Guild participates in Waterkeeper’s ‘Spring Sweep’ cleanup

Fourteen Buffalo Newspaper Guild and family members took part in Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper’s annual “Spring Sweep” on April 23.

We take part in the annual clean-up to honor the late John “Jay” Bonfatti, a longtime environmental reporter for The Buffalo News and dedicated Guild officer.

This year, the Guild team was assigned to clean along Scajaquada Creek at West Avenue underneath the 198, an interesting first-time location for our group.

In a new wrinkle, the Waterkeeper organizers handed out clipboards with pre-printed forms for us to try to track the items we collected as part of a database the group was building.

Working under gray skies on a blessedly rain-free Saturday morning, the Guild crew broke into teams to diligently collect what one Waterkeeper official described as an “impressive” 42 bags of trash.

A decidedly incomplete list of the items collected featured yellowed, sodden copies of The Buffalo News (We love our readers), Gatorade bottles, a Columbia jacket, losing scratch-off tickets, wrappers from male enhancement products and far too many coffee cups from Tim Hortons and other local establishments to count.

On a somber note, we also found a sleeping bag, unopened food and clothing, an indication the trash-filled underpass was someone’s home.

We had a solid turnout but could have had twice as many volunteers as we did and still had plenty of garbage to pick up.

The stalwart participants who did show up were: Guild President Sandy Tan; Vice President for Contract Administration Scott Scanlon; Secretary Steve Watson and his son, Eli; Executive Committee member Mike Pesarchick and his son, Mike; Executive Committee member Jon Harris and his wife, Kristen Parker; Editorial’s Seth Wallace; Editorial’s Katherine Fitzgerald; and Editorial’s Adam Zyglis, wife Jessica and children Clyde and Vera.