The Importance of Cleaning Up Our Creeks

After getting back from spring break week in the North West, I’m a little water-jealous. I had to opportunity to view rivers as wide as our lakes flowing with snow-melt and spring rains. Prescott may not have the same sort of large, perennially flowing rivers, but we do have nine creeks and many tributaries throughout the Prescott area that make this a beautiful place to live or visit.

Prescott’s creeks and lakes are some of its most beautiful features. Often our creeks are seen not only for their beautiful trees, enjoyable trails, and wildlife, but for their ability to make things “go away”. Looking closely at our creeks you can find a variety of trash, dog and horse waste, even our sewer systems running through them. However, our creeks and lakes are than just a convenient way to remove unsightly things from public view. They are an important part of keeping our area healthy and prosperous.

Clean and healthy waterways provide a variety of less-tangible benefits. They boost jobs, property values, and tourism, which is even more critical during tough economic times. Consistently in reports like those recently done by the Delaware Riverkeeper, American Rivers, and the EPA. Functional waterways also help filter storm flows (do you really want to know what’s in the water running off our streets?) and those occasional sewer mishaps that flow in our creeks. They slow flooding (which we do on occasion – reference January 2010), and provide enough high quality habitat for birds that we have an Audubon recognized Important Bird Area.

Annually the Granite Creeks Cleanup volunteers provide an important service in keeping our waterways clean and attractive by removing multiple tons of trash. In return for spending two hours our on the creeks they receive coffee, snack, a t-shirt and trash bags – and we all receive a more beautiful place to live, work, and play. You can be part of this effort by either pre-registering here or showing up at Granite Creek Park on Saturday, April 23rd at 9am. We look forward to seeing you all there.

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