“No Dumping” Signs Installed on Addison Creek

 Photo by Mark Peterson

Photo by Mark Peterson

Thank you to Mark Peterson who brought this sign project to fruition

With the cooperation of the staff at the Public Works Department of the City of Broadview, we have been able to have a number of signs marked “No Dumping or Littering” installed along Addison Creek at various points as it flows through the Broadview area. The signs, printed with our logo and website, ask people to help keep the creek clean and provide the phone number of the Broadview Public Works Department to report any violations or pollution issues.

Salt Creek Watershed Network supplied the actual signs, while the Broadview Public Works Department contributed the needed posts and accompanying hardware and then installed them at key locations along the creek.

Our hope is that the signs will help increase awareness of Addison Creek and the role it plays within the Salt Creek Watershed and beyond, as well as the importance of trying to keep it clean.

Because the area where Addison Creek flows through Broadview is primarily industrial, we have recently been reaching out to businesses located near or along the creek, asking their help in cleaning up any accumulated trash along the banks of the waterway and providing information on the role the creek plays in the local watershed. In some cases, trash and junk from unknown sources has been dumped purposely along the banks by parties unknown, but in other cases, poor housekeeping practices at a couple of the area businesses have resulted in large quantities of paper and plastic trash blowing around and winding up along the banks of the creek. These items can eventually make their way into the creek itself and besides being an eyesore, can become part of the bigger problem of accumulated trash and plastics in our waterways.

In addition to the trash issue, the street sewer openings in the area are part of the village storm water system and they drain directly into the creek. Anything spilled or dumped in or near these drains either on purpose or by accident will drain directly into the waterway. Runoff from lawn chemical herbicides and pesticides during a heavy rain can find its way into the creek as well.

Although Addison Creek in the Broadview area flows primarily through an industrial area, it does have a narrow green space along its banks and is the home for various birds and animals. Migratory birds may use the area as a resting spot as they move north and south in the Spring and Fall. In the past, Wood Ducks and even a lone Sandhill Crane have been seen in and along the water. Canadian Geese and Mallard Ducks are commonly seen in the water and nesting along the banks. The area just to the South near Salt Creek is part of the Cook County Forest Preserve and is home to deer and a variety of other animals and birds. In the winter when the creek is frozen and covered with snow, it is not unusual to see tracks of deer, raccoon, opossum, and other animals as they use the frozen water as a route to move from one location to another.

Addison Creek is actually part of a much larger network of waterways. The creek originates in Bensenville, Illinois and flows southeast until it reaches Salt Creek in North Riverside. A little farther downstream, Salt Creek joins the Desplaines River which then later meets up with the Kankakee River near Channahon, Illinois. There they join and become the Illinois River which winds its way southwest past Starved Rock, and then being joined by other rivers along the way heads on to the Mississippi River. The Mississippi flows south and eventually empties into the Gulf of Mexico. All along the way, individuals, communities and wildlife use these waterways for homes, recreation and sustenance. In the winter, American Bald Eagles can often be seen fishing along the dam at Starved Rock State Park. The trash and pollutants in our area that find their way into Addison Creek can have an impact on the water routes much farther downstream.

For the past couple of years during our annual Spring Salt Creek cleanup, we have sent small groups of volunteers to the Addison Creek area to help clean up some of the accumulated trash. We have begun to make a dent, but there is definitely more work to be done. If anyone would like to help with our Addison Creek / Salt Creek cleanup efforts, watch our website for the announcement of our next cleanup date.

We hope the new signs will help discourage future dumping of trash along the creek. Any contributions to help us offset the cost of the new signs would be welcomed and greatly appreciated. Any donations are tax deductible.

Written by Mark Peterson