Spring Cleaning

April is a great month to get out and enjoy the views along the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail. Riverfront Park in East Donegal Township has quickly become a prime spot to access the trail or just stop and enjoy the river views.

Besides driving to the park, access is available via the River Trail from Marietta, which offers a delightful 2-mile walk, run or ride through wooded areas and farmland that’s often filled with birds and wildlife just back from the floodplain. Or, you can access the trail at Koser Park in Bainbridge and head south for 4 miles. This section of the trail hosts such landmarks as the White Cliffs of Conoy and Shocks Mills Bridge, plus a view of Haldeman Mansion.

As was the hope of the original planners, the Northwest River Trail has brought tremendous recreational opportunities – and improvements – to the area. Riverfront Park is a prime example. A large pavilion sits along the edge of the river. River views can be enjoyed from a lovely promenade and benches that dot the property. The addition of a playground has made the park family-friendly. The park also offers plenty of parking, rest room facilities and a boat-launch access to the 53-mile Lower Section of Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River Water Trail.

Unfortunately, more visitors often translate into more litter. Those of us who frequent the recreational area have noticed increased litter along the trail as well as in the river. The litter makes its way downstream to the Chesapeake Bay. That’s one of the reasons I’ve partnered with Keep PA Beautiful and its local affiliate, Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA), to organize a Great American Cleanup event at Riverfront Park. While it is frustrating that we didn’t make the mess, we’ve decided to tackle this issue head-on, or more appropriately, piece by piece.

I invite you to join us for the Earth Day River Trail Cleanup at Riverfront Park, Sunday, April 22, beginning at 9 a.m. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to meet up and pitch in. Come out and spend your Earth Day making a difference, or just stop by and cheer us on while you enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I’d also like to point out that the litter problem isn’t exclusive to the river trail. Many of my photography friends and I have been noticing more and more litter at all of our favorite places around Lancaster County. As a result, we will be helping to organize cleanups at recreational areas all over Lancaster County in the coming months. In our opinion, every day should be Earth Day. Stay tuned …

Riverfront Park is located north of Marietta. Take 441 north, turn left onto Vinegar Ferry Road and follow it to the park. Get more details and register to volunteer for the Earth Day River Trail Cleanup at grandlancaster.com/events.

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