Members of Boy Scout Troop 82 from Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lehighton and their Scoutmaster Scot Wingert have teamed up with Doug Makofka, the Carbon County Coordinator for the Delaware & Lehigh Trail Tenders and Dorian Roffe-Hammond with the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor to clean up and maintain a section of the Lehigh Canal above Weissport.
Dorian is an Americorps VISTA volunteer who is serving a one year term working with the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and during that year, he's here to help locate opportunities for community involvement projects such as this one.
The project idea was sparked by a trip up the D&L trail by Dorian Roffe-Hammond when he spotted what he later referred to as "a Diamond in the rough".
While visiting that section of the trail he saw an observation deck at a badly overgrown Lock No. 4 and thought that it would be a good idea to involve the Boy Scout Troop from Lehighton in a cleanup project.
He contacted Doug Makofka who is the Carbon County Volunteer Coordinator for the Delaware & Lehigh Trail Tenders to get the project going.
Troop 82 adopted that section of the canal as their community service project to clean it up and they will come out monthly to keep the weeds down and maintain the lock all year round.
The lock was not only heavily overgrown with a lot of scrap brush and invasive trees but in addition to hiding the lock itself, it also obstructed the view from the observation deck.
The scouts put in many hours of hard work clearing out the lock and deck area to the point where the bottom of the lock is now clearly visible along with some huge timbers with steel hardware still in them yet.
Interestingly, there are a large number of steel pins protruding from the sides of the lock which apparently at one time secured wood planks in place to act as "bumpers" to protect the sides of the canal boats from the stones in the lock walls.
Now, after cleaning out all of the overgrowth, in the Spring the scouts will start planting native plants and trees to make the lock area a lot more inviting spot for visitors on the Delaware & Lehigh Trail.
Anyone interested in seeing more photos of their day's work on the canal and other activities can go to their website at www.troop-82.com http://www.troop-82.com which is maintained by troop member Zach Shiner who is the website coordinator.
Doug Makofka noted that there are other sites like this that can be "adopted" by any other groups willing to help out and anyone interested in more information on that can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
In much the same way, anyone who would be interested in this kind of or other projects along the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor can contact Dorian Roffe-Hammond at 610-377-406 or Email him at email@example.com
Lock No. 4 and the observation deck are accessible via the D&L trailhead in Weissport but be forewarned, they are located approximately two miles up the canal from there and are accessible only by hiking or biking as no motor vehicles are allowed in other than service vehicles.