Town Creek Revitalization cleanup day set for May 3

PICKENS — Pickens officials have scheduled the first cleanup day for the Town Creek Revitalization Project for May 3.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Playground of Promise, at 149 N. Homestead Road, and the cleanup begins at 9 a.m. There will be free food and music for volunteers at noon following the cleanup.

The Town Creek Revitalization Project is an initiative created by a collective group of citizens of Pickens, focused on improving the quality of life and providing recreation opportunities along the sections of Town Creek that run through the city of Pickens.

“Town Creek is an underused but wonderful resource for the town of Pickens,” organizers said. “It has the potential to provide multiple recreation opportunities for kids, families, tubers, kayakers and fishermen.”

The Town Creek Revitalization Project intends to first clean up Town Creek with multiple “River Sweep” events, restoring the creek to more of its natural ecosystem, and then provide a waterway/greenway designed for floating in inner tubes, kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards. The team envisions the project to be finished before the end of 2014, but intend to have annual cleanup days to maintain the creek in perpetuity.

Upon request from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, current water quality samples, and a backlog of water samples, were requested to reconfirm the condition of Town Creek and the water that flows through it. All of this information has pointed to the fact that the PCBs are no longer lingering in the area, making the creek a valuable recreation asset for the town of Pickens.

The current condition of the creek doesn’t allow for much recreational use because of the tires and trash that have been dumped/tossed/swept into the creek.

The Town Creek Revitalization Project was formed to augment the upcoming changes to Town Creek Park, the centralized location for activities sponsored by the Pickens Recreation Department.

During this renovation period, multi-use trails will be installed to allow hikers and mountain bikers to enjoy the nature that surrounds the little league baseball and football fields, basketball and tennis courts and the children’s playground, the Playground of Promise. The Town Creek Revitalization Project will remediate Town Creek itself, in several phases, in order to provide an area for kids and families to take advantage of the waters that flow through the Park.

The team envisions a “fluid greenway” that provides everyone the opportunity to wade, swim or float down the creek and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding areas in a new and exciting way.