Boy Scouts Help Clean Creek

By: Leah Uko

OMAHA (KPTM) - Local Boy Scouts spent Sunday afternoon clearing out trash that polluted Happy Hollow Creek near Dodge and Farnam streets.

"I live here so I want it to be clean."

Alexander Mixan is 14 years old. It was the weekend--usually a time to play for people his age.

"I'd rather my community be clean than me go out and hang out with friends for a couple of hours," the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader with Troop 597 said.

He and 21 other Boy Scouts saw FOX 42's Leah Uko report on the litter that polluted the creek at Memorial Park. They decided to volunteer their time to help clean it up.

The water in the creek has developed a sheet of fungi. Due in large part to litter like soda cans, water bottles and take-out food containers.

One Scout found a shoe and a backpack in the creek's south end.

"It kind of makes me sad that people come out here and litter," Mixan said.

Mixan said he realized one day will fix the problem temporarily, but suggested more help for a permanent solution.

"If the cops, if they see people littering," he continued. "Give them a ticket or something. Otherwise I'm not sure if there is much we can do."

Troop 597 ended up filling four bags with trash. They said there is still "stuff" that no organization can pick up without help from the city.

"I noticed there's still some stuff that's kind of under some trees and debris," Senior Patrol Leader with Troop 597, Sam Wagner said. "That might need to be lifted up by the city."

If the city stepped in, the Parks and Recreation department could head the project.

Mary Ann Vinton takes her dog for a walk at Memorial Park often. The Dundee resident said community help is just as useful as city resources.

"I think it's nice for people to pitch in and take care of the spaces that we all use a lot in this neighborhood."

Debris and broken trees limbs still block the culvert in the creek. When spring showers hit, the water--and possibly more trash can pile up again.

"I wish we could put a stop to it," Mixan explained. "But not everyone is going to, you know, stop doing it."

The Scouts said they would continue to clean up if need be. They hoped other people would chip in by throwing their trash into a garbage can--not into the creek.