MILLER COUNTY - Mid-Missourians spent their Sunday afternoon cleaning up a stretch of the Blue Spring Creek in Miller County.
The Save Blue Springs Stream Team held the cleanup as part of a statewide initiative that aims to improve the waters of Missouri. Earlier this month the organization adopted an additional tow-mile section for cleanup, stretching from Honeysuckle Road at Highway Z past the double bridges to Greer Road. As soon as the spring weather kicked in, volunteers got the ball rolling.
While cleaning up along the creek, members found all sorts of trash from computers to blankets to plastic bags. Stream Team member Janice Imler said the biggest problem is traffic coming through the highway and people throwing away bottles and trash.
"I am pretty ashamed of all the people that unknowingly throw their trash out," Imler said. "I am ashamed of the landowners and business owners who say that's ok. I think that everyone should become aware, pitch in and help. This are the roads where everybody comes to the lake. Is the first impression and the first thing they see and we don't want this to be the first thought of us."
KOMU previously reported that the idea for a Blue Spring Creek stream team started after the group raised concerns about Rocky Mount Sewer District's plans to build a water treatment plant that would have discharged treated sewage back into the creek. With nearly 1600 petitions, the organization stopped the sewer plant plans.
"We need to take care of the lake. Let's not pollute everything," said Imler.
Community member and former principal of Eldon Middle school, Chris Miller, said the Stream Team plans to work with the school this year to get children involved in green activities.
"We are going to take the Stream Team this year to introduce them to what we do as a Stream team and the importance of clean water and hopefully get some kids excited," said Miller. She said the activities will include field trips, trash collection and water tasting.
Five team members of the Blue Springs Stream Team will be attending a Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Workshop on April 5 in Camdenton. The events are provided by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Department of Conservation and the Conservation Federation of Missouri and aim to educate members about water quality.
The Blue Springs Stream Team is encouraging more volunteers to get involved in cleanup activities. For more details, contact Janice Imler at 573-392-1544.