Volunteers were knee-deep in Salt Creek last weekend in Elk Grove Village, collecting some 72 cubic yards of garbage from just over a milelong stretch of the waterway.
It was the 20th such cleanup sponsored by the Salt Creek Watershed Network, a regional grass-roots group that promotes the improvement of the creek's water quality and ecosystem.
With the water clear and level of the creek low last Saturday, volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 95 at Christus Victor Lutheran Church were able to remove a number of items, everything from a construction cone and corrugated drain pipe to a bicycle and auto radiator, according to Nick Nikola, president of the watershed network.
The Scouts worked to clear debris from the creek from as far north as Arlington Heights Road to as far south as Clearmont Drive. They brought the trash to shore, and it was hauled away by maintenance staff from the Elk Grove Park District.
"It is astounding how much was cleaned out overall. It would make a mountain of garbage," Nikola said in an email. "Our environment is such a precious jewel that deserves our understanding and respect, and for some of us lucky enough to live along the Salt Creek, is a humbling reminder of how awesome mother nature truly is."
Organizers are already planning for the next cleanup in June 2015.