Salisbury Press

Friday, November 17, 2017
PRESS PHOTOS BY APRIL PETERSONElizabeth and D.J. Morasco, of Bethlehem, are among volunteers with Starbucks who helped with the cleanup. “There are worse ways to spend a Sunday morning,” D.J. Morasco said. PRESS PHOTOS BY APRIL PETERSONElizabeth and D.J. Morasco, of Bethlehem, are among volunteers with Starbucks who helped with the cleanup. “There are worse ways to spend a Sunday morning,” D.J. Morasco said.
D.J. Morasco pulls parts of a chair, a mop and other items from the park grounds.Press photos by April Peterson D.J. Morasco pulls parts of a chair, a mop and other items from the park grounds.Press photos by April Peterson
Debris uncovered at the cleanup included construction materials such as roof tiles, old tires and electronics like computer monitors and flat screen televisions. Debris uncovered at the cleanup included construction materials such as roof tiles, old tires and electronics like computer monitors and flat screen televisions.
An old sofa sits in a wooded area of the park. Organizers called for a municipal crew to use a wench to pull the sofa up the embankment. Other strategies to remove the sofa included a backhoe and stout rope. An old sofa sits in a wooded area of the park. Organizers called for a municipal crew to use a wench to pull the sofa up the embankment. Other strategies to remove the sofa included a backhoe and stout rope.
Volunteers Kate Fridirici, Mike Grafton and Samantha daSilva, management employees of Starbucks stores in the region, work together to retrieve television boxes, a scooter and other debris from the park. Volunteers Kate Fridirici, Mike Grafton and Samantha daSilva, management employees of Starbucks stores in the region, work together to retrieve television boxes, a scooter and other debris from the park.
Tom Valerio, a district manager for Starbucks, joins a team of several of his store managers and their friends and families at the cleanup in Walking Purchase Park April 30. Team members found cans of paint, boxes, glass bottles, carpet, children’s toys and an outdoor grill. Tom Valerio, a district manager for Starbucks, joins a team of several of his store managers and their friends and families at the cleanup in Walking Purchase Park April 30. Team members found cans of paint, boxes, glass bottles, carpet, children’s toys and an outdoor grill.
Volunteers uncovered housing materials and furnishings including window blinds. Volunteers uncovered housing materials and furnishings including window blinds.

WALKING PURCHASE PARK CLEANUP

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 by April Peterson apeterson@tnonline.com in Local News

‘It’s a labor of love’

When Cynthia Sopka, director of planning and zoning, joined Salisbury Township in 2008, a cleanup of Walking Purchase Park yielded hot tubs, household washers and dryers.

“It was massive,” Sopka said of the effort.

On April 30 volunteers from area Starbucks, Faith Church, in Trexlertown, Lehigh Valley Mountain Bikers and Salisbury Township returned to the park at the border of Salisbury Township and Allentown to again clear debris piled from the dumping of trash, debris and other materials. This year’s haul included a large sofa found on an embankment near railroad tracks in the park.

“It’s pathetic,” Karen El-Chaar, executive director of Friends of Allentown Parks, a nonprofit group working to help maintain local parks, said of the sofa.

Walking Purchase Park uniquely falls under the joint oversight of City of Allentown, Lehigh County and Salisbury Township.

Tom Valerio, district manager of Starbucks, said his team of volunteers included managers and assistant managers from South Mall, Saucon Valley, Reading, Stroudsburg, Airport Road and Easton, as well as their family members and friends. Volunteers unearthed cans of paint, boxes for flat screen televisions, bottles, a grill, oyster shells and a child’s scooter.

Elisabeth Morasco, of Bethlehem, a volunteer with Starbucks, said she found evidence of a house cleanup or renovation including a mop, brooms and older model televisions. Carpet and roof shingles also surfaced.

When a cleanup is announced dumping increases, according to Sopka.

She would like to improve monitoring of the park highlights of which include many tiny natural waterfalls, a Works Progress Administration era fountain and views of the Lehigh River.

“It’s a labor of love,” Sopka said of the cleanup effort.