Volunteers Spruce up Sugar Creek

Volunteers Spruce up Sugar Creek
Journal Review
by Andy Barrand

Some lessons are tough on the knees.

On Saturday morning, Mike Randall brought his mentee, 13-year-old Jared Hodges, to the Sugar Creek Clean-up Day.

Together, they got down on their knees to unearth a piece of buried wire from the bank of Sugar Creek.

Being good stewards of the environment can take a bit of muscle and sweat.

Randall and Hodges are part of the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau's Juvenile Mentoring Program. The two were among 20 people who helped to clean the banks of Sugar Creek and the surrounding park area.

Randall, who has participated in Clean-up Day the past couple of years, said that he thought there was considerably less trash this year.

Twice a year for the last 10 years, volunteers have gathered to do their part to keep the park clean in honor of Earth Day. The initiative is sponsored by the City of Crawfordsville and the Friends of Sugar Creek.

By lunch time, volunteers had collected several bags of trash and a maroon couch.

“Doing this twice a year, we are starting to make a difference,” said Marc Hudson, the secretary for the Friends of Sugar Creek. “We are finding a lot less residual trash laying around the creek. People are becoming a lot more conscious.”

After a barbecue lunch was catered by Hawg Wild, three large signs were dedicated at the beginning of the Sugar Creek Nature Park trail on the east side of U.S. 231. The signs are just the beginning of the educational experience visitors will experience in the park.

The signs, acquired with a grant from the Montgomery County Community Foundation, were installed Friday afternoon.

The brightly colored signs detail aquatic life found in the creek, animals and plants that can be found in the park, and a brief description of the watershed.

Friends of Sugar Creek board member Nate Mullendore said the signs are a good starting point for people visiting the park. Board members hope to obtain several other grants for more signage for the park, including an entrance sign and map.

Mayor Charlie Coons was on hand for Saturday's Clean-up Day and dedication, he said he has noticed more people using the park. He has been in contact with the Indiana Department of Transportation, which plans to install a road sign marking the entrances to the park traveling north and south on U.S. 231.

“This project just goes to show what can happen when groups come together for a common cause,” said Coons.

Mullendore credited Coons for his efforts to establish the park. Tuttle Middle School science teacher Shannon Hudson already has received a grant to plant a rain garden in the park.