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LSU Volunteers Clean Up Again

2017-03-01

We recently had dozens of volunteers from LSU show up for a cleanup at the Litter Banks on Ward Creek, and my, did they ever clean up!

Spring has basically arrived, so it was time to do another cleanup at the Litter Banks.  Our first attempt at scheduling was washed away by a crazy-wet Friday that made Ward rise up far too much and stay up far too long for the banks to be foot-worthy, but thankfully, a backup date was available and the weather cooperated.  Ward Creek was still a bit stubborn, however.

A bit of a portage.

That’s an area of Ward just downstream of I-10 that has suffered landslides and large fallen trees, so there was no way to get Jonathan’s pontoon barge upstream to help out. Instead, we brought a canoemaran or two and some other boats.  We set up to ferry some volunteers across to the opposite bank, and we put the original canoemaran to work as a garbage scow to make extracting the full bags easy.  (Scotty got upset when the Enterprise was called a garbage scow, but we consider it a term of endearment and honor on cleanup days.)

Boarding Ladder

With the boarding ladder and a “bridge” on the far bank, plus an amazingly useful gangway on the near bank, getting people back and forth worked swimmingly.  (Or should I say swimminglessly?)  Soon, bag after bag started appearing on the edge of the banks, and Mike and I manned the scow.  We’d go along the bank and load up, paddle it back to port, and head right back out again.  The rate the volunteers bagged litter was amazing.

Before Photo

That’s a “before” photo from just one spot heading upstream on the far bank, and there were plenty of other spots with similar accumulations.  By lunchtime, however, it looked completely different.

After Photo

Thank you again to all the volunteers who came out and helped pick litter.  We could not make such a huge impact without help from people like you.

LSU Volunteers!

After everyone left, Mike and I were relaxing while loading up the rest of the boats and gear when a car pulled into the parking lot.  The driver asked if we were the ones doing the cleanup, and then he thanked everyone for making such a huge impact.  Before we started, all he could see was litter everywhere, but afterward, there was the beautiful Ward Creek the way it’s supposed to be.

The final litter pile.

Meanwhile in another part of the watershed, we’re watching the progress of the paddle launch at Highland Road Park.  We’ll certainly keep you updated as that continues to become real, and since we’re planning for a paddle trail maintenance run this Saturday, checking out the launch-to-be is easy enough.  We’re also hoping to do a Comite run shortly to see what we find, perhaps after the upcoming BREC Sunset Paddle.  Should be fun, and if we hurry, perhaps still spring-like.

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