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Creeks and Streams - Keeping them Clean and Safe for Wildlife

Updated on November 22, 2015

Pictures of the Area where the Creek Is

Trees in the common ground where I found all the trash.  This is taken in the fall, as seen by the leaves.
Trees in the common ground where I found all the trash. This is taken in the fall, as seen by the leaves. | Source
From my backyard years ago, when I used to see more butterflies than I do in more recent years.
From my backyard years ago, when I used to see more butterflies than I do in more recent years. | Source
I haven't seen one of these in years, around my house, either.
I haven't seen one of these in years, around my house, either. | Source
Haven't seen a dragonfly in a few years either.
Haven't seen a dragonfly in a few years either. | Source
Dragon or Damselfly Nymph - One of the many things found in the water in the Midwest.  The same kind of place where I found all the trash.
Dragon or Damselfly Nymph - One of the many things found in the water in the Midwest. The same kind of place where I found all the trash. | Source
This particular picture was taken in Oklahoma, a sister state.  These are like the turkeys we have here though too in the same area where all the trash was.
This particular picture was taken in Oklahoma, a sister state. These are like the turkeys we have here though too in the same area where all the trash was. | Source

Observing Our Surroundings and Helping Our Environment

Cleaning a little creek behind our home, which is really a water run off that goes toward another little creek, is something we have done off and on for years. It is actually a common ground for our neighborhood, so not our property. It is the whole neighborhoods property and they can walk along it at any time.

Well, today I decided to take a little grocery bag out and collect some trash I might find. I didn't even know if there would be any out there, but I knew there probably would be. What I found however, really surprised and even shocked me!

This is a small sign of how polluted certain areas can get. Even areas that shouldn't be polluted, suffer effects of neglect and laziness of human beings. Its sad that a place would be so much better off, if the humans nearby hadn't trashed it so much! I like the idea of changing that, and being part of the solution. .

Part of the Problem - Trash I Found One Day Along a Creek

Today, while walking along a nearby creek, I filled my bag to the brim and ran out of room before I got done seeing trash. I was really just out on a little nature walk, to enjoy the beauty of nature, and relax a little bit. Knowing I had seen trash before, I brought a bag.

Here are some of the things I found. I found a Mountain Dew Can, water bottles of all kinds, plastic grocery bags, packing bubbles, pieces of carpet that look to have been trimmed from someone's carpet, a baby bottle, pieces of fertilizer bags, plastic wrappers, glass bottles, various pieces of glass, pop tart wrappers, and much more. I wasn't even out there for too long, Things shouldn't be this way! Oh how I wish I were only making this up!

Why Is There So Much Pollution?

We need to ask ourselves, why is there so much pollution? We don't just have air pollution, but out and out trashy pollution that happens directly due to people's actions! Can't we at least take responsibility for our own trash? With that in mind, here are a few more thoughts.

Granted, sometimes I think things can blow away from people's trash cans or yards. It can happen to anyone, so in that case it is more of an accident. Some of the things however I know couldn't have blown there. The thing is, these things are all made of chemicals, and are man made. We have all heard or seen pictures of wildlife that got caught up in some kind of piece of trash, and its growth was retarded if it lived at all, etc. It is simply heartbreaking.

So, the water runs over these things over time and the chemicals get washed downstream. This may not seem like much, except its not natural and what is the cumulative effect over time? What is the effect on the fish and so many other critters that rely on the water in the creeks, streams, rivers and lakes of the area? We need to take care of our environment in these ways.

I love the huge trees along these little creeks. Once in a while a tree will topple, as it gets old and you see the underside and massive root system. It dawns on me, that whoever is dumping their trash here, the trees roots are sucking up the chemicals as well. Again, maybe no big deal but over time could it be? Do we know all there is to know about chemicals in nature over time? We know that humans have been getting away from putting too many chemicals in our bodies because of the negative effects over time.

Wildlife Along Our Creeks and Streams - We Can't Forget About Them!

