• 72°

Volunteers clean Symmes Creek

CHESAPEAKE — A little fun and a big help to the environment.

That’s how Heather Mullens described her experience helping clean up trash during the Symmes Creek Restoration Committee’s annual Canoe Caper Saturday morning.

The Ironton resident and her family participated in the event for the fist time this year.

“This is my first rodeo as far as cleanup,” Mullens said. “It’s going to be exciting, I think. I know a lot of people think it’s not, but you’re helping out your community as well as the environment.”

Saturday marked the 13th year for the event, during which volunteers in canoes donned rubber gloves and took trash bags to the creek to collect trash.

The goal of the day is to draw attention to the creek as well as clean up the area, said Grayson Thornton, chairman of the Symmes Creek Restoration Committee.

“It’s a beautiful creek and it’s recreation for the city,” Thornton said. “It’s free. Most people don’t realize that.”

The event usually draws anywhere from 25 to 50 people. This year there were fewer because Boy Scout Troop 115, which typically sends several volunteers, had another obligation, Thornton said. The scouts did send some canoes for volunteers to use.

Several organizations including the Wayne National Forest, the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation and the National Wild Turkey Federation partnered with the committee for the event.

Committee member Hayward Chappell said cleaning up the creek is good stewardship.

“I personally get upset when people throw trash out of car windows,” Chappell said.

Not only stewardship, the event also helps add to the creek’s appeal, he said.

“It’s just good altogether,” Chappell said.