100 UCCS volunteers clear debris from Fountain Creek during sixth annual Creek Week

Student staff from the Office of Sustainability Margo Pengilly (left, senior, BI in Business Administration) and Mauricio Soriano (right, senior, Biology) hold up litter cleaned out of Fountain Creek.

More than 100 UCCS volunteers participated in Colorado Springs’ sixth annual Creek Week, working to clear Fountain Creek of 40 bags of trash, one and a half grocery carts and a bicycle wheel.

Creek Week’s events are aimed at raising awareness about the Fountain Creek watershed, educating volunteers about Colorado’s waterways and clearing litter and debris from the 75-mile long Fountain Creek and 927 square-mile watershed that drains into the Arkansas River. UCCS’ Office of Sustainability championed efforts to promote events to campus.

Students pose with bags of trash cleaned out of Fountain Creek during Colorado Springs’ sixth annual Creek Week.

Among the cleanup crews were students from two Gateway Program Seminar Finding Your Way: Business courses, led by instructor of operations management Scott Van Ness and associate director of scholarship programs Jennifer Fisher. After collecting trash and debris from Fountain Creek, the students toured the Sustainability Demonstration House and the UCCS Farm. 

According to senior sustainability programs manager Kimberly Reeves, “UCCS has supported and engaged Creek Week since it started six years ago. This connection for students to volunteer through opportunities that support our broader community allows them to strengthen their civic engagement and development as world citizens. Creek Week provides a platform to talk about the bigger picture about community members across our watershed from Palmer Lake to Pueblo that are all supporting healthy waterways through volunteerism.”

Creek Week 2019 kicked off Monday, Sept. 28 and will wrap up Saturday, Oct. 5. 

Since the first Creek Week in 2014, Colorado Springs volunteers have cleared more than 84 tons of trash from Fountain Creek, which runs from the top of Pikes Peak to the Arkansas River in Pueblo. The creek provides about 15 percent of Colorado Springs’ drinking water, and its watershed is a critical water source for agriculture in the dryland farming areas of southeastern Colorado and western Kansas.

Those interested in volunteering for future cleanup events can learn more on the Creek Week website.

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