Guild members volunteer for annual Shoreline Sweep

guild shoreline cleanup 2019
From left, Mike Pesarchick Jr., Francesca Bond and Aaron Besecker.

By Mike Pesarchick Jr.

The sun was shining on the Scajaquada Pathway as I, Aaron Besecker and Francesca Bond arrived to take part in Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper’s annual Shoreline Sweep, dedicated to cleaning up trash from the area’s waterways.

The Guild has taken part in the sweep for many years now; this was the first year we went to Scajaquada Creek to clean up. In recent years, we had cleaned up the shores at Father Conway Park in the Old First Ward.

We and the two dozen other volunteers were issued neoprene gloves, trash bags and tongs and marched off to the shore.

Trash ranged from small candy wrappers to beer growlers and basketballs. Dozens, if not hundreds of plastic bottles and Styrofoam plates littered the shore, most likely heaved from the thousands of cars that pass by on the Scajaquada Expressway yards from the water.

In two hours of work, we three pulled six full bags of trash and recyclable bottles, two basketballs and one shopping cart out of the water and off the shore.

With 2,300 other volunteers sweeping 60 locations across Western New York, we were just a small part of the machine, but it felt good to make a difference.