74
      Thursday
      93 / 74
      Friday
      94 / 73
      Saturday
      94 / 73

      Volunteers wade through, pick up trash in Valley Creek

      Have you ever wondered what's in your creek other than water?

      "Some guns...toilets...stereo equipment," Mark Wilson said.

      "Skateboards, footballs, volleyballs...even golf balls," Bessemer City Councilman, Jesse Matthews said. "There's no telling what you might pull out of a stream."

      But to these guys that's not gross...it's a challenge.

      A challenge accepted by Wilson.

      Being with the Jefferson County Health Department, you'd think wading waist deep in Valley Creek water filth would not be his favorite hobby.

      "Oh, I love it," he said.

      But you've probably been wrong before.

      "It's both knowing you're doing some good and helping clean up the environment," Wilson said. "It's just fun getting out there...getting wet, getting dirty...instead of being behind the desk all the time."

      Councilman Matthews has been doing this for three years now. He says he's found his fair share of weird things.

      "The weirdest thing we've pulled out in the past was an ATM machine," he said.

      There was no money in it, but still a cool find. But the most found item...is tires.

      "There are plenty of tires still in the creek," Wilson said.

      More than 24 tires were taken out of Valley Creek, Saturday, among other things. They say cleaning up means less blockage, which means less flooding problems.

      "We're really trying to get our creek cleaner, so we have a cleaner environment," he said.

      Wilson and Matthews credit the volunteers, saying without them, ranging in ages from 18 to 80-years-old, this cleanup wouldn't be possible.

      "We just thank them," Matthews said. "All the volunteers."

      Matthews says the next step is to get local municipalities involved to discuss illegal dumping.

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