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Students from Lewiston-Porter help out with the annual cleanup of the beach at Fort Niagara State Park.
Students from Lewiston-Porter help out with the annual cleanup of the beach at Fort Niagara State Park.

Youngstown Garden Club busy at county beach cleans

Fri, May 12th 2023 10:30 am

Club helps out at Fort Niagara, POTL

Submitted by Youngstown Garden Club

The mission of the Youngstown Garden Club states the group exists, in part, to aid in the protection of native plants, trees and birds.

One of the ways the club does this is to participate in Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper's “Spring Beach Sweep,” which it has done for the past three years. The “Spring Beach Sweep” is part of the “Great Lakes CleanUP,” a collaborative trash removal event developed in partnership with 18 other groups and organizations around the basin. Volunteers clean debris from various areas around the Niagara River Watershed to stop thousands of pounds of litter from polluting waterways each year. This protects habitat for birds, fish, insects and other wildlife, as well as to ensure safe drinking water originating from the Great Lakes.

In addition to cleaning up the local beaches and waterways, volunteers, acting as citizen scientists, record data on the various kinds of litter they collect, and quantify it by number and weight. This information is shared through a database stewarded by The Ocean Conservancy in an effort to identify the biggest culprits of litter, and to advocate for behavior and policy changes that will help to reduce the amount of litter that pollutes waterways.

This year, for the first time, the Youngstown Garden Club was assisted by Lewiston-Porter students, teachers and parents. On Saturday, May 6, more than a dozen of these volunteers helped to clean the Fort Niagara State Park beach and to record data on what was collected. The beach was cleared of 1,332 items weighing a total of 214.3 pounds. The biggest culprit, by far, was pieces of Styrofoam used for coolers and packaging material.

The club said it was delighted to work with these very able folks, and looks forward to similar cooperative projects in the future.

Members of The Youngstown Garden Club also swept the beach at Porter on the Lake Park, collecting about 1,325 pieces of debris weighing 65.2 pounds. The club will soon clean the beach at Four Mile Creek.

The Youngstown Garden Club said it is proud to play a role in protecting the local environment. For more information on programs, or how to become a member, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/youngstowngardenclub.

The Youngstown Garden Club pitches in at Porter on the Lake Town Park.

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