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Volunteers mark Earth Day picking up glass, trash to protect CNY's waterways

Jalen Wade

Dozens of groups are cleaning up along CNY’s old Erie Canal as part of an annual regionwide event.

The creek that runs from downtown Syracuse to Onondaga Lake is frequently littered with garbage, said Rebecca Flint, who works at the company Hidden Level. Flint said she and her colleagues often notice the rubbish when they take strolls by the waterway during lunch.

“We’re always talking about all the trash so we figured why not contribute and get us all out here and clean up,” Flint said.

Flint and more than a dozen of her co-workers organized a clean up as part of the Canal Clean Sweep that occurs each year around the weekend of Earth Day. The 17th annual event aims to protect the canal corridor that stretches from Buffalo to Albany.

The Hidden Level team spent Friday bagging up beer bottles and scattered trash near the Inner Harbor at the southern end of Onondaga Lake.

Vice President of Engineering Kevin May said he joined the clean up because he too likes to enjoy the trail along the creek.

“The Creek Walk is such an awesome thing to have in our backyard," May said. "We like to do a lot of small meetings, one on ones, our building isn't huge so if its nice out we like to walk around and talk so it's just a really good resource for us to have.”

More than a hundred other clean ups are taking place across Central New York in the days before and after Earth Day, according to the Canal Clean Sweep website. The Erie Canal Museum is still welcoming volunteers for its clean up on Saturday.