In the Codorus Creek, just below its bank along Hamilton Avenue in York City, sat the recliner.
"We have a grappling hook," Michael Helfrich, the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, replied when a volunteer asked how to drag the chair to dry land.
Luckily, the recliner came apart when the group of men began to pull it from its watery resting place Sunday, making it much easier to bring ashore. As a bonus, a small boom box and part of a vacuum cleaner were found nearby.
Three fewer pieces of junk in the creek.
Sunday marked the last day of the weekend-long Codorus Creek Cleanup, in which 109 people took part over the course of three days. For their efforts, they were fed lunch — supplied by Central Family Restaurant, Crazy Tomato and Never Forgotten BBQ — and left knowing they cleaned up a habitat teeming with wildlife.
Less junk: The volunteers pulled out enough junk to fill a Dumpster. That's actually down from years past, but that's a good thing, said Helfrich, who is also a York City councilman.
It means less garbage is being dumped in the creek that feeds the Susquehanna River.
"There is huge improvement," Helfrich said.
But, he added, "until there is a mass society change," additional cleanups will be needed. The effort has been held almost every year since 2002.
Though this year's event focused on parts of the creek in the city from Friday to Sunday, Helfrich said some of the trash floated downstream from outside the city.
"We need people all across the county to be more responsible with their trash," he said.
Hard work: Some of the items found in the creek will find a new life. Metal will be recycled.
One year volunteers pulled hundreds of tires from the creek, said Mark Noll, whose wife, Karen, helped organize the cleanup.
"In the past, we found ways to recycle them, too," the North Hopewell Township man said.
Chris Conway of York City, taking part in his first cleanup, said it was an eye-opening experience. He was surprised by the amount of junk in the water and by a homeless person's makeshift home, which he stumbled upon under a bridge.
"I've lived in York my whole life and I never seen it this way before," he said. "It's all quite sad."
— Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.