Texans across the state will be putting on their gloves Saturday to participate in the Texas Waterway Clean Up.
In Killeen, volunteer organizations such as Keep Killeen Beautiful, Killeen Volunteers Inc. and the Lake Stillhouse Hollow Cleanwater Steering Committee will organize local volunteers along Trimmier Creek between Trimmier Road and W.S. Young Drive.
Participants will meet at 8 a.m. in the Killeen Walmart parking lot at 1400 Lowe’s Blvd.
Based on past years’ success, Killeen Volunteer Services expects about 100 residents to participate in the event.
More than 60 people have already signed up, said Wilfred Brewster, director of Volunteer Services.
“I think all of the citizens of Killeen benefit from clean water,” Brewster said.
The stretch of Trimmier Creek, also called Lowe’s Boulevard Creek, is one of the more polluted streams in Killeen.
Last year volunteers removed 113 bags — nearly 1 ton of trash — from the area, Brewster said.
The groups also removed bulky items, such as tires and shopping carts that had accumulated in the creek.
“Without the volunteers we would truly not be able to sustain this event,” Brewster said.
Several student organizations, Boy Scouts and other groups use the event as an opportunity to earn volunteer hours, Brewster said.
“But the sense of giving back to the community is the real reward,” he said.
Volunteers will be provided safety equipment, such as gloves and orange vests.
Kenneth Schoen, director of the Lake Stillhouse Hollow Cleanwater Steering Committee, has participated in the event nearly evey year since it began in 2007.
“Anything that goes into the creek eventually goes into the stream, which goes into the lake,” Schoen said.
“It saves it from getting wrapped around a duck’s bill, or in a fish’s gills and that is the real benefit.”
Schoen said that although the creek is notoriously littered, recent changes in the city government have mitigated the problem.
“It is getting better because of the environmental group that we have right now in the city,” Schoen said. “It’s been a really good thing that has happened in the last couple of years.”
To register to volunteer for the Texas Waterway Clean Up, call Killeen Volunteer Services at (254) 501-7878 or go to the Killeen Walmart parking lot at 8 a.m. Saturday.