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Volunteers Clean Berkshire Portion of Bread and Cheese Creek

More than 120 volunteers worked for six hours on Sept. 15 to pick up trash and clear debris from the Dundalk creek.

By John Long
President and Founder, Clean Bread and Cheese Creek

More than 121 volunteers from Clean Bread and Cheese Creek worked from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 15 to clean the Berkshire portion of the waterway.

The crew cut up and removed eight fallen trees that were blocking the flow of the stream and filled a forty-yard dumpster with trash and debris collected from the stream and its banks.

Volunteers filled 475 trash bags and collected more than 2,000 pounds of metal, which included six shopping carts, five unused shotgun shells, five full cans of spray paint, three bicycles, two scooters, two tire rims and a port hole. Other trash collected included two television sets, a recliner, a car battery, a lawnmower, a concrete donkey, five tires, three cell phones and much, much more!

Thank you Ocean Conservancy for your support which helped us with this incredible success!
 
Your efforts have not only made a huge impact on the appearance of Historic Bread and Cheese Creek in the North Point area, we have also taken another step toward restoring the environmental health of the Back River Watershed and the Chesapeake Bay. 

None of this could have been accomplished without the hard work of all our volunteers and our generous supporters!

We wish to thank all our wonderful sponsors for all their support! Please support their business and organizations as they have supported us! We couldn’t have done it without you and our wonderful volunteers!

  •      The Ocean Conservancy provided some water, trash bags and other much needed supplies.
  •      Sun Products Corporation provided trash bags, gloves and other much needed supplies.
  •      American Rivers provided trash bags.
  •      Entenmanns Discount Bakery Outlet of Dundalk donated sweets and snacks for our volunteers.
  •     Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (DEPS) provided us with a two-man crew to assist with removing fallen trees on Friday.
  •     Baltimore County Highways provided us with a Dumpster for all the trash.
  •     Charlie’s Discount Foods donated all the condiments for lunch.
  •     The Baltimore County Geocache Club ran a raffle for a handheld GPS unit at the cleanup with proceeds going to the cleanup.
  •     Michelle Barth and Carrie Copple made and donated baked ziti and macaroni salad.
  •     Bernie Wesolowski prepared and served the pit beef, pit turkey and veggie burgers.
  •     John Wozniak donated more than 300 rolls.
  •     A private donor generously donated a check to help pay some of our expenses.
  •    Team HellCamino Racing supplied several tools, lots of labor and even bought lunch for us during the cleanup prep.
  •     Gold’s Gym Dundalk (our longest sponsor!), through Manager Raina Dewald, advertised our cleanup and supplied volunteers.
  •     Gotugo generously discounted the price on one of their portable toilets once again.
  •     Constellation Energy, Towson University and Circle K and the Boy Scouts all provided lots of hardworking volunteers!
  •     ALL OUR VOLUNTEERS – We couldn’t do any of this without you!


If we forgot your business or organization, please accept our apologies and contact us.  We will certainly make sure you are acknowledged and thanked in our next newsletter, our FaceBook Page and our Website!

View more pictures taken before, during and after the cleanup.

