Group plans fall cleanup

Keep Blair Beautiful is planning an outdoor cleanup this fall, but hasn’t fixed on the place, the date or the participant groups it will focus on.

Possible locations include the Everett Railroad right-of-way used for excursions between Hollidaysburg and Freedom Township and River Road near Hollidays­burg, according to Katrina Pope, education and enforcement coordinator for the Intermunicipal Relations Committee, KBB’s parent.

There are also a handful of illegal dump sites that could be targets, she said.

Participants could include members of a Hollidaysburg Area High School club and students from Penn State Altoona.

KBB tried to organize a rail line cleanup in the spring, but it didn’t come together, Pope said.

If it occurs this fall, it will need to take place on a weekday, which generally helps draw better participation from high schoolers — or, failing that, on a weekend that doesn’t include the middle weekends in October because the railroad has scheduled its Pumpkin Patch excursions then, Pope said.

Pope hasn’t yet contacted the railroad about the cleanup idea.

The high school club usually sends about 20 kids, plus a handful of chaperones, according to Pope.

KBB participant Tom Shaffer, Penn State Altoona coordinator of academic internships and community-based studies, hopes to recruit on campus.

“I want to get students out into the community,” he said.

Meeting participants discussed whether safety concerns would require college students, who are generally adults, to remain separate from high school students, who are generally minors.

There’s no such requirement at the high school or KBB, although she’s not sure whether there’s one at Penn State, Pope said.

Participation isn’t limited to students.

“We always want more volunteers,” Pope said.

The event proposed by KBB could become part of the International Coastal Cleanup, Pope said.

While our area is hundreds of miles from the ocean, trash picked up here can easily end up in the sea, via streams and rivers, she said.

Although Pope is planning a single fall cleanup, there could be a second, if other groups organize it, she indicated.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.