Zach Hauser mucks through the Spring Valley Creek bed for trash during the annual community cleanup.  PHOTOS BY GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Zach Hauser mucks through the Spring Valley Creek bed for trash during the annual community cleanup. PHOTOS BY GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Slogging, mucking, bailing, bagging, poking, falling - all to stay ahead of the never-ending debris.

"The community creek cleanup went well," said annual Spring Valley Creek cleanup co-organizer Todd Jones, speaking of Saturday morning's effort to remove trash and debris from the Spring Valley Creek, surrounding streets, ponds and Highway 16. The cleanup had been delayed due to the lack of true spring weather, but Saturday was a nice day, so on short notice the call went out for volunteers to get together.

"We had some Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, some good volunteers who got up early and helped us clean up the creek. We did just mainly in town this year because we're all busy with other things," he noted, adding that while he's busy working to open his new True Value hardware store, others, like co-organizer Brad Musel, Steve Himle and Steve Volkart, also have busy lives right now but still wanted to be able to show how much they care about the appearance and health of Spring Valley's streams and public land.

Cub Scout leaders and parents brought their troops to the cleanup, and most of the leaders, parent volunteers and boys returned home dry and relatively clean after mucking out trash from the Spring Valley Creek near the railroad trestle on the west side of town to Highway 16, but boys definitely will be boys, and they were fortunate that Saturday was a relatively warm day, given that they either charged into the creek or fell in while pursuing a tin can or a pop bottle lodged under the rocks and silt. After slogging through the river and pulling out as much trash as they could find, volunteers returned to S&S Bait Shop to enjoy a slice of pie - thanks to Musel - on a sunny morning before going home.

Jones stated, "I think it's great that we're staying ahead. We had only a few bags of trash this year, we didn't find anything unusual or strange, and some of the guys went down to Willow Park and out toward Oak Hills Drive to pick up, but we didn't have as much to do, which I think is great. I think doing that little bit helped so the town doesn't look bad when people drive through."

S&S Bait Shop proprietor and avid fisherman Volkart concurred, "It went quicker than other years because we've done it so many times, so I think it's getting better."