The volunteers were middle school, high school and college students. They cleaned a 2.5-mile stretch of the creek, from Frog Level in Waynesville to Lake Junaluska, removing glass, plastic bottles, clothing, shopping bags, fishing line, tires, metal and two shopping carts.
“It is amazing we are getting so much trash. We clean this reach every year,” said Tucker Hobbs, a Haywood Community College student. “It is kind of sad to see all of the trash.”
Each year, rain washes trash and other pollutants into storm drains that empty into streams. Much of the trash, particularly plastics, will take hundreds of years to decompose unless it is removed by willing citizens.
The annual stream cleanup was conducted through Haywood Waterways Association’s Adopt-A-Stream program. There are 13 groups in the county that have adopted stretches of streams and creeks. The organization is always looking for more sponsors.