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Oak Creek Watershed Volunteers Remove 6,768 Pounds of Waste

Annual Oak Creek Watershed Council Labor Day 2018 Clean Up volunteers were from the Rotary Club of Sedona in VOC, Red Rock Crossing – photo courtesy OCWC

Sedona AZ The Oak Creek Watershed Council mission is to maintain a standard of excellence for watershed stewardship and preserving the integrity of Oak Creek. In 2018, OCWC did that and more.

An edited end of year OCTC newsletter highlights and shares the group’s many challenges and successes as follows:

Welcome 2019! Help us make 2019 our best year ever! 

To Oak Creek Watershed Council (OCWC) friends, we could not have accomplished all that we have in the past, in 2018 and in the future, without our volunteers and supporters. Our group has learned a lot in 2018 and are more determined than ever. We are so proud of all that came together to help us protect our watershed.

What did OCWC accomplish in 2018?

With hard work and dedication from its board, staff and volunteers, the Oak Creek Watershed Council removed over 810 pounds of trash, 363 pounds of recycling, and 100 pounds of feces – totaling 1,268 pounds of waste removed from the watershed over 12 small cleanup events. Additionally, from the pet waste stations the group and volunteers worked to implement and maintain, OCWC kept over 5,500 pounds of fecal matter from being left behind and ultimately introduced into our local waterway!

That’s a total of over 6,768 pounds of waste kept out of Oak Creek in 2018 alone!

Oak Creek waterway – photo courtesy OCWC

OCWC educated 720 people about environmental stewardship, Leave No Trace ethics, watershed ecology, and the significance of water conservation over twelve clean ups, seven outreach and three citizen science events. In 2019, our main goal remains the same; to protect and preserve our precious Oak Creek. We have some exciting new projects planned, and hope to encourage stewardship through even more educational citizen science events.

This year, OCWC hosted three macroinvertebrate sampling events, one occurring over a three day period with one hundred and sixty Verde Valley students participating.

We used citizen science as a tool to better understand the ecology of Oak Creek and how disturbances may impact the local creek’s health. We used citizen science as a tool to show our volunteers and youth just how cool science is! Together, we learned how science can be used to understand and conserve our favorite places, how alive Oak Creek is (so many bugs!), and how water quality is impacted. Ultimately, we shared how this knowledge can allow us to be stewards for this imperative local resource.

Water quality scientist Natalie Brassill teaches a Verde Valley student how to process E. coli samples during Oak Creek Watershed Council’s Water Quality Field Days, October 2018 – photo courtesy OCWC

Moving forward, instead of having several small cleanup events, OCWC plans to target high use creek days with larger clean up events to encourage those recreating to keep it clean! This will ensure popular creek sites are clean during these high use times (we find that the dirtier the site, the more likely others are to leave trash behind).

Additionally, OCWC is continuously developing opportunities that foster a connection and relationship to the natural world, teaching those the importance of spending time outside and using their voice to protect it.

We are actively working with improving our organization and making all that we do to be more effective by strengthening our programs, educational website, and staff.

However, all of that needs funding to be accomplished.

Be the change you wish to see and come volunteer with us in 2019. Please consider supporting us financially with becoming a member or giving us a year-end donation! Our new website is in progress, but, until then, follow this link to become a member for 2019 or donate to our cause: https://oakcreekwatershed.org/get-involved/become-a-member and https://oakcreekwatershed.org/donate.

Thank you friends, volunteers and supporters for your continued support of the Oak Creek Watershed. We hope to see you out on the creek at one of the OCWC events in 2019!

Have a healthy, productive and beautiful 2019 spent with loved ones at your favorite outdoor spots!

To mail a donation, send check or money order to Oak Creek Watershed Council, Post Office Box 732, Sedona, Arizona 86339.

