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Beltzville Lions Club members organize Lehigh Canal clean-up

  • Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Taking stumps out of the Lehigh Canal at Lock 13, at Parryville, was done by members of the Beltzville Lions Club.
    Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Taking stumps out of the Lehigh Canal at Lock 13, at Parryville, was done by members of the Beltzville Lions Club.
Published April 27. 2013 09:03AM

Trail Tenders, volunteers, members of the Beltzville Lions Club and Concern Treatment for Boys, Mahoning Township, took on the challenge to clean up the Lehigh Canal at Lock 13 at Parryville and made a mark on the site.

Much of the work that needed to be done at the site was the result of storm damage from Hurricane Sandy, along with some much regular needed attendance to overgrown brush.

Two huge tree stumps also were among the rubble that was removed from the canal and towpath, along with trees, brush, brambles and vines were trimmed to allow hikers to walk on an open trail that had grown shut in the past few years.

Tom Zellner of the Beltzville Lions Club, who was in charge of the project, said that all he did was point.

Zellner had a list of projects that needed to be completed and as volunteers signed on, he gave them an assignment.

"By the end of the morning, most of it was done," said Zellner. "My job was easy."

While the clean up project was successful, Zellner hopes one day to plant flowering cherry and plum trees along the towpath of the Lehigh Canal Park.

Until Tom can implement the plans to plant the flowering trees, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

The Lions Club planned the clean up under the umbrella of the Delaware and Lehigh National Corridor Commission. Helping organize the clean up was Dennis Scholl, outreach coordinator for the D&LNCC.

The local Trail Tenders program spreads from the Lehigh Gap to Jim Thorpe. D&L volunteers bought chain saws, rakes, shovels and other heavy equipment and also there was a backhoe brought by Sugar Hollow Farms, which was used to take the stumps out of the canal.

Everyone gathered around to see the massive stumps removal.

Scholl said that he was pleased to partner with the Beltzville Lions Club. "The Lions is the only group that has shown an interest in the Lehigh Canal Park, except for Boy Scouts."

Most of the heavy work was completed by noon, when the Beltzville Lions provided lunch to all of the workers.

Anyone who would like to learn more about future work days at Lock 13 at Parryville should contact Tom Zellner at (610) 704-6651 or Gail Maholick at (610) 533-9311.

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