Outdoor spaces,  volunteer opportunities

Taking Spring Cleaning Outside

Perkiomen Creek

Spring is here! For many, that means throwing open windows and refreshing our indoor spaces. But what about outside? It’s an unfortunate fact that trash ends up in places it shouldn’t. While many people routinely carry a trash bag to pick up litter while enjoying the outdoors, sometimes a group effort is called for to maintain our outdoor spaces and preserve the health of our waterways. These creek cleanups rely heavily on volunteers.

For years, many organizations have partnered with corporate sponsors and local groups for years to organize group clean-ups, choosing April to coincide with Earth Day. As a result, thousands of pounds of trash are removed from our trails and waterways each year. Participating in such an event is not only performing a good deed, it’s also fun and almost certainly results in some interesting conversation. (If you haven’t been, you would be amazed at some of the things found in local waterways.) We’ve compiled a list of local events occurring every week between now and May. How many can you join? (Hmm, that sounds like an interesting challenge.)

Things to Know

  • If you plan to participate, contact the organizers to sign up. Many provide supplies and some have extra perks such as lunch or fun swag. You will also need details about where trash is to be left for pickup.
  • If you sign up, show up. Organizers have spent hundreds of hours to plan these events and assign groups and individuals to sections to ensure every area has been covered.
  • Dress appropriately. In many cases, you will get wet. Wear shoes or boots that can handle mud and muck (or that you are willing to sacrifice to become your official “creek cleaning shoes.” Same goes for clothing. You will get dirty.
  • Bring your sense of humor. Some trash pulled from the creek is, well, peculiar.
  • Share your stories. Take pictures (most groups love when you share them on social media using their hashtags). Make new friends.
Wissahickon Creek

Scheduled Events

Saturday, March 26 24th Annual CRC Streams Cleanup 9 am to 11:30 am

Volunteers can shoes from one of almost three dozen clean-up sites in the areas of the Chester, Ridley and Crum Creeks in Chester County. Necessary supplies are provided; volunteers must register in advance and sign a waiver. Contact CRC Watersheds Association for more information.

Saturday, March 26 annual Red Clay Valley Clean Up 8 am to 12 pm

Volunteers collect trash from 98 miles of stream and roadways along the Red Clay Creek. All necessary supplies, including gloves, trash bags and reflective safety vests are provided. Contact the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance for more information.

Saturdays in April Darby Creek Watershed 38th Annual Cleanup 9 am to 12 pm

Volunteers work to remove tires, trash and other debris from areas throughout the Darby Creek Watershed.  Sign up for a specific area and sign a waiver online. Contact Darby Creek Valley Association for more information.

Saturday April 2  Perkiomen Stream Clean –Up 9 am to 12 pm, pick-up crew 12 to 3 pm

Remove trash and debris from an assigned section of the creek or its tributaries. All necessary supplies, including gloves, trash bags and road vest, will be provided. Pick-up crews and their trucks/trailers are also needed to take collected trash to one of five dumpster locations. For more information contact Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy.

Saturday, April 2 30th Annual Christina River Watershed Cleanup 9 am to 12 pm

Volunteers pick up trash at more than a dozen sites in northern New Castle County (DE), from Brandywine Hundred through Glasgow and Bear. The White Clay Creek State Park cleanup will be held on April 16. While supplies last, registered volunteers will receive 30th anniversary t-shirts. They are also encouraged to share their photos on the Christina Cleanup Facebook page for a chance to win a 2022 Delaware State Parks annual pass. For more information, contact the Christina River Watershed Cleanup website.

Saturday, April 9 Canal Clean-up Day 9 am

Volunteers work to clean up all 58.9 miles of the canal and towpath, both on foot and on the water (bring your own canoe/kayak). There are more than 30 work areas to choose from, sign up online to get information about where to meet. Contact Friends of the Delaware Canal for more information.

Saturday, April 16 White Clay Creek State Park Clean Up 9 am to 12 pm

Part of the Christina River Cleanup, the opening of trout season postponed the cleanup two weeks within the park.

Saturday, April 23 – 29th Annual Brandywine River Cleanup

Volunteers must sign a waiver. Gloves and trash bags will be provided as well as lunch in the museum courtyard. For more information, contact the Brandywine Conservancy.

Saturday, April 30- 52nd annual Wissahickon Creek Clean Up 9 am to 1 pm

Volunteers choose a pre-assigned section of creek, its tributaries or the nearby trails. Trash bags are supplied and can be picked up a week in advance. The Talkin’ Trash Picnic is back this year and will be held at Fort Washington State Park from 11 am to 1 pm. For more information, contact Wissahickon Trails.

Wednesdays, Ongoing, Tacony Creek Park Cleanups

Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership has monthly clean ups on Wednesdays at Tacony Creek Park