Earth Month: Volunteers clear debris from UCCS’ adopted waterway

Volunteers at UCCS’ Clean the Stream event pulled 37 bags of trash, a car bumper and a gutter from UCCS’ adopted floodway.

Volunteers cleared UCCS’ adopted waterway, the Templeton Gap Floodway, of more than 37 bags of trash as part of the annual Clean the Stream event.

23 socially distanced volunteers pulled 37 bags of trash, including a basketball, a softball bat, yard signs, a gutter and a car bumper from the waterway during the Apr. 23 cleanup event.

“While pulling a tire or a shopping cart out of the creek feels super rewarding, picking up a single cigarette butt positively impacts the health of our waterways,” said Kimberly Reeves, interim director of sustainability. “And, you can participate year-round by bringing a bag to pick up trash on your neighborhood walks or hikes.”

“Events like this are both inspiring and eye-opening for everybody involved,” added Annabelle Nippe, sustainability coordinator for the Office of Sustainability. “It’s important that UCCS volunteers continue to support our community by cleaning up our adopted waterway section, because this water eventually flows into the Gulf of Mexico. It impacts not only human life along the way, but also our ocean and sea life.”

“Being part of such an event is very rewarding for us as students as well as for Mother Earth,” Nippe continued. “We hope to have more activities like this with continued participation to save our planet, one trash bag at a time.”

UCCS adopted the Templeton Gap Floodway in 2010 through the city of Colorado Springs’ adopt-a-waterway cleanup program. According to research by Dave Havlick, professor of Geography and Environmental Studies, the floodway was built in 1949 after catastrophic flooding submerged 200 Colorado Springs city blocks, destroyed homes and city infrastructure and caused casualties in the waterway’s drainage area. Three times a year, the Office of Sustainability at UCCS invites volunteers to clear debris from this critical resource.

Those interested in volunteering for future cleanup events can learn more on the Office of Sustainability website.