Friends cleanup brush creek

By Kimberly Jenkins -

On Saturday, June 10, 2017, The Friends of Scioto Brush Creek had a cleanup in Lawrence Co. The Friends came ready to work with 31 volunteers who cleaned two miles of the creek. The group collected 39 tires and 2,760 lbs. of garbage/debris from the creek.

Founding the Friends of Scioto Brush Creek, Inc (FoSBC) began in 1997. Several members of the Shawnee Nature Club wanted to do something proactive in the community to highlight the outstanding water quality of the Scioto Brush Creek watershed. Scioto Brush Creek is considered by many conservation and government agencies to be one of the highest quality streams in the state of Ohio. After a few meetings, the new watershed committee decided on the following mission statement: help to maintain and improve the water quality of Scioto Brush Creek through education, awareness and involvement of local residents.

In 2006, the committee applied for its non-profit status and once it was approved by the state of Ohio, The Friends of Scioto Brush Creek, Inc. became a separate non-profit organization. Officers (president, vice president, treasurer and secretary) and three initial board members were voted into one year terms of office. In 2017, there are five board members and there are members from all over Ohio and other states as well, many who used to live in the area and are still supportive of keeping the watershed pristine and others who simply support clean water and what the group does to educate and involve local residents.

What does the FoSBC do to meet its goals and mission? They help maintain and improve the water quality of Scioto Brush Creek through education, awareness and involvement of local residents

Educationally, there is a Scioto Brush Creek Day. Each year since 1998, the FoSBC has presented a field trip/educational program for the fifth or sixth grade students at Northwest School District, as these students live in the watershed and will most likely be the ones to impact its future both positively and negatively. Approximately 120 students X 19 years = 2280 students have participated in the program. Students rotate through six station that are staffed by professionals from the ODNR Divisions of Wildlife, Parks & Watercraft and Soil & Water Conservation plus FoSBC volunteers.

FoSBC is involved in a Reel In & Recycle program. Three containers in the watershed are made available for local residents to recycle their used monofilament fishing line keeping it out of the watershed where it endangers wildlife and humans through entanglement. Containers located at Otway Covered Bridge, Brush Creek Township Community Park, and State Route 104 bridge over Scioto Brush Creek. Recycled fishing line can be recycled to make “fish habitats” if sent back to the company that makes the monofilament line. They ask that fishers please recycle fishing line and always clean up after finishing fishing, removing bait container and other fishing equipment….leave only footprints.

How to become of member and/or volunteer of the Friends of Scioto Brush Creek – the easiest way to help the watershed is to become a member. 100 percent of membership dues are used for educational programming….they are an all volunteer group…no money goes toward salaries etc. The group always need volunteers and welcomes everyone to participate, even if they are not a member of the FoSBC. Everyone has something they can do for the watershed…recycle, pick up litter, plant a tree or wildflower, take photos and share on the FoSBC’s Facebook page

To obtain a membership form, contact: Jody Newton-McAllister, President

Friends of Scioto Brush Creek, Inc. P.O. Box 157 Otway, OH 45671 740-493-3062.

Membership forms can also be obtained by contacting: Kimberly Jenkins at the Times offices on the corner of Eleventh and Lincoln Streets in Portsmouth.

By Kimberly Jenkins