Volunteer Spotlight: John LaPlaca
Keep Rockland Beautiful awarded John LaPlaca of Suffern, New York, with its 2017 Outstanding Environmental Volunteer Award and honored him with a “serviceberry” tree at Kennedy-Dells County Park,
John has spent the last 25 years cleaning up around the county and this year marks the 19th year in a row that he has collected 1,000 bags of trash from Rockland’s roadways and parks. That’s 19,000 bags of trash! John’s first cleanup began when he was a Boy Scout and continued through him becoming Scout Master.
Keep Rockland Beautiful has been tracking John’s efforts in cleaning and beautifying the county. He provides the affiliate with tips of troublesome sites, illegal dumping, and where to best send volunteers.
Many others have taken notice of John’s dedication to cleaning up the county. Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) has also recognized John for his cleanup efforts in Sterling Forest, dubbing him the “Trash Angel.” Orangetown Highway Superintendent, James Dean crowned him “Volunteer of the Year” and gave him his own personalized Orangetown vest, branded with the Town of Orangetown on the front and Keep Rockland Beautiful on the back.
“"Our natural environment doesn't always stay pristine by itself. It takes the efforts of people like John LaPlaca who go above and beyond to ensure our grounds, streams and rivers are litter free. Now in its 20th year, we are proud to continue the tradition and honor John with the County's Environmental Volunteer Award. On behalf of our Rockland residents, we thank John for his dedication to our environment," said Rockland County Executive Ed Day.