WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Volunteers with Pennsylvania American Water were sprinkled on the riverbanks of the Susquehanna River at Nesbitt Park in Wilkes-Barre, cleaning up trash and getting rid of weeds leaving spaces there better than they found it.
"Every year, we make it our purpose to come out and help clean up the river parks. Part of our mission is an environmental steward to come out and make sure that our communities have a great place to socialize, and cleaning up is just part of that," said Traci Cross.
This is an effort organized by the United Way of Wyoming Valley, known as Day of Caring. Companies and their employees spend the day doing this instead of working in an office.
"These weeds, no matter how much you work on them, they are out of control. So this is definitely needed. We really appreciate the volunteers working on it," said John Maday, Riverfront Parks Committee.
From the riverbanks to River Street, Newswatch 16 found volunteers from three other companies here, including Kuharchik Construction based in Exeter.
"Much different than the worksite," said Cameron Cox. "We have Coal Creative that are digital marketing experts. We do everything from storms to traffic signals. And then we have the Citizens Voice who does multimedia, so it's a very diverse crowd."
Organizers say about half as many volunteers were there this year because of the pandemic, but they're making do with less.
"I think we came out because we care for our city and then the community around here and to make everything look very nice and just, it's just nice to get out, it really is," said Sheryl Hoggart, from the Citizens Voice.
Volunteers say giving back in ways even as simple as something like this is important.
"Because we service the area. It's important because we live here. We take pride in our area, and we have to continue taking pride in our area."
The effort continued until the end of the workday in Luzerne County.