Friends of Sugar Creek April Article

FSC Hosts Annual Meeting
Journal Review 4/22/08
Article by Zach Cain

After much hesitance on the behalf of Mother Nature it seems that spring is finally here. Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal, nature awakes from its winter slumber and reinvents itself in beautiful shades of green. There is no where this is more evident than along the banks of Sugar Creek as the trees, grasses, and flowers come into full bloom. Unfortunately, a look along those same banks will show how we fall short in protecting our natural resources. The muddy waters remind us that nutrient rich soil from our farm fields and yards is slowly escaping to the Wabash River and beyond, having negative impacts on aquatic life and those who live down stream. All too conveniently discarded trash lines the river bank, working to spoil nature’s victory over winter.

For the last 20 years the Friends of Sugar Creek have worked to protect, restore, and promote appreciation for Sugar Creek; and every spring we are reminded of how much work still needs to be done. Stretches of Sugar Creek in Montgomery County are listed as ‘no consumption’ waters by the Department of Natural Resources; the fish are simply too contaminated to be safely eaten. The river bank near Wayne Avenue in Crawfordsville is rapidly eroding and without action the street will eventually end up in the creek. While many battles to protect the creek have been won, there are countless battles that still need to be fought. Doing so requires the efforts of the entire community.

If you are interested in saving the world, or perhaps just your back yard, the Friends of Sugar Creek would love to count you in the ranks of the willing. There are numerous reasons why protecting the creek is important. We owe it to future generations to keep Sugar Creek healthy; our children should have the opportunity to enjoy what we often take for granted. Sugar Creek brings tourism dollars to our community; the creek is often cited as the most scenic stream in Indiana. Sugar Creek can help recruit and retain employers and employees who value access to outdoor recreation. Having the opportunity to visit the creek for fishing, canoeing, and other activities makes us all a little better off.

We need your help to insure the success of several projects. No matter where your interests or talents lie, there is an opportunity to make a positive impact in our community. Our education committee needs help developing school programs and informative brochures as well as presenting environmental information to various groups and organizations. Our advocacy committee needs help planning creek clean ups, marking storm drains, and monitoring the health of Sugar Creek. The appreciation committee needs help protecting and developing public access points along with educating the community on safe and responsible creek use. The organizational relations committee needs help staying on top of current and future legislation on the local, state, and federal level, as well as people who can lobby for the cause of a healthy creek. Our media committee needs volunteers for website development, press releases, and newsletters. Our fundraising committee needs help locating community partners and grants to ensure the success of all the projects listed above.

It’s easy to get involved. Start off by joining us at the Friends of Sugar Creek annual public meeting. It will be held Thursday, April 19th in the basement of the Crawfordsville Public Library. We will have a pitch in dinner starting at 6 p.m., please bring a dish to share. The business portion of the meeting will begin at 7 p.m. We will reexamine our efforts from last year and formulate goals for the coming year. Join us and make your voice heard. Members never have and never will be charged annual membership fees.

Mark your calendars for the next community creek clean up, Saturday, May 12th from 8 to 12 a.m. We will also have a family friendly float trip Sunday, May 20th. Additional information on all these events and other volunteer opportunities can be found at the website: www.friendsofsugarcreek.org. While at the website check out all the different committees and projects the Friends of Sugar Creek have to offer, there is something for everyone. Together we can ensure that future generations have the opportunity to enjoy a healthy and beautiful Sugar Creek.