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2009 Swatara Sojourn

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Published on May 4, 2009

On May 2-3, 2009, the 21st Annual Swatara Sojourn started in Pine Grove, Schuylkill County where Route 645 meets Route 443. The Little Swatara Creek also meets the main Swatara at this location. Thanks, to the cooperation of Heinbaugh Trailer Park owners, the Swatara Water Trail starts at this point.

Young and old help with this day of enjoying the outdoors, communing with nature, exercise, recreation, appreciating the scenic beauty along the Swatara, geologic formations, and leaving the Swatara a little better than we found it.

After a safety briefing, participants floated the Swatara and picked up trash along the way. You will see a trailer load of tires plucked from the Swatara.

A recently completed boat launch at Jonestown, Lebanon County was the start of Day two. DCNR and Jonestown Boro, especially Mayor George Kaufman, deserve our thanks for this beautiful and functional access. Pervious parking is part of the design.

Day one started with drizzle, but cleared away as the day wore on. Conversely, Day two started out dry, but the rain started and came down steadily the whole trip. About one-half of the paddlers were so hardy that they finished the entire trip.

Special thanks to our ground support who faithfully see us through each day, from Laurie Andrews (aka Girl Friday), Dick and June Blouch (fabulous casseroles, June!), Norm Brandt (now 82, participated in the 1st sojourn), Tom (shuttle man) Embich, Ann and Dave (pizza delivery) Lasky, Jack (tire man) Stouffer, and we can not forget (Bill and Ruth (who needs a canoe) Wise.

The event can not take place without many community sponsors: DCNR, First Energy, Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority, Heinbaugh Trailer Park, Hershey Foods, Rhonda R. Hess & Associates , Izaak Walton League, League of Women Voters of Lebanon County, Lebanon County Conservation District , Lebanon Valley Conservancy, Lickdale Campgrounds, National River Cleanup Week, Northern Swatara Creek Watershed Association, Simon Kettering, PA American Water Company, Pa Fish & Boat Commission, PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers--POWR, Schuylkill County Conservation District, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Swatara Watershed Association,
Union Canal Canoe Rentals, Weidle Sanitation, Swiss Premium Dairy .

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