Creek cleanup planned this Saturday

The Central Oregonian highlights the partnership between Crook County Rotary Club and the Deschutes Land Trust to host a volunteer creek clean-up on Ochoco Creek.
By Jason Chaney
Central Oregonian

Rotary Club of Crook County teaming up with Deschutes Land Trust for fall event

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Officer James Young (second from left) is expected to participate in the clean-up again.
CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Officer James Young (second from left) is expected to participate in the clean-up again.
CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Officer James Young (second from left) is expected to participate in the clean-up again.

Crook County Rotarians have led a few successful Ochoco Creek clean-ups in recent years, although they have primarily targeted the spring for the events.

That changes next week as the local civic organization will add a fall clean-up this weekend. The event is scheduled for Saturday and will take place from noon to 3 p.m. All ages are welcome and people involved in the clean-up will gather at Pioneer Park before head out to different portions of the creek.

"The Deschutes Land Trust approached us and said they would really like to do something with us," said Rotarian Carol Benkosky, who has organized the spring clean-up efforts.

The group agreed to the idea, primarily because a lot of debris can accumulate in the creek throughout the summer and ordinarily it wouldn't get dealt with until spring. In addition, Benkosky points out that the wind picks up this time of year.

"Everything in town blows until it hits the creek," she remarked.

Volunteers are encouraged to either register online prior to the event, which helps her determine how much of the creek can be cleaned, or show up at Pioneer Park the day of the event.

"If people have rubber boots or waders, bring them," she added, "and we will do as much as we can in the creek."

In addition to the Rotary Club of Crook County partnering with Deschutes Land Trust on the clean-up, Crook County Parks and Recreation District will once again pitch in on the effort, moving the trash that volunteers pull from the creek to a dumpster provided by Prineville Disposal. The sanitation company will haul the dumpster to Crook County Landfill.

Members of the Crook County High School's NJROTC program will once again participate in the clean-up as will Prineville Police Officer James Young. Ochoco Brewing Company will host the post clean-up social.

The Saturday clean-up will primarily target the portions of Ochoco Creek that border public property, and not go any further east than where the creek crosses Third Street, or further west than Harwood Street.

"We are going to do the uplands too," Benkosky added, "because if you don't do the uplands this time of year, it will end up in the creek."

Volunteers will be provided trash bags, pickers and vinyl gloves, but they are encouraged to bring clothing that will keep them comfortable in whatever weather they encounter that afternoon.

"Always, this time of year, be prepared for changing weather conditions," Benkosky said.


Volunteers for the fall Ochoco Creek Clean-up will meet at Pioneer Park. The event will take place on Oct. 19, from noon to 3 p.m. To register online, go to

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