Volunteers Sought for 4th Annual Fish Creek Cleanup Challenge on Jan. 29, 2022
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communication
Posted on January 21, 2022, January 21, 2022

Fish Creek Cleanup Challenge

Organizers for the upcoming 4th annual Fish Creek Cleanup Challenge are seeking volunteers to collect discarded cans, glass and plastic bottles, paper and other debris littering the banks of the southeast Arlington creek.

During this year’s cleanup challenge, scheduled between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, event organizer Angel Carter said she is hopeful that even with the ongoing pandemic that hundreds of volunteers will turn out to tackle the litter problem along an 8-mile section of the creek covering both Arlington and Grand Prairie.

“There is more than enough room to work together and social distance as we have done in the past two years with this and other events all throughout the DFW metroplex during Covid,” Carter said. “ We know how to safely hold an event and plan on this one being as safe as all the previous ones.”

 The cleanup is a family friendly event, Carter said. Much of the trash is lightweight, such as plastic bags, Styrofoam cups and paper. Volunteers are asked to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, closed toe shoes or waterproof boots and any preferred tools, such as trash grabbers. Event organizers and supporters are providing gloves, trash bags, hand sanitizer and a limited number of tools. Click here to visit the event Facebook page for other important information and for the links to pre-register as a volunteer.

 Lunch from ChickFilA, which is being provided by The Mission Continues, is available at about noon to volunteers who pre-register.

 Volunteers are also invited to bring canned foods and nonperishable items, which will benefit Arlington Charities. Additionally, gift cards ranging from $5 to $25 will be awarded at random to pre-registered volunteers on site or for those who win categories such as most interesting find, best before and after pictures, farthest traveled, most enthusiastic, oldest volunteer, youngest volunteer and brought the most friends with them.

 Tens of thousands of people throughout Tarrant and Dallas counties depend on Fish Creek for drainage but many have never even heard of Fish Creek or know where it's located, Carter said. Yet every year a few hundred people gather to clean along Fish Creek and Fish Creek Linear Trail. And year after year, some of those same groups and people return, she said.

 “We've had trail life troops, girl scout troops, Webb Masonic Lodge, various Rotary Clubs, St. Andrews United Methodist and other various church groups, youth groups, individuals and more that have participated year after year,” said Carter, an Arlington resident and U.S. Marine veteran. “From old to young, all beliefs, all religions and lack thereof, socioeconomic groups, ethnic backgrounds and so much more come together. Working together to accomplish a common goal. Sharing a meal together at the end of the day. Not just completing the mission but building memories together.”

 Two of the event’s return supports are the Travis Manion Foundation and The Mission Continues. This year’s Fish Creek Cleanup is a Martin Luther King Day of service project with The Mission Continues, Carter said.

 “Many are well acquainted with his "I have a dream" speech. Most know it from when he gave it at Washington, D.C. I grew up in a town where he is first known to have given a version of his "I have a dream" speech,” Carter said. “We also get to be part of that dream when we have the annual cleanup. People from all walks of life from all over have come to be part of our little creek cleanup.”

 For the Travis Manion Foundation, this year’s cleanup is also an MLK service project and it will honor the legacy, life and service of Police Officer Albert Ramirez Castaneda, Jr. Officer Castaneda. Officer Castaneda was a U.S. Coast Guard veteran who served with the Grand Prairie Police Department for five years and Tarrant County Sheriff's Office for six years.

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