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Welcome to PCR's Plogging and Blogging Initiative!

Ploggin Definitation

This blog is a space for our student-athletes to tell the world about their connections to the Schuylkill River and the actions they take to create a more beautiful, environmentally-friendly community.  

Thanks to our partnership with the William Penn Foundation, PCR has been piloting an activity called plogging. The activity is much less fancy than the word itself, as it is simply picking up trash while running!

The goal of plogging is two-fold: 1) it allows our student-athletes to maintain their fitness while contributing to their community and protecting the environment, and 2) it serves as an educational tool by providing us with the opportunity to teach students about recycling, the impacts of the single-use economy and how all of that trickles down and affects the river they row on every day.

So, how does one plog??? Students are sent on a run (great cross-training!) in reflective vests with reusable bags and gloves that are washed after each use. The runs vary in duration, distance, and intensity. Like most rowers, our kids love some friendly competition, so we typically try to pit teams against each other to see who can collect the most trash. Once the run is complete, we sort and clean the recyclable materials and keep plastic bottles, paper, and unbroken glass bottles for future projects that will include art, a garden at the boathouse, and experiments. The recyclable items we don’t keep and the non-recyclable waste are disposed of through the City of Philadelphia’s curbside collection.  

During our winter training months, we are proud to have collected over 200lbs of trash from the Schuylkill River trail, Lemon Hill, and Girard Avenue!  

We hope that this blog will provide an opportunity for our students to directly tell you about their experiences plogging, the connections they are building to the river and local environment, and all the other fun experiences that happen along the way. 

This first post was originally supposed to be a little different. It was supposed to be the first of many examples of PCR’s Spring 2020 activities, filled with our students’ blogs on training, the Schuylkill community, school, rowing, and of course, plogging. However, as with the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to make some adjustments.

The good news is, plogging meets stay-at-home guidelines for outdoor exercise (wear washable gardening gloves & a mask to protect yourself)!  Although the need to stay socially distant is still vitally important to flatten the curve, you can create a sense of community (and accomplishment) by plogging at the same time, just in different places!  

Three photos of plogging work