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Moose Teen Club adopts Coal Grove boat ramp

COAL GROVE — Box springs. Plastic bottles. Propane tanks. Modern day archaelogical dig? No. It was the sight that met some community-minded young people recently when they met to clean up the Coal Grove boat ramp. But far from being daunted by the debris, the Ironton Moose Family Center Teen Club has adopted the boat ramp as its project through the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District’s Adopt A Litter Site program.

Stacey Brown, chairperson of the Moose Teen Club, said the young people undertake a community service project each month. In June, they participated in the annual Ohio River Sweep. Dan Palmer, director of the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District, told Brown another group had signed up to clean up the Coal Grove boat ramp but later said they couldn’t do it as part of River Sweep. He suggested to Brown that the Moose teens might want the challenge as one of its monthly projects. Approximately 15 teens and adult advisors spent one day last week and one day this week cleaning the pier and water front.

“Someone said it wasn’t really bad,” Brown said. “They were looking at the pier when they said it. Then we looked at the shore…”

There they found what amounted to a small open dump with old tires, a helium tank, old drinks coolers, a television set and a few occupants the group would have no doubt preferred to have avoided.

“We found a dead river rat and a live snake,” teen club advisor Jenny Friend mused.

More than 80 bags of trash were collected from the boat ramp. But far from being daunted by the challenge, the Moose teens have taken on the responsibility of keeping the Coal Grove boat ramp tidy on a regular basis. Brown said the idea of taking on this challenge is in keeping with the Moose Teen Club’s overarching theme of giving back to the community.

“We try to teach values and responsibility in young people who are members of the club,” Brown said.

Four years in a row, the local club has won the Buckeye Award from the Ohio State Moose Association for its successful community service endeavors. Friend pointed out that the local club, which has less than 20 members, consistently beats out clubs in bigger cities with more members.

Dan Palmer, director of the solid waste management district, said he is pleased to welcome the Moose teens to his agency’s adopt a litter site program.

“This is wonderful, seeing teens get out there and take pride in their community,” Palmer said. “I think they need to be commended for this.” And they were: At the behest of Commissioner Doug Malone, the Lawrence County Commission recently agreed to send a letter to the club, commending members of their efforts.