Environmental Stewardship In Our Own Backyard
The Cooperative Extension Service headquarters was built along Coleman Creek in the 1990s in a woodland setting next to the piney UA Little Rock campus. Many of us are fortunate to have an office window facing the creek rather than the parking lot, which gives us a front-row view of squirrels, lots of birds and the occasional dog enjoying the outdoors.
This front-row seat, however, doesn't give us much of a view of Coleman Creek that actually sits more than 12 feet below the embankment. If we did have a view, we wouldn't be so surprised at the amount of trash we found Saturday during a cleanup of this urban watershed.
Blankets, socks, shoes, the remains of a sword, car parts, gutters, fistsful of wire and an infinity of shredded plastic bags wind up in the creek or stuck around tree roots and branches after every rain in this Little Rock creek.
We finally discovered where all the capital city's missing socks go.
Coleman Creek, which also winds its way through the UA Little Rock campus, picks up a lot of Little Rock's litter before emptying into Fourche Creek.
Stormwater is powerful and it washes through people's yards, apartment complex parking lots, and takes away whatever is on city streets into the storm drain. Some of trash may be from illegal dumping. (How does a keyboard or a crutch wind up in the creek?)
Coleman Creek doesn't receive as much trash as Fourche receives, but it was enough to fill 58 trash bags on Saturday during a Keep Little Rock Beautiful citywide cleanup event.
Forty-one volunteers walked the creek, from just north of Extension's headquarters to the 32nd Street Bridge on the UA Little Rock campus. We partnered with UA Little Rock on organizing this year's cleanup, which we hope becomes an annual tradition instead of the occasionally-planned event as it's been in the past.
The last cleanup we hosted was in 2014, so trash has had time to accumulate if it hasn't been pushed downstream from storms. We made an impact in our urban watershed, even if for a few hours.
It stormed Saturday night, and Monday morning, more plastic bottles lay on the creek bank and a giant blanket wrapped around a tree branch. There will be plenty of trash for the next cleanup.
What we found in the creek
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