Janet Schollenberger was in charge of organizing this year’s cleanup.
“I’m very grateful to the people who showed up today to help with the cleanup, but the turnout this year is somewhat disappointing considering we had over 200 people here last year and the year before that,” said Schollenberger.
She attributed the low turnout to the bad weather that day as well as a lack of promotion.
However, the group that was there to clean picked up 32 trash bags worth of bottles, cigarette packs, food wrappers and other various bits of trash. The Baltimore City Department of Public works picked up and disposed of all the garbage after the cleanup.
Jon Conway was one of the participants. “I came today because I’m disgusted with the amount of trash that I’ve seen throughout the woods here and wanted to do something about it. I hike through the woods and it’s just terrible the lack of respect people show,” he said.
The volunteers ranged in age from middle school students to grandparents.
The event was organized by the Springdale Community Association and the Watershed Protection Coalition. Warner Elementary in Springdale school organized a program for the students to get student service-learning hours for participating in the cleanup. Students are encouraged to volunteer during the school year and at the end are rewarded for their efforts.
Paula Kurrus helped organized this year’s cleanup and has been involved since the start.
“We have a responsibility as stewards of the environment to come here and protect the reservoir. Not only is it a great place for recreation, but it’s also the source of our drinking water,” said Kurrus.
The cleanup was focused on areas along the waterfront in an attempt to keep the garbage from entering the water.
Even though the turnout was low this year, Schollenberger is looking forward to next year’s.
“It’s not for another 11 months, but I already have the plan together. All we need is to improve the reach of the promotion of the event and hope for better weather,” said Schollenberger.
In the past, the event has attracted Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger as well a number of other local elected officials.
“People want to help, we just need to do a better job letting them know how,” said Schollenberger.