Friends of Sugar Creek Get Cleanup Help

Friends of Sugar Creek Get Cleanup Help
Journal Review 11/3/2008
by Tyler Montgomery

The Friends of Sugar Creek received some much-appreciated help Saturday to clean up in preparation for a proposed nature park.

“It's our first shot,” said Mayor Charlie Coons. “We hope to do this more and he we hope to have people involved.”

Coons said the nature park could become a working classroom for schools in Crawfordsville. The city hopes to develop two more large sized shelters, handicap accessible, and 10 to 15 smaller shelters throughout the park.

“Schools here shouldn’t have to go elsewhere for this experience,” said Coons. “Now, they will be able to come right here and not have to drive out of the county.”

The cleanup will help the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). MS4 is an unfounded city program that was enacted by state Rule 13. Rule 13 was developed to help cities manage storm water discharged in urbanized areas.

City of Crawfordsville MS4 Operator, Gary Weliver, said MS4 and Rule 13 spawned from the clean water act of 1988. “Sugar Creek is very important to our community,” said Weliver. “It’s a major tributary and will gather lots of runoff during storms.”

The runoff, prior to reachng Sugar Creek, collects trash and other toxins, which end up in the creek.

Weliver said they are going to place more plants along the creek to help trap the toxins as they near the creek.

“MS4 is an on-going process,” said Weliver. “We need to take care of this so our children will realize the importance and develop a mind set as to the quality of water.”

Weliver said Friends of Sugar Creek have always helped by cleaning up trash around the creek. He said he felt they were going to make a big impact Saturday.

“MS4 is always trying to make an impact,” said Weliver. “The follow up is very important for us. We want everyone to start thinking green.”

Weliver said he hopes people will hear about that they are doing with Sugar Creek and will want to get involved.

“This will be something big for public education and outreach programs here in Crawfordsville,” he said.

Nathan Mullendore, Watershed Projects Coordinator for Friends of Sugar Creek, said this is the biggest event they hold and it gets the most people involved. Mullendore was hopeful they would be able to get a lot done on Saturday and hopefully grab the attention of
more citizens. He said Friends of Sugar Creek has been around for 21 years and each year organizes a cleanup effort.

Former Park Director, Rita Hamm, said this was the first time the city has been involved.

“When I was director we had just put in the softball fields,” she said. “We started the Crawfordsville Area Softball Association (C.A.S.A.) to help us keep the fields in good condition. Now, we have some of the best fields in the state.”

Hamm said she was delighted when Coons contacted her about the cleanup. She said everyone tries hard to keep the fields and Sugar Creek in good condition, but it's nice the city is lending a hand without the support of tax money.