Volunteers clean trash from Salt Creek in Elk Grove Village

  • Volunteers work to clean trash from the water and load it into a boat during the Salt Creek Watershed Network and Boy Scout Troop 95 26th annual Salt Creek Cleanup in Elk Grove Village Saturday.

      Volunteers work to clean trash from the water and load it into a boat during the Salt Creek Watershed Network and Boy Scout Troop 95 26th annual Salt Creek Cleanup in Elk Grove Village Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Boy Scout Parker Gardner, 12, of Elk Grove Village helps volunteer Tracy Goodin, also of Elk Grove Village, unload trash from the boat at the conclusion of the Salt Creek Watershed Network and Boy Scout Troop 95 26th annual Salt Creek Cleanup in Elk Grove Village Saturday.

      Boy Scout Parker Gardner, 12, of Elk Grove Village helps volunteer Tracy Goodin, also of Elk Grove Village, unload trash from the boat at the conclusion of the Salt Creek Watershed Network and Boy Scout Troop 95 26th annual Salt Creek Cleanup in Elk Grove Village Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Volunteers push a boat as they near the end of their cleanup area during the Salt Creek Watershed Network and Boy Scout Troop 95 26th annual Salt Creek Cleanup in Elk Grove Village Saturday.

      Volunteers push a boat as they near the end of their cleanup area during the Salt Creek Watershed Network and Boy Scout Troop 95 26th annual Salt Creek Cleanup in Elk Grove Village Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Scouts Joey Torelli, 14, left, of St. Charles and Scott Barron, 12, of Elk Grove Village walk together during the Salt Creek Watershed Network and Boy Scout Troop 95 26th annual Salt Creek Cleanup in Elk Grove Village Saturday.

      Scouts Joey Torelli, 14, left, of St. Charles and Scott Barron, 12, of Elk Grove Village walk together during the Salt Creek Watershed Network and Boy Scout Troop 95 26th annual Salt Creek Cleanup in Elk Grove Village Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Event Organizer Nick Nikola stands on the Biesterfield Road bridge as volunteers work in the water below during the Salt Creek Watershed Network and Boy Scout Troop 95 26th annual Salt Creek Cleanup in Elk Grove Village Saturday.

      Event Organizer Nick Nikola stands on the Biesterfield Road bridge as volunteers work in the water below during the Salt Creek Watershed Network and Boy Scout Troop 95 26th annual Salt Creek Cleanup in Elk Grove Village Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Volunteers load trash into a boat during as the Salt Creek Watershed Network and Boy Scout Troop 95 hold the 26th annual Salt Creek Cleanup in Elk Grove Village Saturday.

      Volunteers load trash into a boat during as the Salt Creek Watershed Network and Boy Scout Troop 95 hold the 26th annual Salt Creek Cleanup in Elk Grove Village Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/11/2020 3:17 PM

The Salt Creek Watershed Network and Boy Scout Troop 95 held the 26th annual Salt Creek Cleanup Saturday morning.

The group met at Elk Grove High School, then walked to the creek to begin work. They collected trash from the water and deposited it in a boat, then unloaded the trash when they reached Biesterfield Road.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Nick Nikola came up with the idea to start an organization to clean up Salt Creek after purchasing a house along the creek decades ago. He said he and his family would paddle the creek and pick up trash every time they went out.

"We'd come home with a canoe-load of garbage," he said. "We couldn't make a difference."

After a few years, he decided to expand the effort by building a network of volunteers.

On Saturday, about 20 of the volunteers, many of whom were from Boy Scout Troop 95, waded in the sometimes waist-deep water and placed the trash they picked up into a boat. Other volunteers walked along the shoreline and picked up trash.

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