Stream clean-up succeeds at new location

Published 1:20 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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Each year, the Strode’s Creek Cleanup takes place in Clark County. 

While 2024 would be no different, a new location provided different experiences. 

The cleanup occurred recently off Bypass Road, just before Woody’s Sports Bar & Grill and Planet Fitness. 

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“It’s just a year-round cleanup that helps try to make the community a little better,” said Jesse McCoy, a Hybrid Inspector with the City of Winchester who assisted in cleanup efforts. “It’s a nice thing to try to keep [water] clean…the waterways are everything for us.” 

As previously stated, if left untreated, litter and more from Strode’s Creek could potentially reach the Ohio River, Mississippi River, and even the Gulf of Mexico. 

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet provides a program for regulating polluted stormwater commonly transported through Municipal Stormwater Systems or MS4. 

To comply with state requirements regarding MS4, opportunities like the Strode’s Creek Cleanup effort are undertaken, allowing others to make an environmental difference. 

Shanda Cecil, Winchester Stormwater Coordinator, helped lead. 

“As assumed, there was quite a bit of trash,” she said. “In about a 50-foot span, we got two hubcaps, a metal rod, [and] two bags of trash. If we continue another 50 feet, I’m sure we’ll find [more].” 

Like McCoy, Cecil dressed for the occasion by wearing boots—thus helping to avoid slipping in mud or among the high grass— and gloves with bags to pick up the necessary trash. 

Cecil pointed out that it can be easy to litter while unaware. 

“Not only do people litter just intentionally, but I think people unintentionally litter when they put things in the back of their vehicles [or] trucks,” she said. “It blows out, so we must be mindful of securing [it]…we wouldn’t be picking up waste if we weren’t creating it.” 

Asked what others could do to help eradicate the problem, Cecil spoke in further depth. 

“When you go to the grocery store, take your own bags,” she said, noting that remembering to recycle is another practical choice. “I picked up a lot of grocery bags today, [specifically] the little plastic ones that are so light. They just fly away easily. We could eliminate that waste from the waste stream if every Clark Countian just started taking their own bags.” 

Cecil said she hopes for even more community engagement in eliminating waste overall and in upcoming cleanups.

However, the progress made thus far is meaningful nevertheless. 

“When there are [more] people, good things can happen,” she said. “Every bit [of litter] we get out is a positive. We get to ensure that that waste doesn’t go any farther.”