(COLORADO SPRINGS) — This Saturday, April 15, a massive cleanup effort is taking place across the nation in more than 15,000 communities, including right here in Southern Colorado.
The Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest community improvement program and Alli Schuch, Executive Director of the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District, said everyone is welcome to pitch in.
The cleanup is a one-day event happening Saturday across the watershed from Palmer Lake to Pueblo.
There are more than 50 public cleanups planned and volunteers can sign-up ahead of time or show up Saturday morning ready to work. Volunteers are asked to dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes, and bring their work gloves if they have them. Bags and gloves will be provided.
Schuch said the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood District is a special district that was established in 2009 to protect and enhance the health of the Fountain Creek Watershed. The watershed is 927 square miles of land and water encompassing Palmer Lake and Monument to the north, Green Mountain Falls and Manitou Springs to the West, and also encompasses the cities of Colorado Springs, Fountain, and Pueblo.
Most cleanups take about an hour or two, but Schuch said with hundreds of volunteers they are expecting to remove five to seven tons of trash from parks, trails, open spaces, and creeks.
According to Schuch, cities and towns can’t keep up with the litter so these cleanup efforts are critical. Schuch said litter can harm wildlife, clog storm drains, impact drinking water, and make its way all the way to the ocean if it isn’t stopped here.
As a reward for all the hard work, Schuch said there will be some post-cleanup “Hydration Celebrations” with their Brewshed Alliance Partners. These local breweries work with the Fountain Creek Watershed on clean water initiatives. Red Leg, Peaks N Pines, and Walters are all offering volunteers ages 21 and older a discount as a thank you for their efforts.