Staff volunteers pulled 23 bags of trash, including metal wire, grocery cart components and half of a shovel, from UCCS’ adopted waterway during the first-ever Staff Association Clean the Stream event.
The event, hosted by the Office of Sustainability, was part of UCCS’ commitment to maintain the Templeton Gap Floodway, which flows next to the UCCS campus and eventually joins the Arkansas River.
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.
“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.”