River Sweep

Volunteers remove trash and debris during Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway's River Sweep in 2013. (Photo by Terri Shepke-Heppner / April 18, 2014)

Two new sites have been added to Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway's 14th annual River Sweep, a volunteer shoreline and roadside clean-up in honor of Earth Day, that takes place on April 26 from 9 a.m. to noon, rain or shine.

The National Historic Tome School, on what was the Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Port Deposit, is a new location this year, as is Conowingo Creek Boat Launch in Conowingo. Other River Sweep sites include locations in Havre de Grace, Perryville, Port Deposit and Garrett Island.

Online pre-registration goes through April 23 at http://www.hitourtrails.com or by calling 410-457-2482.

Volunteers are asked to check in at 8:30 a.m. on April 26 at one of the following locations: Tydings Park in Havre de Grace; Conowingo Creek Boat Launch and Octoraro Creek in Conowingo; Community Park and boat launch in Perryville; and Marina Park and National Historic Tome School in Port Deposit.

Anyone interested in volunteering on Garrett Island should bring a kayak or canoe and meet at the Boat Launch in Perryville. Boaters are also welcome.

Participants will fan out to spend the morning removing trash and other debris from the Upper Bay region, including the Chesapeake Bay, Susquehanna River and tributaries that feed into the Susquehanna River.

River Sweep volunteers are encouraged to wear old clothes and to bring work gloves. Volunteers who sign up in advance will receive lunch and a T-shirt (as supplies last).

Last year, approximately 775 volunteers donated their time during River Sweep. Volunteers, including individuals, families and youth groups, removed several tons of trash including tires, an old inflatable boat and debris from previous high-water events. Over the past 13 years, River Sweep volunteers have removed more than 72 tons of trash from area roads and waterways.

Sponsors of the 2014 River Sweep include Maryland Heritage Areas Authority and Exelon.

Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway is a nonprofit organization based in Darlington whose mission is to stimulate local economic activity by developing a link 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 built. The trail system also has been designated a priority segment of both the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. For more information about Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway, visit hitourtrails.com.