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Ecorse Creek undergoing 21st annual cleanup by Watershed Stewards May 3

The city of Dearborn Heights will be holding its 21st Ecorse Creek Clean-Up tomorrow at Swapka Park, near the Richard A. Young Recreation Center (5400 McKinley).

The Watershed Stewards Commission plus volunteers will be picking up the area along the creek from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. Sign-in time is 8:30 p.m. for the volunteers, whom are asked to dress warmly for the cold.

“Usually we get 60 people out each year, so we should have our hands full,” Watershed Stewards Commission Co-Chair Barbara Goryca said. “The commissioners will wear waders and go into the creek some years, but when I looked at the creek this week the water was about four feet up, so we'll be just picking up along the creek this year.

“It's been clean. I saw one area, behind the Van Born Road CVS at Beech Daly, where there were a couple places really needing picking up,” Goryca said.

However, she added there is still heavy work to do on rain garden maintenance, which Goryca said will involve spreading five square yards of mulch and cutting back brush and bushes. Goryca credits the three rain gardens and reconstructing the parking lot with porous pavement for “doing a great job” of flood control, absorbing 90 percent of the water coming off the Young Center roof.

“The Crestwood National Honor Society members will do a great job spreading the mulch,” she said. “In fact, five of those young men from the National Honor Society are now members of the Watershed Stewards Commission, and we can be real proud of them.”

For the first time, all participants will be receiving a T-shirt (with the Ecorse Creek-2014 logo). A hot dog lunch will follow.

Watershed Stewards Commission will also be asking city residents to clean up their the curb and storm drain in front of their homes, which could be stopping the draining of spring rains if they are clogged with leaves and twigs. At the suggestion of Co-Chair Steven Roberts, Goryca said, the commission selected May 3 to coincide with the Ecorse Creek Cleanup as the first of several weekends throughout the summer for undertaking this effort.

“We decided to publicize this, so even if people are not going to do it this Saturday, they might be made aware of our citizen citywide push,” she said.