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Eagle Scout project nets 180 lbs of garbage hauled from the Tonawanda Creek

By Howard B. Owens


More than 20 volunteers hauled out 180 pounds of garbage from the Tonawanda Creek this morning under the supervision of Boy Scout Alex Hansen.

The cleanup was the culmination of Alex's Eagle Scout project, which he said took a year to plan and execute.

It required the cooperation of Genesee ARC (who hauled away the garbage for free) and Sloat Tire to pick up the tires that were collected, and Alex had to coordinate the volunteers through the Tonawanda Watershed Committee and Troop 6069.

"The creek over the years has become really polluted with trash," Alex said. "People just throw tires and water heaters and even air conditioners right over the bridges in town. All this stuff gets washed to places, such as Kiwanis Park, and so we have people people cleaning because there's trash everywhere."

The 16-year-old scout said volunteers dispersed to Kiwanis Park, Kibbe Park, behind the courthouse and behind Valu Plaza.

"We think this will make a positive difference for the community because people want to enjoy the creek again," Alex said. "We want to make it a better place for people and wildlife."






tom hunt

Nice community base project. I could never figure out why people think of the creek as a dumping place for unwanted trash. Especially the local supermarket shopping carts. This has always mystified me. Tires I can understand as there is a fee involved in disposing worn out tires. But shopping carts are a add on expense to the consumer....we all pay.

Jul 20, 2014, 5:02am Permalink
James T. Hansen

Great story. And nice team work. Win-wins for all. This is why I support ARC. And the Boy Scouts. And kudos to Sloat Tire. I hope this will inspire people to take pride in their community, whether it's a small act like not throwing a tire into the Tonawanda, or a big act like ARC and the Boy Scouts have shown.

Jul 20, 2014, 8:33am Permalink
Jason Crater

Great job Alex! You're an excellent role model for the Cubs under you in Pack 6069! Keep up the good work! You're well on your way to being a responsible civic leader!

Jul 20, 2014, 12:32pm Permalink
Kelly Hansen

It was a project that, at times, seemed to be a monumental task. We have paddled the creek over the past two years and saw tv sets, tires, wheel rims, wrappers, bottles, a large steel tank, the shopping carts. Alex had to monitor the water levels via the USGS site, needing the depth to be 2 ft. or less; only registered BSA adults or Scouts with the proper water certification could use a watercraft to help retrieve the items; the concerns for safety of volunteers, etc.

The 180 pounds of trash did not include a huge steel tank that required a pickup truck to pull it out of the creek, two shopping carts, a steel table, tires, and other metal recyclable items.

My 'catch of the day' was a crockpot someone tossed over the River Street bridge. Other than that, loads of plastic grocery bags, cups, cans, bottles, and food wrappers made up most of the trash along the shoreline and around the bridges.

There were plenty of other items that the water current and depth wouldn't allow us to safely remove. Hopefully, this project coupled with the work of the Tonawanda Watershed Committee will continue to raise awareness and educate. Great job, Alex and all of your hardworking volunteers!

Jul 20, 2014, 8:31pm Permalink

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