Fifty volunteers, mostly teenagers, braved the cold yesterday morning to pick up litter on Antioch Church Road as a way to protect Rose Creek, which flows through the southern part of Oconee County before reaching the Oconee River at the Greene County line.
The litter, if not collected, would end up in Rose Creek, the organizers of the event told the volunteers.
The group had assembled at 9 a.m. at the parking lot of Antioch Christian Church on Antioch Church Road just west of SR 15. The official temperature was 32 degrees, but the wind chill was 24.
The volunteers had been recruited by the Keep Oconee County Beautiful Commission as part of the state Rivers Alive Cleanup, a program of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division.
Rose Creek And Elder Bridge
Chris Cotton, a member of the Keep Oconee County Beautiful Commission, spearheaded the event, with the assistance of KOCB Executive Director Angela Helwig and Mary Mellein, former Commission chair.
While most of the volunteers picked up trash on both sides of Antioch Church Road as it descends to, crosses and leaves Rose Creek, another group did cleanup work on Little Rose Creek.
|Chris Cotton And volunteer|
Melissa Steele, KOCB member, directed the smaller group on the tributary to Rose Creek. That creek is crossed by Elder Mill Road.
Rose Creek has its origins in Oconee County just south of Green Ferry Road and flows under the iconic covered Elder Bridge on Elder Bridge Road.
Michael Wolfe, representing the North American Native Fishes Association, gave a demonstration of the aquatic life of Rose Creek for the volunteers.
Wolfe, 1060 Fox Hollow Court, had waded into the creek early in the morning to find a variety of fish for an aquarium, which he used to display his specimens.
|Michael Wolfe Of North American|
Native Fishes Association
He told the group he had to work had to find the fish because of the cold weather.
The fish had descended to the deepest part of the pools to escape the impact of the cold air on the water, he said.
Wolfe told the volunteers that the amount of aquatic he found in the creek indicated to him that Rose Creek is relatively healthy
Last Year McNutt Creek
Beer and soda cans and cups made up most of the litter picked up yesterday, suggesting that the littwe had come from passing cars.
The volunteers sorted trash into recyclables and other materials.
Last year the group did cleanup on McNutt Creek where Old Macon Highway crosses at the Oconee County-Clarke County line. An old mill pond and dam are just upstream from the roadway.
Much of the litter retrieved last year was the result of dumping. A large number of tires were pulled from the site.
The tree cover on that site has now been cleared in preparation for construction of a small shopping and restaurant center to be called The Falls of Oconee.
|Saturday Work Product|