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Creek cleaning turns up everything … including a kitchen sink

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

A recent cleanup of a section of Peak Creek in Pulaski turned up a little bit of everything … including a kitchen sink.

Cathy Hanks, president of Friends of Peak Creek (FOPC) said 13 volunteers dedicated their time to removing trash and other debris from the section of creek between Duncan Bridge and Heritage Park. That’s roughly 1.38 miles of creek bed.

“In the past we have had all of our cleanups dedicated to stream banks; this was our first one where we looked for volunteers willing to wade,” Hanks said. Eleven of the volunteers worked in the creek, while two stayed on land to shuttle people and food to the site.

Unfortunately, the haul from the creek was so large the group didn’t even make it all the way to Heritage Park before their canoes were overwhelmed.

“We had three fully loaded canoes. As a matter of fact they were so full, we had to stop picking up things before we even got to the park,” she said, noting the canoes were “riding low!”

So what exactly did they remove from the creek, besides a kitchen sink?

Hanks said they ended up with 25 bags of trash, 20 tires, a hubcap, a bucket seat, a table, a stool, several chairs, a child’s swimming pool and stuffed animal, two trashcans, lots of plastic bottles and “numerous other things — some of which were unidentifiable.”

New River Conservancy (NRC), which oversees the welfare of the New River in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia, co-sponsored the “Walk the Creek Cleanup.” NRC sent a representative and two canoes from North Carolina.

The volunteer group included NRC representatives, FOPC members, Access to Community College (ACCE) students, two Pulaski citizens and employees of Aggregate Capital in downtown Pulaski. Hanks said the two citizens “just showed up to help” and Aggregate Capital “literally shut their office down for a day to join us.”

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