Trash in Little Rock creek spotted from space

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Trash collecting along a creek in Little Rock can be seen from space. A community is trying to put a dent in cleaning it up.

"There is so much natural beauty out here in Fourche Creek," said Keep Little Rock Beautiful Board Member Norm Berner.

For Norm Berner, Fourche Creek is one of Little Rock's best kept secrets. But there is one big problem that is contaminating the beauty. Fallen trees along the creek are collecting trash that people throw out of car windows and on to the side of roads.

"This spoils it all in addition to killing our environment and our water," said Berner.

Fourche Creek is one of the nation's largest urban wetlands. It is a 2,000 acre green space.

Berner says 90 percent of Little Rock's storm sewers on the city's streets empty into a waterway that makes its way to Fourche Creek. The other 10 percent, he says, goes directly into the Arkansas River.

"Just about anything that floats can end up here," said ULAR Professor John Czarnecki.

"We do live in the Natural State, but unfortunately it is naturally littered," said Berner.

Berner is part of the group "Keep Little Rock Beautiful." Along with Audubon Arkansas, they have been working to get Fourche Creek cleaned up. In the last sweep, 7 volunteers picked up trash to fill 85 bags.

Czarnecki said, "Imagine what 100 people could do?"

But looking at the big picture, Berner says what they already picked up is only a fraction of a percent of what is left.

"I am disappointed that people do not realize that their individual actions can together have a combined bad effect," said Audubon Arkansas Director of Bird Conservation Dan Scheiman.

But at the same time, they are hoping that can have the reverse effect as well.

"Together we can combine our efforts and really make a measurable difference for our birds, and other wildlife and our own environment," said Scheiman.

On Saturday April 19th, Friends of Fourche Creek and other community partners are organizing a cleanup. It starts at 9 a.m. The meeting address is 5207 Scott Hamilton Drive.


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