunteers and operators of off-road vehicles, says Annie Quinn, executive director.

“The majority of trash is beer cans,” Quinn says.

The association will host its fifth annual Crick Falls Cleanup (Creek Falls) at 9 a.m. Oct. 5.

Volunteers will meet at the end of Chaintown Road at the bridge in South Huntingdon Township, outside of Scottdale, coordinators say.

Each year, volunteers remove tons of trash from this popular regional off-road trail and hangout that ends at a huge waterfall and swimming hole.

This cleanup is not for the faint-hearted, planners say. Participants should be in good physical shape. They should dress for hiking back to the falls area and planning on getting “very dirty and very wet,” organizers add. Volunteers will wade across the creek in several places.

Children are welcome, Quinn adds. “It’s about whether or not they can handle a very long hike — it’s one mile in and one mile back out. … There is no such thing as someone who can’t help. As long as they are able to pick up (cans) and put them in a trash bag, and be helpful — no running, jumping, screaming, falling off rocks,” she says.

The property’s owners do not live close enough to monitor for trespassing, Quinn says.

“People go back there, drink heavily and lose all sense of morality. They don’t pack out what they took in with them,” she says.

Anyone who can help out with off-road vehicles like Gators, quads or Jeeps and trucks that can handle being submerged half-way would be “gold star” volunteers, Quinn says.

“We cross the creek and some giant mud holes along the hike, it really is an experience; the amount of litter is shocking,” she adds.

“Last year we had to pack (the garbage) out. That limited us because we had to hike it out. We collected 1 ton. Our goal is to move 2 tons. People spend the entire summer just trashing the place,” Quinn says.

The goal of such an undertaking, Quinn says, is to demonstrate what a serious cleanup looks like and to show the importance of “leaving our streams and woods the way we find them.”

“I like to think of us as reminding people that someone owns and cares about the property,” she adds.

The watershed association will provide volunteers with gloves, bags and trash pickers. It will offer a pizza lunch at 1 p.m.

Pre-registration is requested. Inform staff members if you can bring an off-road vehicle. Jeep clubs welcome.

Details: 724-887-8220, ext. 3, email [email protected]

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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