Saturday afternoon, December 9, ten volunteers from the communities of Belton, Raymore, Peculiar, and Kansas City made time to pick up 36 bags of trash and several large trash items along Oil Creek at Mullen Road. Thanks to their efforts, members of the community and the critters inhabiting the stream and its corridor should find the area much more enjoyable and healthful this winter.
The group enjoyed hot dogs and hot chocolate provided by Belton Parks and Recreation and were provided with information on many water quality-related topics. A display of macro invertebrate species and information about them was also set up for volunteers to learn what the presence/absence and diversity of these species means about a stream’s water quality. Missouri Stream Teams provided this exhibit.
Information about actions we can each take to protect our essential water resources was also available and included practices such as carrying a reusable bottle of water in place of disposable water bottles and to take reusable cloth bags for your purchases instead of plastic bags—these two items were the most numerous types of trash the group picked up Saturday. Planting Missouri native plants in landscaping, not mowing close to a stream edge, no dumping in stormwater drains (this water is not treated and goes straight to a stream), reducing or eliminating the use of lawn chemicals were also included as important practices to care for our water resources.
This event was sponsored by the City of Belton, Belton Parks and Recreation, and the South Grand River Watershed Alliance as an activity to address water quality and provide community education on the subject. The stream cleanup also helps Belton meet its MS4 stormwater requirements as directed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Belton Parks and Recreation and the South Grand River Watershed Alliance will host their Fifth Annual Stream Cleanup in Belton in March 2018. Be sure to watch for the date and place and make plans to volunteer for this important community event—and be sure to bring your friends and family!