Via local environmental non-profit, Groundwork Colorado, Kim Johnson, of Faceted Media, gathered a team for a day of service for our community and the environment last Saturday, cleaning up trash and clearing log jams at Lower Bear Creek in Lakewood.
Groundwork Denver is leading a comprehensive watershed planning effort for Lower Bear Creek, which suffered environmental damages from the intense flooding the previous fall. Bear Creek is a major tributary of the South Platte River that flows from its headwaters on Mount Evans about 42 miles until it meets the South Platte in Sheridan.
Lower Bear Creek normally offers a great recreational resource to neighborhoods throughout the Denver-metro area, with extensive parks, natural areas and a paved multi-use path. However, unfortunately, Lower Bear Creek is now considered “impaired” for recreational use due to E.coli contamination. (Read the Denver Post Article)
It is also threatened by trash, oil and grease, and nutrient pollution which we found out first hand (while standing in the water with malfunctioning gator boots).
To spark friendly competition, Groundwork held a “most unique trash item found” contest. A fire extinguisher won, though many items that were clearly purposely dumped were also found, amplifying the need for us to take charge in cleaning up that day!
As volunteers, we also wrapped wire fence and chicken wire around tree trunks to protect them from beavers damaging them and trying to use them to build dams. There was considerable damage from last year’s floods and since the water level was so high, lots of trash needed to be picked up.
We also busted out power saws and literally cleared a log jam. Never seen that in real life? I hadn’t either. Watch the short video so you can cross that off your bucket list as well.
The day was a success with about 70 volunteers helping!! Special thanks to local estate planning law firm, Wills & Wellness, the team at House of Doula, Caroline Hayes of The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, Nicole Thayer, Katrina Padron of Padron Social Marketing and her adorable son Vincent, as well as Patience Bleskan, respected parent educator and owner of The Living Room, a local parent resource community, and her crew of helpful kiddos.
In honor of upcoming Earth Day, we were happy to spend a Saturday getting dirty and helping to clean up the world! Here’s a photo gallery of our efforts. Thanks everyone and thanks Groundwork!