In spite of a not-so-great weather forecast, it was an absolutely gorgeous day on Saturday, September 10 for the 24th Annual French Creek Cleanup!  A lot of rain was predicted, but aside from a bit of early morning light rain, it it turned out to be a hot day with wall-to-wall sunshine and no rain until the picnic was over, the last hellbender song was sung, and cleanup volunteers were happily home, cleaned up themselves, and resting!

The French Creek Watershed’s biggest day of volunteer stewardship saw a lot of Cleanup veterans as well as new individuals and families, new civic team Rox Sportsmen’s Club and new corporate team Krabby Kelly’s.  This community stewardship event also saw support from steadfast and dedicated sponsors, and welcomed new sponsors in The Boot Box, Meadville Fraternal Order of Police, Meadville Lodge 2505 Loyal Order of the Moose, New Motors Subaru, RW Petruso, Sun Coast Packaging, Tri-County Industries Inc., and Wiegel on the Water.

The Salmon Frank Trio entertained post-cleanup picnic attendees at the Cochranton Fairgrounds, which featured an expanded Raffle Auction thanks to generous community business owners as well as a raffle for a Current Designs Solara 135 kayak donated by Wiegel on the Water.

This event only happens because of our sponsors, all of our picnic donors, and all of our volunteers. We simply can’t say thank you enough!  It takes an extraordinary effort to pull off an event of this magnitude.  And we are grateful to YOU – all of our cleanup participants, who come out for a day to care for and celebrate French Creek, no matter what the weather!

Results of the 2016 French Creek Watershed Cleanup:

Total Weight:  26,305 pounds
Total Registered Participants: 720

Most Weight – Corporate Competition & the Traveling Hellbender Trophy:

Meadville Medical Center – 2,760 pounds

Most Weight – non-Corporate

Small Team (1-5 people) – Hohmann Helpers, 400 pounds
Medium Team (6-16 people) – Friends of  Erie National Wildlife Refuge, 1,300 pounds
Large Team (16+) – French Creek Community Theater, 8,280 pounds

Most Unusual:

First place – French Creek Community Theatre for the moss-filled intact work light
Second place – Acutec for the retriever hunting training dummy
Third Place – Unitarian Universalist Church of Meadville for the antique tire rim

Judge’s Special – Team Blue Grips, for loading one of their boats with so much junk that it sank.   (Update:  Thanks to team Krabby Kelly’s – experienced divers on their team will be assisting Team Blue Grips with boat recovery!)

Most Participant Awards:
Community Civic Group – French Creek Community Theater, 52 participants
Educational Institution (Science/Environmental Science Award), sponsored by the Peter A. Yeager Memorial Foundation – Allegheny College, 134 participants

French Creek Cleanup 2016 — made possible in part due to the generosity of these sponsors: