MIDWAY — A band of volunteers and members of environmental groups clad in waist-high waders gathered Friday to clean Central Kentucky's Elkhorn Creek.
Some made their first trip to the 17-mile-long tributary, while others returned to a familiar stomping ground.
For 29-year-old volunteer Joe Maciag, it was a familiar sight as he remembered fishing with his father near the creek's Frankfort channel when he was a boy.
"It's just kind of depressing to see (the creek) being treated like this," the future University of Kentucky environmental science major said. "There's a place for all of this (trash), and it's not in a creek."
Bottles, plastic cups, aluminum cans and even a pair of boots littered the shoreline off Fisher's Mill Road in Woodford County as Greensource outreach specialist Schuyler Warren waded the water and chained tires to a tractor that pulled them onto the bank from the creek bed.
Elkhorn Creek played host to the Bluegrass Conservancy's cleanup project for the second year in a row.
The non-profit organization deals mainly in land preservation, so it partners with Greensource, another non-profit organization that provides education and resources on how we affect our environment.
First-time volunteers included Steve South, a donor to the Bluegrass Conservancy, who braved the poison ivy and chopped down trees in a less-treated area of the shoreline.
South originally got involved with the Conservancy when he contacted them to help him preserve his land.
While he loves helping to conserve the local streams and protecting water quality, he said his heart is in preserving the countryside of the Bluegrass.
"You look at this piece of land right here, how would you like to see a subdivision there?" South posed. "This is what we like."
The Bluegrass Conservancy is new to the environmental cleanup projects, but executive director Mackenzie Royce hopes to continue their involvement in the community.
Office manager Alison Freels said the goal is to hold two more creek cleanups before the summer is over.