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  1. Maria Gomez Gupta, San Luis Potosí says:

    We have same problems like touristas not welcome causing great upset here. I;m exchange teacher and internet teacher of English now. English is difficult language and we are pruod to learn it, Spanish not a language to further mathematicians or scientists study. We do not mind that language is flexible. Language is tool and not identity. Language is for flexible. Learn other languages. Grow with confidence.

  2. Ursi Ogden Heber says:

    I won’t go near creek again.

  3. Sedona America says:

    This country faces cultural assimilation differences without any spine. We expect outcomes based on false paradigms, we expect that immigrants share American mores about cleanliness, share American respect for recycling and using waste disposal units whether cans or dumps. We expect facility users from countries without modern toilets and kitchens and American strict personal hygiene rules to know their importance which is an automatic fail. It’s like expecting a baby to change its own diaper and dispose of it and its contents properly; its like owning a hotel and accepting that bed bugs are normal; it’s like driving a car and ignoring speed limits, traffic lights and road signs; it’s like standing in a lightning storm and not understanding lightning is drawn to you on iron infused rocks. It’s like pooping and peeing in a creek and then swallowing some of its water while swimming and playing in it…it’s like pooping and peeing in a public bathroom and failing to flush and wash after use…it’s like pooping and peeing and then going back to the kitchen to fix or serve food. That’s just poop and pee, want to discuss daily teeth brushing and cleaning, soap, deodorant, washing hair, cleaning and changing clothes, full immersion bathing, lice, litter, changing sheets and towels, food spoilage guidelines, petty theft, domestic abuse, religious tolerance, spousal rights, civil rights, personal responsibility, arbitration of disagreements.

    America is unique in the world because its religious and civil and ultimately its triad government system believes in and strives in theory to practice common goals of community responsibility, equality of all in the pursuit of health, wealth and happiness. To have rungs on these ladders, everyone must personally accept responsibility to educate others by example. It’s imperative for everyone’s good.

    I believe that no government system designed to reflect its citizens can do more than the citizens it reflects.

  4. Oak Creek Watershed February Meeting says:

    Please join us for our next bimonthly meeting for Oak Creek Watershed Council from 9:30am to 10:30am Thursday February 14th. Please note this meeting is an hour shorter than usual, as we have a productive board meeting scheduled following after. Our next meeting on Thursday April 11th, 2019 will take place during the normal meeting time of 9:30-11:30am. We will meet in the Hummingbird Room at the Red Rock State Park Visitor Center, 4050 Red Rock Loop Road, Sedona, AZ. Let the gatekeeper know that you are there for the OCWC meeting and receive free admission to the park.

    Our February meeting will cover: Welcoming our 2019 board members, Upcoming events, What we’re up to (lots of work!), 2019 Membership Renewal.

    Now more than ever your support as an OCWC member matters. With your support we continue offering our education, stewardship, citizen science, and on-the-ground projects to protect Oak Creek Watershed. You can make a payment online at https://oakcreekwatershed.org/become-a-member, send a check to Oak Creek Watershed Council, P.O. Box 732, Sedona, AZ 86339 or pay at the February 14th meeting. Join us in making a difference, be part of our cause.

    February 14th, 2019
    9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
    RED ROCK STATE PARK, Hummingbird Room

    Meeting Agenda:
    9:30 Welcome and introductions….Anthony Flesch, Board Chair
    9:40 Round table status reports
    10:05 Update report….Kalai Kollus, Executive Director
    10:15 Upcoming events
    10:25 Next Meeting is on Thursday, April 11th, 2019 from 9:30 – 11:30am, at Red Rock State Park, Hummingbird Room.
    10:30 – Adjourn

    OCWC Board Meeting at 10:30 to 2 pm
    The Council has developed a membership program whereby individuals, families, businesses, and organizations can support the vital work that OCWC does on a continual basis in Oak Creek watershed. We hope you will recognize the importance of this work and help OCWC attain its goal of protecting Oak Creek and keeping the waters clean by joining our membership. http://oakcreekwatershed.org/get-involved/become-a-member
    Visit our Oak Creek Watershed website at http://oakcreekwatershed.org.

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