Al Day September 20, 2012 at 04:16 PM
I've never heard of bread and cheese creek. Must be a local thing. How did all the debris accumulate? Isn't there any monitoring of this waterway? It might be nice to try and find the culprits and make them clean it up. No volunteers would be needed plus the perps would be slow to do it again. Without that it sounds to me like a vicious cycle.
Bread and Cheese Creek September 20, 2012 at 04:43 PM
There is some dumping, usually from contractors and done behind shopping centers or at the end of the roads late at night. However, most of the trash and debris is due to the outdated stormwater management employed in the Dundalk area. All of the highways, roads, shopping centers and parking lots are designed to drain directly into the stream with no buffer zone in between. By today's standards, this practice is illegal; however the current drainage system has been "grandfathered". Baltimore County has updates its stormwater management systems in most of the rest of the county, but has informed us they do not have the money to upgrade our area. To make matters worse, the high water flow is causing large scale erosion carrying tons of sediment along with the trash into our bay and causing millions of dollars in damage to the property of land owners along the creek. Most of the trash we find is fast food packaging, plastic / glass bottles, plastic bags and similar items that can easily wash in during a rainstorm. Without the efforts of all our incredible volunteers all this trash will flow into Back River, and the Chesapeake Bay. Until Baltimore County retrofits our stormwater management systems, we will need to continue with our cleanups. We are very grateful for all who assist and support our efforts.
Tony Solesky September 20, 2012 at 10:02 PM
What an amazing turn out. Very uplifiting story and speaks so much of how things only ever really will and do get done.
me September 21, 2012 at 04:48 PM
This is to Al Day above. I pickup alot of trash in the Bershire area. There is alot of trash at the school bus stops. I clean it up and a week later it is trashed again. Remember this is school kids and our future. They are not being taught by their parents about being clean or considerate. But if you look at some of the houses in that area you can see why the kids are the way they are. If the parents are not setting a good example how do you expect the kids do know any better. If you have any suggestions please let me know.
Al Day September 21, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Third time posting this due to site problems. To 'me' the answers are simple. But require we all get involved. Use scouting programs (brownie, girl, boy, cub). They have merits for cleaning up rather than messing up. Urge the schools to inform about scouting programs (they generally will help). Mentor to kids from broken homes or dysfunctional homes. Be positive. It's contagious. Go to pta meetings and find out what is going on inside those places. Many teachers and administrators are being overwhelmed by the amount of mayhem all around them. We need to encourage them as well. Second off get the police involved with patroling these areas. Encourage them to get involved. Form neighborhood groups to encourage them. We did okay with the same laws and facilities/storm drains many years ago with no problems merely by enforcing good community values. The problem isn't the lack of updated storm drains. We all need to take pride in what we have instead of carping about what we think we need or want.
Bread and Cheese Creek September 21, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Mr. Day, we did not do okay in the past with pollution. All of the appliances, furniture, bath tubs and large household goods found in the creek at the back of private homes were put there by previous generations of home owners who did not think there was a problem with throwing these items they did not haul to the dump into a local waterway. We rarely find these items behind people’s home now because they do know it is wrong. While we agree more education on recycling and proper waste disposal is a necessity and will help with our trash problem significantly, it will not stop the motor oil, gas, anti-freeze and dozens of other toxic chemical which leak form vehicles and machinery and then are directly carried into our waterways because of our current outdated stormwater management systems in the creek. Updating the Stormwater management will help with the excessive nutrient problem (A Chesapeake bay TMDL value) in the Chesapeake Bay due to lawn fertilizers as well as all the trash coming from overflowing dumpsters behind the shopping centers and the trash spilled from garbage trucks when doing pickups.
Bread and Cheese Creek September 21, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Additionally, updating our current stormwater management systems will also stop the millions of dollars in damage being caused to property owners who live along our waterways from massive erosion due to these streams being forced to continuously carry excessive volumes of fast moving water. This erosion causes trees to fall (One of these trees broke the Back River Trash boom last year) further blocking up the stream and a large amount of sediment (Another Chesapeake Bay TMDL value) to flow into Back River and the Chesapeake Bay. So while I completely agree with you that education and personal responsibility is imperative, I believe an upgraded stormwater management system (like those received by other parts of Baltimore County) is equally of paramount importance for the health of our community and the Chesapeake Bay.
Al Day September 21, 2012 at 10:18 PM
The problem was identified as shopping carts, port holes etc. I don't feel changes to the storm drains will significantly help with those issues. I worked for the save the bay foundation and the problem was identified as having two main prongs. One was lawn fertilizer run-off (chem-lawn etc) which promoted plant growth on the bottom which then depleted the oxygen. The second was bilge being pumped out of ships using the bay with various assorted toxic chemicals and lubricants. Storm drain size and condition did not factor into this equation. Just for your information, no system could contain the natural flow of storm run-off adaquately and to even try would be a large waste of money. That is taxpayers money which is a tad bit short these days. Stopping the problems at the source was identified as the solution and the only solution that would affect change. But again we're not talking about save the bay issues here, but rather large debris being tossed. And again that is the responsibility of those who enforce the law. Without the law there is nothing that can work. Which was my point. We need to build healthy communities where folks realize the importance of adherence to the laws.
Bread and Cheese Creek September 22, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Mr. Day since you previously worked for “Save the Bay Foundation” I am very surprised this is the first you have heard of Bread and Cheese Creek. Since 2009 our creek has been identified by the Baltimore County Small Watershed Action Plan (SWAP) as one of the most polluted tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Additionally we regularly work with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the Ocean Conservancy, American Rivers as well as many other similar organizations who do believe retrofitting our current stormwater management system would significantly decrease the trash, erosion and chemical infiltration going directly into Bread and Cheese Creek. Furthermore, most of Baltimore County has already had their stormwater management systems retrofitted; do you not believe the people of Dundalk should receive the same benefit of the other residents of Baltimore County? Lastly, since you have admittedly only recently heard of our creek, I invite you to attend our next cleanup in the stream, walk its length (as we do regularly), spend some time working alongside the volunteers giving up their time to save this beautiful little stream, talk to all the neighbors who live along the stream and hear of their property damage and how they still pay taxes on land that no longer exists

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