Walter J. Baird seventh graders shared their passion for helping the environment with the Lebanon City Council Tuesday night, May 6.
The group of students, who call themselves the “Stream Team,” appeared during a regular called council meeting to give a presentation on Sinking Creek. Students proposed that some kind of annual Sinking Creek Clean Up be scheduled to beautify the park area and stop erosion.
Student Dalton Jones spoke about the effects of erosion on the creek. He said that erosion problems could be minimized by replacing mud along the bank with mulch and by moving the park’s grill and picnic area away from the creek to eliminate pollution.
Pollution of the creek has been caused by man and nature – spanning from stray picnic items, to oil from cars and leaves and limbs from park trees. Students suggested that instead of using weed-killing products which contain harsh chemicals that could run into the creek, the city have someone weed-eat the area.
They also promoted the placement of signs in the park to educate the public on how to save Sinking Creek.
Stream Team member Valerie Webb told councilors about a field trip they took to Sinking Creek in the fall of 2013. “We found organisms in the creek that were living … We used stuff that real scientist use to conduct tests and get results. It was a pretty cool project,” she said.
The team also had a Sinking Creek Clean Up Day on April 26 under the leadership of their teachers Chuck Graviss, Vicki Pelfrey and Lebanon Stormwater Coordinator RT Baldwin.
“I’ve seen a lot of councilmen down at Sinking Creek, pulling up tires and trash. It had a pretty bad reputation a few years ago,” Mayor Philip Craighead commented.
Ward 3 Councilman Rob Cesternino said that he was impressed with the work the students did and asked council to consider finding $100 – either in their budget or from a private donor – to give them a pizza party.
“It is exciting when they are excited,” Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath added. “This will be our next generation.”
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.