Saturday, April 5, dawned sunny but windy in Baltimore County (Maryland). Residents eagerly reported to Hawthorne Elementary School to check in for participation in “Project Clean Stream,” their annual clean-up program for their waterfront parks. Volunteers came dressed for dry or wet clean-up activities with support for the Clear Creeks Project, sponsored by the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy.
The Middle River Watershed quality, over the past few years, has been dropping. Having always been a “B+,” the current rating has dropped to a “D.” The watershed has 13 sub-watersheds including Cowpens Creek and Dark Head Creek, both within the Hawthorne community. In an effort to reverse this decline, local residents have become actively participating in shoreline clean-ups.
On this sunny Saturday morning, over 120 volunteers signed in. Many brought their own bags to be filled with litter and small debris. The hosting organization also arranged for several boxes of large ‘yard bags,’ the volunteers quickly filled with all sorts of trash and debris.
Within an hour, the pile of filled bags began looking like a small mountain. Sadly, the volunteers were also pulling tires, a sofa, a living room chair and other large debris that had been dumped in the creek over this past winter. Volunteers were on hand with pick-up trucks, some even pulled flat-bed trailers or small carts that were quickly filled by the dedicated volunteers who wanted the park to be pristine by the end of the day’s event.
Parents and children, individuals from nearby Lockheed Martin’s and others were on hand to accomplish the day’s goal.