Clean Sweep volunteers tidy up Columbia streams

Saturday, October 16, 2010 | 3:32 p.m. CDT; updated 6:59 p.m. CDT, Saturday, October 16, 2010
Girl Scout April Muench, 13, from troop 30547 stands near a collection of garbage found around Hinkson Creek on Saturday at Flat Branch Park. Volunteers could choose from several locations around Columbia to help in the clean sweep. About 200 people came to Flat Branch Park.

COLUMBIA — Trash. Piles of junk. And yet, an atmosphere of pleasure and well-being.

Sunny skies and unusually beautiful weather for mid-October made the 7th Annual Hinkson Clean Sweep a success, event organizers said. Volunteers met at a number of sites in Columbia to remove trash from streams and stream banks before it wound up in Hinkson Creek.

“It’s been an absolute success,” said Scott Dye, director of the Sierra Club Water Sentinels program and one of the event organizers. “This is a great thing about Columbians, you give them a gorgeous day like this and they all volunteer.”

Although an official count of the participants hadn’t been done, Dye estimated that the figure is not far from the 401 people who pre-registered. This year's estimated attendance was almost twice as many as last year’s, when the weather was not as good.

And they did pretty well. Volunteers picked up 13 tires and nearly one ton of trash at the six locations where the event took place, including Flat Branch Park and Stephens Lake Park, Dye said.

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