Creek cleanup group prepares for effort

Published 2:51 pm Thursday, October 7, 2010

Preparation for the big cleanup of a five mile section of the Hobolochitto Creek are continuing.

Several organizations or individuals have already made several passes down the creek in an effort to clean it up, including Jeff Stockstill and Pine Grove, Nicholson and Southeast Volunteer Fire Departments, said cleanup planner Mark Stockstill.

A large scale cleanup is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Oct. 16, with Mississippi Power as a sponsor. The event is an effort to get volunteers out on Boley Creek to remove the large amounts of trash in the waterway.

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Keith Kingrey advises anyone who plans to volunteer for the event to bring a canoe, since the water level is low and there is no rain in the weather forecast for the rest of the month.

To help drum up volunteers, the effort is asking local businesses to spread the word and volunteer firefighters to help out, said planner Derek Turnage. Turnage would like to see more local residents, especially those who actually use the creek, show up for the event.

“That’s what we’re trying to do is increase the recreation (on the creek). We would love to have their support,” Turnage said.

Kingrey is still trying to secure extra canoes from a couple of organizations for people to use. The planners ask any local residents who may have a canoe to come out and help, or if they can’t help, to lend the canoe to the effort for someone else to use.

Volunteers for the event on Oct. 16, will be treated to lunch and a T-shirt for their work, Kingrey said. Also, Mississippi Power will be offering gift cards to a local retailer for those volunteers who collect the most trash, find the weirdest piece of trash and the volunteer who brings in the most other volunteers.

Volunteers will be asked to sign an injury waiver. Organizers recommend bringing a pair of gloves, a net and, if possible, a tool with which to pickup trash. Turnage said he asked some local law enforcement investigators to help volunteers identify possible hazards, especially bottles that may have been used to manufacture methamphetamine in the “shake and bake” method. Turnage said bottles that have been used to manufacture the drug contain hazardous chemicals, and if volunteers are able to identify them, they will be less likely to open them.

Already a number of logs worth selling have been found in the creek. The planners discussed the possibility of selling logs removed from the creek surface to generate funds to form a a creek society, Turnage said.