The clean-up of Dry Branch Creek, most recently dubbed “Cart Creek,” will resume this Saturday, June 17, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. as part of the Ohio River Sweep. The Ohio River Sweep is an annual six-state event organized by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission extending the entire length of the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, PA to Cairo, IL. Since 1989, volunteers have been recruited to remove trash and debris from the river banks and seven tributaries to the river.
The main focus of the Ohio River Sweep in Evansville will be along the downtown riverfront at Dress Plaza. Volunteers are also needed to help remove the remainder of the shopping carts discovered earlier this year in Dry Branch Creek.
Carl Gist, CSO Compliance Manager for the Evansville Water Sewer Utility, will lead the Ohio River Sweep along the riverfront. Parking will be available nearby at the Pagoda Visitors Center, the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, and at the Hadi Shrine Temple. Volunteers will gather at the Four Freedoms Monument, and Gist said gloves, trash bags and refreshments will be provided. Advance registration is not required.
Karan Barnhill, Stormwater Coordinator for the City of Evansville, said volunteers assisting with the Dry Branch Creek clean-up should park at Ivy Tech Community College or Schnuck’s on First Avenue and walk to the parking lot at Popeye’s to sign a waiver and pick-up equipment need to remove shopping carts from the creek.
Over 50 shopping carts tossed into the creek were discovered by a concerned citizens who reported them to local authorities prompting an initial clean-up effort in early May. Barnhill and a small group of city employees returned to the creek last week to remove many of the carts that had been embedded in the creek bed and placed them along the banks of the creek to make it easier for volunteers to complete the clean-up.