FRANKLIN -- The township is quite a bit cleaner this weekend thanks to the efforts of residents and the members of Brownie Troop 4923.
At least 12 members of the troop turned out on Saturday morning to help pick up trash and put it in plastic bags and have it hauled to the landfill.
The girls, mostly in second and third grade, followed the lead of their member, Julia Yurkovich, 8, an Avon Grove Charter School second grader, who wrote a letter to township Supervisors Chairman John Auerback in February bemoaning the volume of trash she has seen.
In her letter she suggested three things:
Put an ad in the paper telling people to throw their trash away; tell people to pick up trash on their streets; and hold a clean-up day.
Auerback responded, saying he was impressed, that it was a well-written letter, and that he was scheduling a community clean-up for the second year in a row.
Sure enough, when Saturday morning rolled around, Auerbach and friends were stationed at the township building with gloves, vests and bags. The troop, along with dozens of residents, showed up ready to work.
After a briefing and issuance of equipment, the troop went to Crossan park to carry out their task.
Julia said she was prompted to write the letter in the first place because the township looked dirty. She said she also saw trash on a yard in her neighborhood where a garbage can got knocked over.
Sitting in the township building waiting to be deployed , she said she was glad the rain that fell on Friday night did not persist into the morning.
Along with the vests, gloves and vests, the girls were given small, red flags. That was a safety measure to ensure that the girls did not handle dead animals or sharp objects. They were instructed if they came upon anything the appeared to be dangerous to stick a flag in it and it would be picked up by an adult later.
The Brownies participated in the clean-up as part of their Quest program. They are encouraged to “discover, connect and take action,” said co-leader Sheri Lordi.
Following the clean-up project, the girls are scheduled to receive patches to ear on their uniform vests.
Auerback said the clean-up program was so successful last year that they decided to do it again this year. The equipment was provided by PennDOT, he said, and the use of a pickup truck to take the trash to the SECCRA Landfill was provided by a local resident.
Additionally, Auerbach said the township’s effective recycling program earns it relief from SECCRA’s tipping fees.