Everblue Employees Help Clean Local Creek

Tue, 2013-11-05 11:11

At the end of October, I attended the USGBC-NC Emerging Professionals’ (EPros) Creek Clean-Up with another member of our Everblue team. We pulled on our rain boots and headed out to Little Sugar Creek in downtown Charlotte for an afternoon of collecting trash from the stream and the surrounding greenway. 

With trash picks, bags, and gloves in hand, we set out to scour the banks of the creek for any and all pieces of trash that crossed our paths. We collected candy wrappers, bottles, soda cans, plastic bags, and many other items that you might expect to find in an area close to the roadway. We were amazed, however, by all of the unexpected items that we found, including a lawn chair, a set of Sesame Street plastic dishware, and a statue of an oriental elephant. Who knew there would be so many interesting things to find along the creek bed! It’s a shame that people stop by the creek to throw their garbage out along the bank.


While we were there, others in the group noted that they could tell a real difference in the improvement of the stream from previous times that they had visited. The banks have been carefully reshaped in recent years. Newly planted trees and native flowers have been added to restore the natural habitat of the creek banks. This natural buffer holds the soil in place and improves the water quality of the stream. 

Little Sugar Creek has seen a lot of improvement over the past several years. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services division has restored nine sections of Little Sugar Creek. Stream restoration efforts repair erosion damage to stream banks, protect against future erosion, restore the natural function of the floodplain, and help to improve the overall health, flow, and ecosystem of the stream.

usgbc-nc-creek-clean-up-little-sugar-creek usgbc-nc-creek-clean-up-statue usgbc-creek-clean-up

At the end of the clean-up, we did an overall evaluation on the health of the stream as an ecosystem. As a group, we discussed what we had seen, including the appearance of the water, the bank height, the texture of the soil, and so on. With the exception of the littered trash and a few spots showing signs of high erosion, we determined that the creek seemed to be fairly healthy. The water was clear, and there weren’t a lot of exposed roots to be seen. We also estimated that over 80 pounds of trash were collected!

It was a great experience, and I’m glad I got to spend the afternoon contributing to making the Little Sugar Creek Greenway a better place for people to enjoy.

By Danielle Whitman



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