Volunteers will clean banks of the Patapsco River in historic Ellicott City

April 15, 1994|By Sherry Joe | Sherry Joe,Sun Staff Writer

In preparation for Earth Day, local merchants, city government officials and Boy Scouts tomorrow plan to clean up a portion of the Patapsco River that runs through historic Ellicott City.

The group will pick up discarded bottles, paper and other debris that has collected along the river near the parking lot on Main Street and Maryland Avenue and the bridge between historic Ellicott City and Oella.

The Patapsco River "was looking real, real trashy," said County Council member Darrell Drown, who requested the clean-up. "We hope once it's spruced up" people will continue to keep it clean.

In addition to the clean-up, Mr. Drown said the county government will mend fences and extend others that border the river front to keep out loiterers who gather underneath the bridge.

Organizers said the clean-up benefits other regions of Maryland, as well as historic Ellicott City.

"We're not only cleaning up Ellicott City, but whatever we don't pick up ends up in the Chesapeake Bay," said Ellicott City resident Michael J. Kerwin, whose three sons will participate in -- the clean-up.

Rebecca Kotraba, a 17-year-old Columbia resident who will help with the clean-up, said it's important to save the environment for future generations.

"The environment we have to live with all of our lives," Miss Kotraba said. "We can't do everything, but we can do something."

The cleaning expedition is not the first time a group of volunteers has spruced up historic Ellicott City.

Last year, volunteers picked up trash along the Tiber River, which runs through the historic district, and merchant Sherry Fackler-Berkowitz brings in a group of Girl Scouts every summer to clean up the downtown area.

"It's community and businesses working together," said Ms. Fackler-Berkowitz, who co-owns Great Panes, a stained glass shop on Main Street.

Organizers said it took two months to plan the event. Ms. Fackler-Berkowitz will donate work gloves, vests and trash bags to the Boy Scout volunteers, and the county will donate a container to collect the trash. In return for their efforts, the Boy Scouts will have a chance to select from a grab bag of gift certificates and other prizes from area merchants.

For those interested in volunteering, meet in front of the B&O Railroad Museum at 10 a.m. Saturday and bring work gloves and boots.

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