DINGMAN TOWNSHIP, PIKE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Pocono Environmental Education Center is still recovering from the devastating storms in early March. This weekend, it’s receiving help with one of the more challenging clean-up projects.
Despite the noticeable damage around PEEC, all but one of the hiking trails have re-opened. Still, there’s a lot of work to be done.
Chainsaws are a familiar sound on the trails this summer. But today’s tedious task involves pulling nearly 80 trees out of a pond.
“I wouldn’t say it’s difficult, but it is a little time consuming,” says Bill Pollard, Regional Chainsaw Instructor, Team Rubicon.
Team Rubicon is a non-profit that assists communities with disaster relief. Volunteers are dedicated individuals, first responders, and military veterans like Dan Covolesky. He says, “it’s fulfilling. As veterans, it gives us our sense of purpose back.”
This is PEEC’s largest pond, which campers use to canoe and kayak. But since the storms, they’ve had to avoid the area.
“Having the trees in it is really a hazard for the students who are just learning or beginning to kayak and canoe,” explains Jeff Rosalsky, Executive Director, PEEC.
PEEC’s executive director says this project requires careful and creative solutions, since the property is part of the National Park. “Finding a company that can do that is more difficult than you’d think,” Rosalsky adds.
Team Rubicon is based in Los Angeles, but trained volunteers are spread throughout the country. Bill Pollard lives near White Haven. He says, “there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. It’s giving back to the community, one non-profit helping out another non-profit.”
Team Rubicon will be working here all weekend long. They’re not only removing the trees, but also cutting them up and hauling them away.