Boneyard Creek Community Day Gives Waterways Their Annual Cleanup

April 12, 2019
The Boneyard Creek, seen from Hickory Street on the north side of Champaign.

The Boneyard Creek, seen from Hickory Street on the north side of Champaign.

Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media.

Hundreds of volunteers are expected to come out to Boneyard Creek in Champaign-Urbana Saturday morning, April 12, to take part in the 14th annual Boneyard Creek Community Day.

Zoe Southlynn-Savage is special events coordinator for the Champaign Park District, which is one of several groups and agencies involved in organizing the annual event. She says that from 9 A.M. to noon, volunteers will be cleaning up the banks of the Boneyard Creek and the creek itself.

“We pick up bottles, cans, paper, plastic,” said Southlynn-Savage. “But we also clean out the waterways as well, in the creek. And we’ve pulled out things from shopping carts to bicycles, all kinds of random things.”

Besides cleaning up trash, Southlynn-Savage says there will also be staff on hand to help direct the removal of non-native plants and invasive species.

“And they are experts in the non-native plants and invasive species,” said Southlynn-Savage. “So those will be there to help assist the volunteers on what to remove.”

Southlynn-Savage says the annual clean-up typically attracts about 400 volunteers. They’ll be working at various points along Boneyard Creek, as well as other area drainage ditches, lakes and detention ponds in Champaign, Urbana and Savoy, including Kaufman and Heritage Lakes, the Savannah Green Detention Basin and the Saline Branch.

Southlynn-Savage says the cleanup is important because the trash can cause flooding by clogging storm drains, and flow out to receiving streams and harm aquatic life.

The Boneyard Creek Community Day is open to participants who wish to register on the day of event. Same-day registration begins at 9 A.M. on Saturday, at Scott Park, located at Springfield Ave. and Third St. in Champaign. Families are welcome at the Boneyard Creek Community Day, with some cleanup activities designed to be suitable for children. After the cleanup, Scott Park will be the site for a volunteers’ lunch, plus live music.

Story source: WILL