By Mayor Bill Jenks, III
For the sixth consecutive year Rolla High School Biology II students and RHS Biology Teacher, Dwight Warnke with the RHS Stream Team #4173, recently provided valuable assistance to the City’s Parks and Recreation Department in their efforts to clean up the stream banks along the ACORN Trail, Dutro Carter Creek, and other areas located near Ber Juan Lake and Ber Juan Park.
Using mesh trash bags, gloves, and a lot of sweat equity, the dedicated students picked up 22 large bags and 30 smaller bags of trash, plus an assortment of small appliances and metal that were located on the banks of Dutro Carter Creek along the ACORN (A Community Organization to Restore Nature) Trail. The volunteer effort was completed on Saturday, April 28 prior to the 8th Annual Youth Fishing Fair on May 5 at Ber Juan Lake.
In addition to all the trash and debris that was picked up, Mr. Warnke reported to the Parks and Recreation Department staff that the students also found and turned in a stolen wallet and seven different syringes to the Rolla Police Department at different points along the 1.5-miles of stream channel cleaned up along the ACORN Trail. The maximum number of syringes the students found in the past was two according to Mr. Warnke who said the amount of trash collected was the least amount collected during this bi-annual event over the last six years.
I’d like to echo the comments from the City’s Parks and Recreation Department that the City truly appreciates the hard work and effort that the Biology II students at Rolla High School, Stream Team #4173 and Mr. Warnke have generously provided over the past six years. I’d also like to thank the Missouri Department of Conservation for helping coordinate the Stream Team Clean Up event among the students, and the Parks and Recreation Department for helping make this all possible. It is through collaborations such as these that our beautiful parks, streams and park land continue to be great resources, recreational areas, and places of pride for our city.