July 28, 2011

Three volunteers wading along
the creek, nabbing trash.

On a trash-seeking mission, Delise Lockett (left), Ben Yeager, and Sara Luchtel take the plunge. Photo by Alicia Adams.

Volunteers take a load off College Creek

by Diana Pounds

Volunteers pulled two pickup loads of trash from the banks and bottom of College Creek on July 9. And while they were at it, they installed 76 markers on storm drains.

It was the third annual cleanup of the creek that meanders through the southeast corner of central campus, and some 20 volunteers turned out scoop up 420 pounds of trash.

Volunteer installs a marker near storm drain.

Volunteer installs environmental marker near a storm drain. Photo by Steve Mayberry.

"We so appreciate these volunteers, who are willing to spend part of their weekend wading through muck and brush to make this creek, as well as our watershed, cleaner and healthier," said Merry Rankin, director of sustainability at Iowa State.

Drains for rain only, please

This year, environmental health and safety joined the effort, coordinating the drive to mark storm drains around the Iowa State Center, Veterinary Medicine complex and along University Boulevard.

Volunteers installed metal casts on sidewalks near storm drains. The markers, which contain an image of a fish and the words "drains to stream," are intended to dissuade people from throwing waste in the drains.

The annual cleanup is sponsored by the Live Green! program and Keep Iowa State Beautiful campaign in partnership with facilities planning and management.

For more information and photos of the College Creek cleanup, see the Live Green! website.