5K Race and Pet Parade to Benefit Griffin Pond

Griffin Pond Animal Shelter will host its inaugural Wag-O-Ween 5K and Pet Costume Parade Saturday, Oct. 16, at McDade Park, pavilion 1, at 1 Bald Mountain Rd., Scranton. Registration and check-in are from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m., and the race begins at 10.

At the event, runners are invited to wear their favorite Halloween costume or running gear as they dash through a 5K course designed by Scranton Running Company. The top male and female runners in each age category will receive a medal. 

The runners who compete in costume also will vie for the scariest, funniest, best superhero, and most unique costume prizes. All runners will receive a complimentary Griffin Pond Animal Shelter Wag-O-Ween 5K and Pet Costume Parade t-shirt. Registration is $35 and can be completed at www.runsignup.com/griffinpond.

Following the race at approximately 11:30 a.m., Griffin Pond will host a Halloween pet costume parade. Parade participants should check in at 11 a.m. at pavilion 1. During the event, pet owners will escort their pets as they contend for the funniest, cutest, most creative, and most unique costume prizes. Parade registration is $15. The shelter also has numerous sponsorship options available which are great advertising vehicles for businesses or a way to honor someone. To register for the parade or as a sponsor, please visit www.griffinpondanimalshelter.com.

All proceeds will benefit the shelter’s canine and feline enrichment program.

For more information, contact Jackie Galvin, M.S., development and communications director, at 570-586-3700, ext. 522 or jackie@griffinpondas.com.

Griffin Pond Animal Shelter was established as the Humane Society of Lackawanna County in 1938 to provide shelter for homeless, unwanted, and abused animals. The shelter cares for more than 200 animals on a daily basis. As a non-profit organization, Griffin Pond Animal Shelter does not receive any assistance from government agencies or subsidies from other institutions. The shelter operates on donations from the community. For more information about Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, please visit www.griffinpondanimalshelter.com.

Lackawanna County Parks Now Accepting Reservations for Pavilion Gatherings

The Lackawanna County Commissioners – Jerry Notarianni, Debi Domenick, Esq., and Chris Chermak – have announced that the four County parks are now accepting reservations for gatherings at the respective pavilions.   

During the upcoming season, McDade, Merli-Sarnoski, Covington and Alyesworth Parks will be open to the general public Monday to Sunday from 7 AM until dusk when the parks close.  

People will be able to walk, hike, jog, bike and fish.  

All individuals or families that rent the space must follow the Governor’s mitigation practices on social distancing and other virus safety protocols in regard to group gatherings.  

The restrooms will be open; and sports activities will be permitted.  All safety protocols must be followed.    

The Coal Mine Tour will remain closed until further notice.  

The Commissioners urge everyone using the facilities to have fun and remember to be safety-conscious at all times.   

Call the Parks’ office number at 570-963-6764 for reservations.

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.