The wildlife I know of in our common ground includes but is surely not limited to wild turkeys, owls, hawks, snakes, squirrels, beavers, many birds, crawdads, small fish, rabbits, and many bugs and other critters including bees. We get a huge amount of tree frogs in the summer, and I am a butterfly gardener so I pay attention to what is favorable to our environment. I have to say, that this last summer I saw next to no butterflies, and this is a first in the last 9 years. It is truly heartbreaking, and I don't know why. My guess is maybe pesticides and herbicides in part, but there can be a number of reasons.

I want to continually plant beneficial gardens, besides keeping our environment cleaner. Beneficial gardens I have grown are butterfly gardens, bee gardens, and bird gardens. They are meant to attract and help these amazing creatures! I hope others will consider doing that also. We can't take anything for granted.

Helping To Improve Our Environments - My Encouragement To You

At the very least we can be conscious of how much litter we contribute to our environment. We may think we can't help much in regards to overall world pollution, however consider that you can have a small yet mighty impact on your area immediately surrounding you. Here are some things I have observed.

I am astonished at how many people TRY to throw trash down drains on streets in neighborhoods. Lets consider a drain right by my house. I know people are purposely throwing their trash down the drains, because you can find fast food bags and empty cigarette boxes that don't make it down the drain. They literally are thrown to go down, but miss the target and rest right next to the big drains, until the next big rain or wind comes and it goes into the drains.

Being a part of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, we have always been alert to trash and pick it up over the years. There is always way too much trash to pick up. In fact, they encourage you to leave a place better than you found it. That means pick up your trash, and some the people before left behind!

So lets not litter in the first place, and on occasion we can pick up trash when we see it. It really does beautify an area at the very least! That is worth a lot! If you did this once a year even or once every other year, that would be a lot more than doing nothing at all. We can wear gloves or whatever makes you feel comfortable doing it.

Besides, it just feels good to care about our earth and take care of it. We all share it together. The animals aren't littering, it is we humans that are. Let us help keep the chemicals they ingest to a minimum.

One more thing I have observed. While visiting in certain places in the country, you will notice people using reusable bags, like if they are going to say a Trader Joe's store. They aren't only not allowing their plastic blags to get lost in the wind in their neighborhoods, but they aren't even using them in the first place. I mention losing plastic bags because of the amount I find near creeks and streams. So there is a very wide range of human behavior going on here! Some don't even use or consume such bags, unless absolutely necessary. But some don't give it a second thought to not only not throwing them away, but letting them loose in the environment! So let us consider our small impact into our environment. Are we polluting the ground, air, and creeks and streams, and thus our oceans and lakes? If so, we need to consider how to stop or minimize our damage.

A Neat Example of a Clean Stream - Autauga is Beautiful!

Have you ever been shocked by the amount of trash you have seen out in nature?

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© 2012 Paula

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    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Ed, you are right about observing, and I am glad others see it as well. Taking out what you take in, well that is a good idea of course! If only more people did that. The idea of leaving a place as good as we find it or better, is one I heard of long ago. I that would be indicative of a person that truly cares about wildlife and the earth. Not to mention, keeping it beautiful for those that will come after us. Thank you for your kind words, and visit here.

    • profile image

      ahorseback 

      4 years ago

      Awesome hub ! I constantly observe this , and am dismayed by the very connection to human nature that it shows ! No other animal on earth pollutes ! Not at least that I can think of . "Take out what you take in " a sign on hiking , fishing and nature trails I obsrve constantly observe , will we as humans ever learn ?.......Ed ,voted up !

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Marcy, thank you for your comment. It is so true that our water supply is finite, and we have to really work hard to keep it in good condition. It makes me glad you think it is an important topic, I think so too.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Carol, so happy you agree with me, and that its good to spread the word. I only took out one small trash bag, and filled it up, but that was much much more than doing nothing. I will try to make a regular habit of this. So happy you stopped by, and thank you for the comment and sharing. Happy New Year, fellow nature lover!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      5 years ago from Planet Earth

      Such an important concept. We have only a finite amount of water on the planet, and mch is not accessible or drinkable due to being frozen, or in the oceans, or polluted. Great topic!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      We need more of these kind of hubs. I am often dismayed at what people do to beautiful nature. Good work ..Sharing and voting up.

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