Community Tries to Clean Up After Holiday Celebration in the Poconos

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SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- Last night, hundreds packed Minisink Park and Broadhead Creek near Delaware Water Gap to get their fill of fireworks -- filing in to watch the sky illuminate in celebration for the Fourth of July.

Welcome to the morning after.

The dumpster at Minisink Park is filled to the brim with refuse -- just a small reminder of last night's festivities for the Fourth. The park near Delaware Water Gap is a hot spot for tourists in the summer, but the trash they leave behind isn't welcomed by residents who use the park regularly.

"There is a garbage bag right over there that they filled up and just left," said Peter Milo of Scotrun. "I don't know if they thought the river would take it away, I guess. It's a sin, it just really is."

Township road crews came to the park bright and early to try to begin tackling the mess -- aiming to start picking up trash before any residents stopped by.

"They did a fantastic job. I am very pleased with the condition of the park especially with the amount of people that were here," said Rick Mosher of East Stroudsburg.

Township officials tell Newswatch 16 that the problem wasn't so much with the park, but rather on the shoreline of Brodhead Creek.

Near the water, there is still quite a bit of trash sticking around, consisting of everything from garbage bags, boxes, to cans and bottles. People we spoke to say that even though it is cleaner than it was last year, they still can't understand why people won't pick up their trash.


The Township doesn't own the creek, but they do own this wooded area that leads down to it. That's the reason why these 'No Trespassing' signs were put in place -- but evidently, not many listened to that message.

"There must have been almost 100 cars here and not one person on that beautiful field," said Smithfield Township Supervisor Brian Barrett. "Everyone is here to be in the creek and we feel that we are losing our park. I'm going to say out of those 100 car, four cars were Pennsylvania license plates. So that tells you something of what is going on."

Smithfield Township officials tell Newswatch 16 they are working to come up with a solution to help the trash and overcrowding problem. One of those ideas consists of charging people from out of town a fee before they can use the park.

"People should be responsible for their own belongings, yes," he added. "It's just being an adult."