Man who helped save the Lackawanna River receives award


PECKVILLE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A man who helped save the Lackawanna River is being recognized.

The bagpipes were blaring through Fiorelli’s Catering in Peckville Thursday night.

Bernie McGurl from Scranton was awarded 2019 Man of the Year by the Ancient Order of Hibernians Paul Hook O’Malley Division 4.

McGurl started his mission more than 30 years ago as a volunteer.

He became the Executive Director of the Lackawanna River Conservation Association.

McGurl curbed pollution, turned rails into trails, and made the river a popular place for recreation.

“Thousands of people are using the river every day, when we used to have our back to it,” said McGurl.  “Now we welcome the river, and if I had a small part in that, it’s something I’m quite proud of!”

McGurl said winning this award doesn’t mean he’s ready to retire just yet.

He’s focused on cleaning up the Old Forge borehole, which continues to pump out iron oxide residue that turns the river orange.

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