Year-End Review 2016

During 2016 the Salt Creek Watershed Network (SCWN) achieved two major goals of its mission statement.  First, it provided several educational services to the public.  Second, through its very successful cleanup projects, SCWN promoted a higher sense of the value of Salt Creek and Addison Creek.

 Riverside-Brookfield High School students proudly display trash collected at one Addison Creek site.

Riverside-Brookfield High School students proudly display trash collected at one Addison Creek site.

The year began by welcoming a local landscaper who discussed the causes of back yard flooding with area residents and offered various ways to solve those problems.  Later, in an attempt to make our youth aware of the nature around them and the need for a clean environment, children who helped in the late April cleanup took part in most interesting presentations involving fish found in the creek, local reptiles, and identification of bones that may have been found during the cleanup.  Later, in September, SCWN provided an information booth at the Meet the Creek event held in Brookfield.  In addition, SCWN is developing a map that highlights the creek as a valuable recreational resource.

 A truckload of trash removed from Salt Creek in Wood Dale

A truckload of trash removed from Salt Creek in Wood Dale

The crowning achievements of the year, however, were three creek cleanups. With the help of student volunteers from Riverside-Brookfield High School, SCWN removed large amounts of trash from the portion of Salt Creek between I-94 and 17th Ave. in North Riverside as well as from the southern part of Addison Creek through an industrial park in Broadview.  Volunteers working with SCWN at two other cleanups along Salt Creek, one in Elk Grove Village and the other in Wood Dale, also deserve much credit.  Large amounts of trash were collected in all three areas making those events both successful and rewarding.

The mission is never fully accomplished, but if SCWN can either match or exceed this year’s efforts, the Salt Creek Watershed in 2017 will become a better place for both people and nature.  And that surely is our ultimate goal.

Philip Wille
Salt Creek Watershed Network