Members of NEOCHMM returned to our old stomping grounds in the upper reaches of West Creek to perform some community service work. This marks our seventh consecutive year of work on RiverSweep.

On Saturday, May 10, 2014, we assisted the West Creek Conservancy in planting about 400 cuttings of Dogwood and Willow. In planting these cuttings near the banks of West Creek, we hope that these cuttings will take root, stabilize the soil and slow erosion. We also hope that this will allow saturation of the stabilized soil and infiltration of more stormwater in the headwaters of West Creek, rather than swiftly passing large amounts of stormwater downstream after moderate to heavy rainfall events. This part of the project was completed in less than two hours, thanks to the assistance of groups from GM and First Energy.

Once we completed planting of the cuttings, we seeded the flood plain with a special riparian mix of grass seed. We hope this grass provides even better soil stability when the riparian areas are flooded.

We then took our work even further by assisting other groups with litter and debris clean-up. A massive turnout of students from Normandy and Valley Forge High Schools in Parma made the whole area look very clean. And yes, the ghosts West Creek gave up about 12 more shopping carts. While there were a few newer, plastic and steel carts, most came out as “pieces parts of old carts.” Over a number of flood and drought cycles, these carts became exposed and we hope these were some of the last carts embedded in the sediment of the creek. Over all, some 85 bags of litter and some 250 lineal feet of silt fencing were removed.

The day was capped off with pizza and refreshments. Many agreed this was the best West Creek has looked since we commenced work back in 2003.

May the Dogwoods flower and the Willows grow !

RiverSweep 2015 is scheduled for Saturday, May 9, 2015. All are welcome !