Group cleans up illegal Brandon dumpsite
The Derrick, 12/8/01

A special thank you goes out to The Derrick for allowing this story to be posted


THE ALLEGHENY RIVER SUPPORT GROUP HAS OFFICIALLY CONCLUDED THE SIX-MONTH PROJECT.

A local group's promise to clean up an illegal dumpsite in Brandon has been kept.

The Allegheny River Support Group (ARSG) made that pledge to area residents several months ago. Armed with its own funding as well as monies provided by the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Program, the six-month project has officially concluded.

Contractor Gary Wood of Polk plowed through 15 feet of debris in many places, hauled tons of clean fill donated by PennDOT to fill cavities in the hillside created when trash was removed, and constructed an earthen barrier to discourage future dumping.

Assistance and technical advice were provided by Tracey Miller, project coordinator; Barbara Perlstein, director of the Venango Museum in Oil City; Rockland Township supervisors and landowners; PennDOT; the state Department of Environmental Protection; the Venango County Conservation District; the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; and the Allegheny National Forest.

"This was a massive effort, much larger than we imagined and we had tremendous support from everyone involved," Perlstein said.

Township supervisors Terry Huntsberger and Bill Propst installed a sign at the site recently recognizing the contribution of the ARSG and asking people not to litter. Action Grafx Co. of Cooperstown created the sign.

Two additional informational signs made by Bill Bellis still will be placed at the top and bottom of the township road in Brandon.

Pete Johnson, formerly of Venango Video, produced a 20-minute video about the cleanup effort. The video and an ARSG speaker are available to groups wishing to clean up a similar problem in their neighborhood.

Information is available by calling the Venango Museum at 676-2007.

Ten local fourth-grade classrooms will be provided with brochures, a copy of the video, classroom materials and a lesson on recycling for use by teachers in their classrooms.

A portion of the funding comes from an annual golf outing held by the river support group. That money is combined with matching funds to help finance projects in the Allegheny River Corridor.

Perlstein said the next project ARSG will undertake is the improvement of a natural scenic overlook in Kennerdell.

"This site majestically overlooks the Allegheny River Tract of the Clear Creek State Forest and is already a tourist attraction," she said.

Partners working along with the ARSG to bring the latest project to completion include landowner Scott Schneider, the state Bureau of Forestry, Cornplanter District 14, the Allegheny National Forest, Oil Heritage Region, Inc. and the Oil Heritage Region Tourist Promotion Agency. Funding is being sought from public and private sources.