Cleanup success will lead to more

Published 1:43 pm Thursday, October 21, 2010

The successful creek cleanup this past weekend along a five-mile stretch of the Hobolochitto Creek has prompted planners to do more work on the creek.

Cleanup of the creek is expected to expand by another five miles north to Liberty Road and take place twice a year. Also, the planners now have a name, Friends of the Boley.

Friends of the Boley members met on Wednesday to discuss the successes of the effort, and to discuss ways to make future efforts more successful. One problem kept the effort from reaching its full potential, the track hoe that was moving the heaviest of debris broke down just shy of the large trash pile, Derek Turnage said.

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However, once it was repaired, it was able to move most of the debris to the water’s edge, Turnage said.

There were some observations made by planners that need addressing, however. The planners noticed that some of the volunteers came into the effort unaware of just how much work cleaning the creek would be. John Huck suggested addressing that problem by drafting flyers for the next effort, planned for the spring, that clearly state the level of work involved and  include safety tips for volunteers who show up after the morning safety briefing.

Another remedy would be to set up a work break point on a sand bar along the creek, complete with food and water, Tom Wagner said.

A gas sign was found in the creek during the cleanup by members of the Picayune High and Junior High Security Council. With a price per gallon of 0.28.9 cents per gallon, the sign was severely rusted. Kingrey said he cleaned up the sign and found a WRJW ad on the back, and after speaking with some representatives of the local radio station determined it was similar to a sign that went missing after Hurricane Camille roared through the area in 1969.

Kingrey said the cleanup also removed about 42 tires from the creek along with 120 cubic yards of trash. Total tonnage of the trash pulled out is still being determined, Kingrey said.

“I think it was a great effort for the first time,” Kingrey said.

With so many people volunteering, Kingrey hopes that they will take the things they saw and share them with the rest of the community. When the water level rises again, Huck suggested they have a fun day where the people who helped clean up the creek can come out and enjoy the it.

Turnage and the rest of the planners said they would like to thank the volunteers, businesses and organizations who offered time, services or products to the effort.