LTJ Clean Stream Team members loaded a pickup truck with garbage pulled from a 1,000 foot section of Fox Creek in Lewisville. This year's team consisted of Steve and Seth Southwell, Jennifer, Tim, and Tory Lane, Todd and Zak Simpson, Jennifer and Alex Linde, David Taylor and family, and Karla and David Scott.(Photo by Karla Scott)
At least 200 people attended Saturday morning's Trinity Trash Bash, put on by Keep Lewisville Beautiful. The event, coordinated among various cities within the Trinity River watershed, uses volunteer labor to clean litter in and around the Trinity River and its tributaries.
Keep Lewisville Beautiful puts on two major cleanups each year: The Spring Cleanup in April, and The Trinity Trash Bash, normally in September, but moved to November this year due to West Nile mosquito concerns. This year's KLB-sponsored TTB event had record attendance since the group started participating in TTB. Also sponsoring or assisting with the event were the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, UTRWD, Kayak power, LoneStar Storage, Waste Management, Republic Waste Services, T.R.E.E.S, The City of Lewisville Parks and Recreation, and City of Lewisville Environmental Services. Trash bags were donated by Cleanitsupply.com.
KLB provides volunteers with gloves, trashbags, and litter grabbers, and makes the event fun by providing free T-shirts, goody bags, and refreshments. Volunteers met at Lake Park, got their assignments, and worked from 8 a.m. to just after 10 a.m., filling most of a large rollaway dumpster with garbage from around local waterways.
KLB awarded trophies for the groups picking up the most litter, and the group finding the most interesting piece of litter. The Lewisville Texan Journal Clean Stream Team took first place for adult large group, and the Lewisville High School Student Council took first place for youth large group, and most interesting item for some kind of light fixture they found. EA Engineering won the Adult Small group category, and Girl Scout Troup 3533 won the youth small group category.
The Lewisville Texan Journal team cleaned a 1000 foot long stretch of Fox Creek, just upstream from its convergence with Timber Creek. Volunteers in waders and rubber boots, dealing with thick brush and steep banks picked up 15+ large bags of trash, as well as three full-sized shopping carts that someone had rolled into the creek. Interesting items found by LTJ's group included the shopping carts, a football, a baseball, a bra hanging in a tree, a CD collection, and condoms. And it wouldn't be a genuine KLB cleanup without finding the requisite tire stuck in the creek. (Volunteers used a shovel to dig that out.) The items completely filled the bed of a pickup truck.
Garbage collects in creeks and streams for a variety of reasons. Some of it is dumped there intentionally, but much of it ends up there after blowing across the land and falling in, or being washed into the drainage during storms. The most common garbage found is plastic grocery sacks, followed by disposable water bottles, cans, and beer bottles - all of which are non-biodegradable. Whatever doesn't get buried naturally or picked up by volunteers ends up eventually washing out to the Gulf of Mexico. Floating bits of plastic eventually wash around the globe and find their way into the Pacific Gyre - a Texas-sized patch of floating garbage.
KLB's next cleanup is in the Spring - usually the 3rd or 4th Saturday in April. LTJ hopes to see the event grow in attendance. Anyone interested in volunteering for future cleanups should contact Keep Lewisville Beautiful.