Fossils Donated to Coal Mine Tour

Pictured from left at the fossil donation event were Bob Noone, Lackawanna County Recreation Manager, McDade Park; Rob Sochovka, Geologist/CQA Manager, ARM Group LLC; Commissioner Chris Chermak, Lackawanna County; Mark DeStefano, CFO Latona Trucking & Excavating; Jason Lab, Project Manager, ARM Group; Tom Murray, Senior Project Manager, ARM Group; and Glenn Kempa, District Manager, Alliance Landfill.

Waste Management’s Alliance Landfill has donated two large pieces of the region’s distant history to the Lackawanna County Coal Mine Tour in McDade Park. 

Landfill Manager Glenn Kempa said the boulders, each with vivid fossilized images of ferns and tree branches that shaded Taylor and Ransom Twp. 300 million years ago, were discovered during earthwork work at the landfill.

“The team working on our site spotted these fossils during excavation. We decided to see if we could make these available for the public to see.” Mr. Kempa said. 

Kempa said Lackawanna County Parks and Recreation Manager Bob Noone was contacted and the fossils were offered for display in McDade Park. Latona Trucking & Excavation of Pittston, a site contractor, agreed to donate transportation of the fossils to the park.

“We are very grateful for the donation of the two large boulders from Waste Management’s Alliance Landfill.  The Coal Mine at McDade Park is the perfect location for these two pieces.  The embedded fossil imprints on these boulders will certainly something of interest for everyone to see for years to come,” said Lackawanna County Commissioner Chris Chermak.   

Alliance Consulting Engineer and Project Manager Rob Sochvoka of ARM Group LLC said the fossils are from the Llewellyn formation, a layer of shale and sandstone found between the region’s coal seams. He said Pennsylvania is one of the few places where highly detailed, and sometimes appearing white or yellow, fossilized plants can be found in contrasting black shale.

“These fossils were formed in the Paleozoic Era of the Carboniferous Period,” Mr. Sochovka said. “During this period, the earth’s climate was much warmer and humid, allowing large trees and ferns to grow. The abundant amount of plant life increased oxygen levels higher than they are today. When the huge trees and ferns died, they fell into waters with little to no bacteria to help them decompose.

“The accumulation of dead plant life formed large peat bogs,” Mr. Sochovka said. “Eventually, with the repeated depositions of sand, silts and clay over these peat bogs and the weight and pressure of these deposits, the peat bogs turned into coal.”

The boulders each weigh about two tons.

O’Malley Halloween Party Being Planned for October 25th

The O’Malley Family is hosting their 20th Annual/Free Halloween Party for the youth within our community.  This year will be a Drive Through Halloween Party to be held on Sunday, Oct. 25, at McDade Park from 1 to 3 p.m.

There will be plenty of ghosts and goblins handing out treats to everyone who drives through. The kids will receive  Goodfellas Pizza and an orange drink from McDonald’s to enjoy in the car. They will also receive coupons for a McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries, a free meal from Texas Roadhouse, and a bag of Utz potato chips.  There will also be lots of candy for all of the kids!  This event will be handled with social distancing.

RSVP by Oct. 22 at 570-346-1828. Please leave a message with the number of children attending.

Shown from left are planners Patrick O’Malley, II, Gene Widdick, Vanessa Thomas, James Barrett, and Patrick O’Malley.

Next Month: Outdoor Basketball Clinics for Young Hoopsters

_Basketball Clinics Pix

The Lackawanna County Department of Parks & Recreation has “teamed-up” with the Scranton Shamrocks and Backcourt Hoops to offer outdoor basketball clinics on August 12-15 for youngsters in Grades 2-8 at McDade Park in Scranton.

The cost is $40. Contact the County’s Parks & Recreation Department at (570) 963-6764 to register or for more information.

Shown from left are: Bob Semenza, Parks & Recreation Program Manager; Corey Callejas, Scranton Shamrocks; Commissioner Jerry Notarianni, Lamont Tillery, Scranton Shamrocks; Mark Dougher, the County’s Deputy Director for Parks & Recreation; Bob Noone, Parks & Recreation Supervisor; Commissioner Laureen A. Cummings, and Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley.