Thumbs up: Seven-year-old Mateo Amil Maldonado has this community service thing in the bag.

The York Country Day School first-grader organized Mateo's Litter Critters, a volunteer group that so far has collected 78 bags of garbage in York City -- including 47 from just one area.

The pint-sized environmentalist was honored April 22 -- Earth Day -- during a school assembly, where city Mayor Kim Bracey presented him with a certificate of recognition.

"I don't know how you did that," she said. "We just would like other people to follow his example."

Mateo said he does the work "because it's a good thing," adding litter "doesn't look good and it hurts animals."

Want to help? Contact the organization at

Thumbs up: Here's another example we wish more people would follow:

About a dozen members of York College's York Environmental Society recently started taking unused food from the college's dining hall to the Catholic Harvest Food Pantry in York City.

The new arrangement, which has been going on for a few weeks, means regular prepared food dropoffs at no cost, said Kris Pollick, pantry director.

York College senior Eileen Reavey said she got the idea from a Facebook post connected to the Food Recovery Network. The grassroots network "unites students at colleges and universities to fight food waste and hunger by recovering surplus perishable food," according to its site.


Pollick said another regular supplier of prepared food recently had to stop, so the York Environmental Society came just at the right time. And since the food is made in a commercial grade kitchen, the prepared food can be accepted, unlike some privately made donations.

York College is in the process of being recognized with its own chapter of the Food Recovery Network, making it one of about 20 colleges in the nation to do so.

Thumbs up: Steam Into History is right on track to open its new York County attraction on June 2, just in time for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

A crew has been rehabilitating 10 miles of railroad tracks between Hanover Junction and New Freedom. Once complete, a replica 19th-century steam locomotive named York 17 will haul passengers along the historic stretch.

Abraham Lincoln twice traveled the tracks, completed in 1838 -- on his way to deliver the Gettysburg Address and posthumously in his funeral car.

Steam Into History expects to have 40,000 visitors in its first year, running the train three times per day six days per week between June and Labor Day. Runs will be abbreviated the rest of the year, and closed for the months of January and February.

The nonprofit is based at 2 W. Main St. in New Freedom, where plans include building an engine house for locomotive and coach storage, as well as facilities for visitors and a ticketing and parking area.

Debi Beshore, manager of sales and administration for Steam Into History, estimated the organization will generate about $9 million per year in economic impact, some in sales at the attraction, but mostly at nearby businesses such as restaurants and hotels.