by Craig Lemley
In this week's SimpliCity, Matthew Schniper dips into how the Creek Week volunteer cleanup effort connects Fountain Creek's communities for the greater good. Fountain Creek Watershed advocates are hoping that a lot of us donate our time to pick trash from the banks during this year's Creek Week — September 26th through October 4th — or maybe adopt a stretch of the waterway to care for throughout the year. But, if for whatever reason you can't, here are five simple ways help year-round:
1. Scoop pet waste into the trash, or bury it at least six inches deep, away from vegetable gardens. Otherwise, bacteria and parasites can cause numerous illnesses.
2. If washing your car at home, use environmentally friendly detergents and park on a soft surface, like a lawn, if possible. Under the hood, ensure proper disposal of oils and chemicals to protect aquatic life, wetlands and downstream agriculture areas.
3. Fertilize with natural manures (ensuring non-composted manure does not reach gutters and sewer drains), and avoid pesticides, which can become runoff during storms and threaten the same ecosystems as oils and chemicals from car-washing.
4. Throw cigarette butts into the trash; filters can be ingested by birds and fish.
5. Carry reusable cloth totes for groceries to avoid plastic bags, one of the most common refuse items clogging waterways and impacting wildlife.Find more information about Creek Week and register to volunteer at fountain-crk.org.