The 17th Annual Buffalo Creek Clean Up kicks off at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in Hulen Park. Registration takes place at the park’s train pavilion and the clean up begins at 9 a.m.
Work to beautify and improve Buffalo Creek remains ongoing, but the difference between now and 17 years ago is night and day, Cleburne Environmental Coordinator Julie Winchell said.
“Back then there was just an amazing amount of debris in the creek and along the banks,” Winchell said. “A lot of people just dumped whatever they didn’t want out there. Over the years we’ve managed to, and we continue to keep working on changing that mind set and image and, thanks to the efforts of the entities involved and the volunteers, Buffalo Creek has become a beautiful place.”
Grant funds awarded to the city for litter abatement led to the first clean up event, Winchell said. The event grew and is now organized through the efforts of the city, the Buffalo Creek Association and Keep Cleburne Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep Texas Beautiful. Area sponsors have for several years funded the event. This year’s major sponsors include James Hardie; Johns Manville; Sachem; Freese & Nichols; and Lloyd Gosselink Attorneys.
Volunteers receive free T-shirts and a hot dog lunch and the chance to win door prizes to be drawn after lunch.
The goal, Winchell said, is to clean about six miles along the creek. Volunteers will head north from Hulen Park and south from Carver Park. Children who wish to participate will need a liability release signed by their parents. Those releases are available at the Cleburne Public Library, 302 W. Henderson St., or may be signed during registration.
The event draws more than 150 volunteers each year, depending on weather conditions. Last year drew 188, a number Winchell said she hopes to see topped this Saturday.