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Creek Week volunteer cleanup event starts for 7th year Saturday across southern Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- If you're looking for a great way to enjoy the nice weather this weekend and clean up your community, then the annual Creek Week event is for you.

A nine-day volunteer cleanup of creeks, streams and other waterways across southern Colorado begins Saturday, in the event hailed as the biggest of its kind in the state.

Last year, 3,200 volunteers pitched in to remove more than 14 tons of trash and other debris. Much of the trash is noticeable because most of the waterways pass through or are along parks, trails and open spaces enjoyed by thousands of cyclists, hikers, runners and other outdoor enthusiasts.

However, organizers said that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, only 2,000 volunteers have registered so far.

Alli Schuch, an outreach coordinator for the event, didn't seem worried about the situation Friday.

"Last year, we actually saw the first dip in trash collected during Creek Week," she said. "There was actually 10,000 less pounds, and that's probably a result of people actually doing more cleanups throughout the year."

But there's still plenty of room for improvement, according to Samuel Bridge, who recently moved to the area from the East Coast and walked his dog Friday along a stretch of Monument Creek.

"Based on what I've seen since I've been here, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the trashiest, I'd say the city is a 6 or 7. This is the first time I've heard about this Creek Week thing. I think it's a good initiative, but it definitely needs to be a more regular thing."

Volunteers will be provided with all the equipment they need but will not pick up trash in homeless camps, on steep slopes or in other hard-to-reach area.

"The goal is to raise awareness and get people interested," Schuch said.

The event is sponsored by the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District, along with other local partners.

If you'd like to volunteer, you can sign up for dates, times and locations through Oct. 4.

For more information, visit: https://www.fountaincreekweek.com/.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

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