County man recognized for Cattaraugus Creek cleanup efforts

Don Shelters was recognized by the Zoar Valley Paddling Club for organizing cleanups along Cattaraugus Creek for the past 30 years, At left is Dana Lyn Gerace.

CATTARAUGUS — Don Shelters of Cattaraugus was recognized Saturday by members of the Zoar Valley Paddling Club for organizing cleanups for 30 years on the Cattaraugus Creek watershed.

Club members gathered Saturday at Shelter’s home for the socially-distanced presentation that was held outdoors. Members hiked or took a kayak trip on Cattaraugus Creek prior to the presentation

Shelters, a former Zoar Valley Paddling Club president, is the longest-standing member of the whitewater paddling club that calls the Cattaraugus creek their home. He currently serves as the club’s conservation officer.

“He enjoys the outdoors and being on the river in canoes, kayaks and rafts,” said Steve de Boer, a longtime club members and officer. “He has taken countless numbers of people on trips on the Cattaraugus and on many rivers throughout the eastern United States.”

Shelter’s “love for the environment of the Cattaraugus Creek is evident in his 28 consecutive years of organizing four river cleanup days each year,” said de Boer.

One river cleanup is typically associated with the paddling club, community members and recently the Nature Sanctuary Society of Western New York. The other cleanup is held in conjunction with the Seneca Nation of Indians and their water walkers group during an earth day event.

De Boer urged anyone interested in volunteering for cleanup days on Cattaraugus Creek or those interested in learning more about whitewater boating visit the Zoar Valley Paddling Club Facebook page.

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