lackawanna-royThe Lackawanna River is a 40.8-mile-long tributary of the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania in the United States. It flows through a region of the northern Pocono Mountains that was once a center of anthracite coal mining in the United States.

For years, the Lackawanna has been a neglected river. However, with the conservation efforts of Lackawanna County and other organizations, water quality and wildlife have returned. The student and faculty of Riverside Elementary West, a local school, have also been instrumental in improving the Lackawanna through “The Great Riverside Cleanup.” This annual event has engaged the community in the river for the better part of the decade. The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority and the Rail Trail Council of Northeast PA (NEPA RTC) have worked to make the river a focal point of the communities it passes.

When complete the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail will connect with the Delaware & Hudson Rail-Trail to create a 70 mile long recreation trail along the Lackawanna River. Approximately 50 miles are open and more should be completed this spring.

If selected for River of the Year, Riverside Elementary WEST will partner with Lackawanna County, Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, and the Lackawanna River Corridor Association to showcase the river through the Great Riverside Cleanup, a sojourn paddling trip, a bike tour, and through topical lectures.