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Service Learning at Ritchey Woods Natural Area September 27


Researchers, interns and students gathered Friday September 27, to participate in service learning projects at Ritchey Woods Natural Area. Ritchey Woods is 130 acres of natural area near 96th Street. It is a current restoration project monitored by CEES. Projects lasted half a day with as many as 30 participants per project. Our team set forth with the aim of cleaning litter and debris from Cheeney Creek.

Cheeney Creek flows through the area and creates a wet-mesic floodplain bordered by two busy streets. The litter from the roadway and visitors combined with remnants of past settlement can present quite a mess in both areas. Our team divided into groups picking up trash from the creek itself and the surrounding floodplain. Many interesting items (see photos) were found and may lead to awareness campaigns to prevent this kind of pollution in the future.

Litter and debris in our waterways are not only unsightly, but dangerous to wildlife. Every year, many animals die by becoming entwined in or by eating garbage not intended to be food. By cleaning up the smaller areas, we ensure that the larger waterways downstream will remain clean and safe as well.  

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