This month G.O.A.L., the Greenbelt Overhaul Alliance of Levittown, recently completed a day long volunteer community cleanup effort of Black Ditch Creek in Bristol Township, Bucks County. 66 area volunteers gave their time and effort to remove over 3,350 pounds of discarded trash thrown into the waterway along with removing 400 discarded automobile and truck tires. The event’s volunteers donated 330 community service hours.
The cleanup project was planned and managed by G.O.A.L. along with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. Clean up volunteers came from G.O.A.L., the Bucks County Conservation District, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Bristol Township E.A.C., the FDR Symposium and the Middletown E.A.C. Funding for the cleanup was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection with donors and sponsors from Green Mountain Energy, PennDot, Bristol Concerned Citizens and Republic Services.
Black Ditch Creek is part of a terminus of local waterways which includes Mill Creek and Queen Anne Creek in which the three waterways feed into nearby Silver Lake. Records indicate that Silver Lake appeared in its present location around 1701. It was originally a man-made pond when a dam was placed on Otter Creek to provide power for the mills in Bristol. In the 1940s, when Route 13 was built, removed fill for the road project was used to fill in the southernmost section of the lake which has been has been dredged several times since to its present depth of around 5 feet.
Today the lake and its marshes serve as a refuge for the Red-bellied Turtle, while the marsh is home for the Coastal Plain Leopard Frog. Local plant life includes the Maryland Meadow Beauties, Atlantic Blue-Eyed Grass, Umbrella Magnolia, Sweetbay Magnolia and American Holly.
G.O.A.L., which was founded by local Levittown resident Dale Frazier, has been instrumental in numerous Bucks County area creek and stream cleanup projects over the past few years. Dale was struck with the idea for a local environmental cleanup group while walking his dog along the greenbelt between the Farmbrook and Stonybrook sections of Levittown and found he was picking up bag after bag of litter. In early 2009 he decided to form an organization to care for these locations which William Levitt and Sons provided for all Levittown residents. He decided on a name and turned his idea into an IRS 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization by mid-2009.
Today, Dale along with his wife Kathy, EF Armstrong, Gudrun Alexander and Mike Schwoyer make up the Board of Directors of G.O.A.L. To date the non-profit has cleaned up more than 8.4 miles of local waterways, removed and recycled more than 16,000 pounds of steel, recycled more than 25 cubic yards of plastics and aluminum while removing and recycling more than 2000 tires. As each tire takes roughly 7 gallons of oil to make according to the American Rubber Association, G.O.A.L. volunteers have removed the equivalent of more than 335 barrels of oil from local area waterways. G.O.A.L. has completed more than 40 projects to date involving more than 10,000 volunteer hours.
The non-profit has several more cleanup projects planned for this year with volunteer events upcoming at:
April 13th – Black Ditch, Hollyhill – Cleanup/Planting
April 20th – Earth Day Cleanup – Magnolia Lake
May 25th – Martin’s Creek, Falls – Cleanup
June 1 – Mill Creek Cleanup – Middletown
June 22/23 – Franklin Cove Cleanup – Tullytown
In addition to volunteers, cash donations and pro-bono grant writers for the non-profit, they have a wish list of equipment items for people to consider donating which includes:
6×4 Wheel Drive ATV with trailer
Electric 10 Ton winch
Water testing kits
Folding metal chairs
24″ Chain Saw
G.O.A.L. is a vital and critical local grassroots organization dedicated to cleaning up Levittown, PA greenways and tributaries of debris resulting in the elimination of waterway damming by debris. With so much attention being paid today on Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale formation as a hot energy commodity to be exploited, GOAL maintains its local focus as seeing land and waterways as part of a community we all belong to.
To learn more about G.O.A.L., go to: http://www.ltowngoal.com/index.html
To donate to G.O.A.L., go to: http://www.ltowngoal.com/taxdeductable.html
To learn more about the history of Sliver Lake, go to: http://www.silverlakenaturecenter.org
To learn more about the Bucks County Conservation District, go to:http://www.bucksccd.org/
Disclaimer: The writer holds no U.S. securities in any oil or gas companies and is not being to write for any of the entities or individuals listed in this article.