Conservation Board to shape up Kewash Trail

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


With people coming to Washington from all over the nation on April 21 to participate in the Kewash Half Marathon, community members are asking for help making sure the 13-mile route along the Kewash Trail is presentable.

Beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, the YMCA of Washington County and Washington County Conservation will team up to clean up the trail. Volunteers will put on their walking shoes and grab garbage bags to pick up refuse along the trail. Four crews will be formed, one beginning in Washington and the other starting in West Chester, where the half marathon will hit the point where runners will turn around. The teams will meet in the middle. The other two groups will begin in the middle and go separate directions.

?We want to make sure everything is clean and beautiful so we can impress the people who come from out of town and out of state to this event,? Y fitness coordinator Teri Hartzler said. ?We just want to showcase the wonderful trail we have.?

She said the event came up about six weeks ago as she was hiking the Kewash. She had noticed there was a lot of trash along the route. Feeling this is unnecessary, she spoke with the conservation department and organized the event.

Hartzler said at the time she was on the trail, several trees had been cut down in preparation for the coming spring and for planting new trees along the trail. She said most of the trees have since been removed.

Volunteers will meet at the Sesquicentennial Park, a small parking area just north of the Rociket Slide in Sunset Park near the entrance to the trail. hartzler said there should be no more than a three-mile walk for volunteers. Refreshments will be served. The city will provide trash bags. Washington County Public Health has donated gloves.

Hartzler said that the cleanup might take about 90 minutes. She also said that people can come out and stay as long as they want. She also said people can bring their children or their pets to the event.

While people don?t need to sign up, they can call Hartzler to be put on the volunteer list. She hopes 40 to 50 people will be at the cleanup. Hartzler can be reached by calling 653-2141.

?It is such a beautiful trail we have to use and I just want it to be clean for everyone,? she said.