Volunteers find unusual items in Codorus Creek cleanup

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YORK, Pa. -- Several volunteers made their way to the banks of the Codorus Creek today to kick off the start of a three-day clean up effort.

It's a dirty job, but some people are more than happy to do it.

They call themselves Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna.

Friday was a hot and humid day out along the creek, but that didn't stop a group of volunteers from it's goal of restoring the waterway.

Still waters run deep and sometimes, as does the amount of junk, trash or debris, which has been found in the Codorus Creek.

Lower Susquehanna River Keeper Michael Helfrich said "we've found whole motorcycles, we've found washing machines, we've found almost enough parts to make a whole Honda Civic."

Some may use the Codorus as a dumping ground, but Helfrich sees the creek for what its meant to be.

"As the Lower Susquehanna River Keeper, I get to learn about almost every inch of the creek, just walking it back and forth, then seeing the spawning beds for the fish, and seeing where the vegetation is growing or where the turtles are," Helfrich said.

Restoring and preserving the creek is what has Helfrich in deep with a team of volunteers and fellow river steward, Bill Minarik, to clean up the York city waterway.

Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna executive director Bill Minarik said "often times in meetings, behind a desk, and I often thought gee, I just want to get my hands dirty, and get where the action is."

The reason for this cleanup should be clear.

"It's the cleanest I've ever seen it in my life, and it got to this point because we've been working on it for 15 years," Helfrich said.

"Each year, we're finding less, and less pollution, and our job is to end pollution," Minarik said.

The volunteers haven't come up empty handed on the first day of this year's effort, so they haven't met their goal just yet.

Bags of trash aren't the only takeaway in the long haul.

"We're the ones to come and cleanup this very special part of the river coming by this beautiful section of York, Pennsylvania, it gives us very good feelings," Minarik said.

Volunteers and donations make the clean up event possible.

Interested volunteers should meet up behind the national guard armory on George Street in York, from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday, July 16th or 9 am to 12 noon on Sunday, July 17th.

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