Canal cleanup a priority of New Hope residents
NEW HOPE, Pa. - April 1, 2012 (WPVI) -- People in and around the quaint village of New Hope in Bucks County are on a mission to clean up their canal.
Members of New Hope for the Canal is a group of neighbors devoted to bringing back the borough's historic waterway that is now overgrown and littered with debris.
"If we want to bring back a lot more tourists, a lot more visitors to New Hope, then we've got to bring back one of the best tourist attractions that we've had, and that would be the canal," said Kim Espat.
Because of repeated storm damage and leaks along the canal, there hasn't been water flowing there regularly for several years, and the locals miss it.
"People canoeing and the ducks; we also had the mule barges," said Dee Dee Bowman. "It's wonderful when it's full and so sad when it's empty."
The group is trying to raise $50,000, money that will pay for cleaning out the canal, and a $1,500 a month electric bill to run the pumps that will bring water in from the Delaware.
"We are hoping to have water flowing again by this summer; possibly as early as August," said Judy Franlin.
But first the new bridge over Ferry Street must be completed as well as the installation of a waterproof liner in sections that leak.
With the Bucks County Playhouse set to reopen this summer, supporters say a clean, water-filled canal will bring more tourists to town.
"I think it would draw a lot of people," said Steve Henderson.
"Progress is slow, but that's how it sort of happens with historic things," said Susan Taylor.
new hope, pennsylvania, local/state, nora muchanic
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