Troubled by the discarded cans, glass and plastic bottles, shopping carts and other debris fouling the shores of Fish Creek near her southeast Arlington neighborhood, Angel Carter turned to social media for help.
Earlier this month, Carter launched the Fish Creek Cleanup Challenge on Facebook, urging volunteers from the Webb Britton Estates neighborhood and beyond to help spruce up a four-mile section of the creek between Matlock Road and State Highway 360. Volunteers are still being sought for the Fish Creek Cleanup Challenge, set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 in Arlington's Fish Creek Linear Park.
"It's our neighborhood. It's our city. It's part of our world and thus part of our responsibility," said Carter, a U.S. Marine veteran and Arlington resident for the past 18 years. " I would encourage my fellow neighbors to take pride in where we live and take responsibility in how it looks."
Carter has been sharing photos on the event Facebook page to raise awareness about the creek conditions and the need for cleanup along the popular walking trail. Some of the debris includes tires, fence panels, paper, shopping carts, vehicle parts, and plastic bags.
The City of Arlington is providing resources for the event, including trash bags, large trash containers and gloves. Volunteers should wear comfortable clothes and rain boots or waders if they are willing to help out in the muddy areas. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring their own supplies, such as trash grabbers.
"The immediate goal is to clean the creek of as much debris as possible. Otherwise it gets washed down to the Trinity," Carter said.
Volunteers are asked to meet at 9 a.m. either near the restrooms at Cravens Park or at the gazebo in Fish Creek Neighborhood Park, 2121 Havenwood Dr.
Carter said the goal is for both sides to meet in the middle. Volunteers are encouraged to join in the cleanup whenever they can for any amount of time that they can.
Linda Finley, a community watch coordinator for Webb Britton Estates, is helping Carter organize volunteers for the cleanup. The Arlington Highlands Rotary Club, Webb Britton Estates and St. Andrew's United Methodist Church are just some of the groups who have accepted the cleanup challenge and are challenging others to join in through social media and flyers.
Being a Marine veteran, Carter was able to challenge Marine recruiters and extended the challenge to the Air Force and Army.
"I'm a 50-year-old woman with fibromyalgia, arthritis and PTSD." Carter said, "If I can wrestle shopping carts out of the creek and fill bags of trash, surely a few thousand of my closest friends and neighbors can find 30 minutes."