"Last year, we had only 11 volunteers, but we picked up more than 1,260 pounds of garbage, which included two car batteries, 380 pounds of scrap metal and six car tires," said Mel Smith, treasurer for Friends of Scioto Brush Creek. "If we get more help, then we're going to get even greater success."
The cleanup is set for May 17. The cleanup portion of the sweep is done from canoes. About eight to 10 canoes, along with paddles and life jackets, will be provided. The sweep also involves the participants in a hands-on, feet-wet method, as they remove garbage and debris that is polluting Scioto Brush Creek.
Before the cleanup, Friends of Scioto Brush Creek volunteers will present a couple of short educational programs to inform participants about some of the issues facing Scioto Brush, which already has water quality rated tops among all of the streams in Ohio.
"One of the reasons we started the sweep is so that we can get everyone, including landowners along the stream, help to keep it clean," Smith said.
This year's presenters will be Jessica Huxmann, chief naturalist at Edge of Appalachia Preserve, and Bill Wickerman, wildlife specialist with Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Those programs will take place at about 9 a.m., at the covered bridge that crosses the stream just outside Otway.
Space is limited, so participants must preregister for the event.
Participants from Scioto County wanting to register should call Jeff Montavon at the Scioto County Soil and Water Conservation District office in Lucasville at (740) 259-9231, between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. He also can be notified by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers from Adams County should call Wickerham at the conservation office at (937) 544-5121.
Adult volunteers must sign a waiver before participating. Those younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult and have a waiver signed by his or her parent or legal guardian.
Knowing how to paddle a canoe and how to swim is not a must, but is recommended.