BY THE NUMBERS
Some items recovered:
• 8,547 tires
• 8,544 pound of aluminum cans
• 440 tons of trash
• 18 sticks of dynamite
• One 1962 pick-up truck
• One loaded shotgun
• One model of a human brain
• One bowling ball with a chain
• One exercise bike
• One hood to a 1960 Ford Falcon
• Several safes
BUSHKILL - Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Superintendent John J. Donahue has announced that Kittatinny Canoes will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of their On and Under the Delaware River Clean-up this month.
The annual event, sponsored by the Milford-based Kittatinny Canoes, the oldest and largest canoe livery operator in the country, will take place this year from July 21 to 23 on the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and on the Upper Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River.
Since 1990, Kittatinny Canoes, led by owners Ruth Jones and her son Dave, have organized this annual three-day event that includes their dedicated staff, a cadre of volunteers, and National Park Service employees. To date, they have removed 8,547 tires, 8,544 pound of aluminum cans, and 440 tons of trash from the Delaware River corridor including the river bottom, islands and shorelines. Some of the most interesting items retrieved include: a 1962 pick-up truck, 18 sticks of dynamite, a loaded shotgun, a model of a human brain, a bowling ball with a chain, an exercise bike, several safes- both with and without doors, and a hood to a 1960 Ford Falcon.
The Jones’ family business was started in 1941 by Ruth’s parents, Edna and Ernie Olschewsky and the family has made their living from the river ever since. But Ruth is a firm believer and is often quoted saying that “you can’t keep taking away from a resource without giving something back.”
The anthropologist Margaret Mead reminded us to “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” “Indeed,” she added, “it’s the only thing that ever has.” According to Superintendent Donahue, “Ruth Jones is one of those citizens whose commitment has had a powerful and positive impact on changing our little piece of the world for the better. The annual river clean-up event is a testament to her dedication and an outstanding example of how one can put beliefs into action for the betterment of the our natural environment and all of us who depend on it and enjoy it. She truly exemplifies the National Park Service mission to preserve and protect America’s special places for this and future generations to learn from and enjoy.”
For more information on the On and Under the Delaware River Clean-up, contact Kittatinny Canoes at 1-800-FLOAT-KC or visit their website at www.kittatinny.com. According to Jones, “Many of our volunteers have been participating for years and have become like friends and family. We look forward to seeing many of the same folks year after year.” Kittatinny Canoes needs at least 100 volunteers each day. “It takes many helping hands to get this job done,” added Dave Jones.