Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Conservation - Rock Creek Trashed

In yesterday's post I stated that although I came to fish, I had another project on my mind.  The project was something that had been eating on me for sometime as I navigated this sea lane of the prairie ocean.   

Each spring, volunteer's and organizations including the Sulphur Chamber of Commerce, have a clean-up along the banks of Rock Creek.  It's a good effort no doubt, but as good as it is, it's a temporary fix and doesn't address the root of the trash problem on Rock Creek.

In the last month or so, there has been a steady increase in the amount of trash along, and in, Rock Creek.  Saturday, as I was fishing I encountered an absolute trail of trash from the top of a steep bank all the way down and into the water.

Now, I'm not trying to ruffle feathers, hurt feelings, place blame, or point a finger.  Pointing a finger is not needed because all we have to do is follow the trash trail.

Our school system is situated on the west bank of Rock Creek from Wynnewood street to Broadway, and unfortunately much of the trash comes from school activities.   

With trash bag in hand, I headed for the trail of trash and noticed a lot of red oblong things, which I had no idea of what they could be.  There was a lot of them.  I picked the trash up from the bottom to the top and at the top, was a mountain of trash underneath the football bleachers.

Carrying the now full trash bag back across the creek, I took a closer look at the red do-dads.  They turn out to be some kind of balloon.  Taking a closer look on the back, hoping to find the symbol for reduce, reuse, recycle, I find the name of this do-dad, which is "Thunder Stix."

Now, I am positive that the distributor of these do-dads never dreamed they would become the pure refuse they truly are.  These things have no value or purpose except to carry an advertisement.  And... trash up the creek. 

As I was picking up trash this morning, the idea that people call the carp a trash-fish kept coming to mind.  That label really irks me, but then I thought, "Why wouldn't someone call the carp a trash-fish?  Look at the trashy water we've created for them." 

As I continued collecting plastic, cellophane, aluminum, Styrofoam, and a roller skate and umbrella, John Muir's words came to mind.  John Muir reminded us that nature is a good mother.  Indeed, she is... but sometimes I wonder how good of children are we?

I know very well that educators and teachers are to instruct students, not police their every move. With that being said however, I suggest the answer or solution to this problem is therein. What if a faculty member, student, or yet better students, take the lead and encourage all students to become more aware of the effect of trash on Rock Creek. Perhaps it could be an eco/enviro/conservation plan or program, ran by students, and the goal would be to make and keep Rock Creek a clean waterway.

I picked up a lot of trash, but it was only a fraction of what is still there. Tomorrow, I'll return.


Robin said...


Good on you sir. I had a thought; if the school administration were approached properly they might coordinate a trash pick up down there.

Some kids might grouse and make less of the effort; those are usually more vocal; but perhaps others would have a moment if clarity and change their ways.

If it's approached as "let's take care of and pride in our natural resources" instead of "you awful kids need to clean up yer mess" it could be quite beneficial.

Graham said...


Excellent tirade and efforts on your part. I hope you send your comments to school officials. Looks like they need some lessons on recycling as well!

Thanks for your involvement!


Barry said...


I believe things are already in the work. There is an effort underway to clean Rock Creek and there is a hint in getting the school kids to adopt that portion of Rock Creek.