LEXINGTON, Ky. (Press Release) – Help protect Lexington creeks by participating in the city’s first Creek Sweep, a litter cleanup event taking place August 1-16 throughout Fayette County.
Volunteers are asked to pick up litter in their neighborhoods, backyards and parks. Rain washes litter into storm drains that lead straight to local creeks and eventually the Kentucky River. Cleaning up litter anywhere, not just next to waterways, leads to healthier creeks in our community.
The Creek Sweep was created as a stand-in for the annual Kentucky River Clean Sweep, which was canceled earlier this summer in response to the pandemic.
Unlike the Kentucky River event, which involved volunteers gathering in one location and sharing supplies, the Creek Sweep is designed to allow households to participate on their own, without needing to be in close contact with others.
“Citizen engagement in addressing litter issues is needed to help keep Lexington clean,” said Susan Plueger, director of the Division of Environmental Services. “This year, we are all struggling with resource constraints. When people join the Creek Sweep, they are making an immediate and valuable impact on the city.”
From August 1-16, volunteers can pick up free Creek Sweep kits at partner locations throughout Lexington. These kits contain trash bags and disposable gloves. Watershed-specific goody bags will also be available.
Join volunteers throughout Lexington for Creek Sweep, an opportunity to protect our creeks while social distancing. Due to COVID-19, we cannot hold the Kentucky River Clean Sweep. Instead, we are encouraging neighborhood, backyard and park litter cleanups. Rain washes litter into storm drains that lead straight to local creeks. That means clean communities lead to clean creeks!
Free Creek Sweep kits will be available from pickup sites in each watershed through Aug. 31. These kits are packaged in car litter bags and contain trash bags and disposable gloves for litter cleanups. Goody bags with watershed stickers and coloring sheets will also be available at the pickup sites.
The Creek Sweep is for cleaning up litter everywhere, not just next to a creek. If it’s on the ground, it’s in our water! If you don’t have a creek nearby in a backyard or a park, you can pick up litter along the sidewalk, in a park or in neighborhood greenspaces. Please do not go onto private property without permission of the property owner.
- Wear gloves when picking up litter.
- Be mindful of traffic and do not walk in roadways.
- Keep your distance from others not in your household.
- Wear a mask if you’re cleaning up in a populated area.
- Watch over young children, especially near roads and creeks.
- Do not pick up sharp or hazardous objects.
- After your cleanup, dispose of trash bags and gloves in trash cans.
Volunteers who fill out a post-cleanup survey online can request a thank you gift – either a dry bag or water-themed neck gaiter that can be used as a facemask.
Visit LexingtonKY.gov/CreekSweep for pickup site locations, cleanup tips, and more information about volunteering.