Patty Bolian - [Spring 2016]
Creek Week Cleanup
Creek Week Cleanup is an annual litter and debris cleanup event directed by the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District. The Fountain Creek watershed is a 927-square mile area that includes Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Woodland Park, and Pueblo. With the help of volunteers, local businesses, and community leaders, hundreds of people gather across our community to pick up trash that causes pollution, disturbs wildlife, and damages our water system. Last year, 1,550 volunteers collected over 9.3 tons of litter and debris! This year, our goal is to engage 2,000 volunteers and collect 12 tons of litter. Creek Week is a nine-day project, and this year it kicks off on September 24 and goes through October 2, 2016.
Why are you interested in sustainability?
Prior to moving from the South, I did not have the slightest idea or interest in sustainability. Living in beautiful Colorado Springs and attending classes at UCCS exposed me to all sorts of green efforts - from recycling, composting, to energy and water conservation. For two years, I witnessed the passion and determination of the sustainability department to educate students like me through fun, informative events such as Mt. Thrashmore where I learned the effects of waste and importance of recycling. As a result, I began recycling at home and was shocked at the quantity I was producing each week. This experience has snowballed into a bigger concern for the environment and how my modern way of life affects my community and the needs of future generations. I look forward to learning more about sustainability and encouraging others to do the same.
What is your favorite part of the Internship Program?
My favorite part of this internship program has been learning and meeting new people who are passionate about preserving our natural resources. Through the Creek Week Cleanup project, I have met amazing community leaders who work hard and give freely of their time to ensure the success of a great mission. Although the cleanup event is still months away, I have been able to reach out to local businesses, participate in steering committee meetings, and do outreach events. As a recent business grad, this has allowed me to network, practice marketing and organization, and learn about how businesses and non-profit organizations work together to promote community wellbeing. There is still much to do for this year's cleanup, and I'm excited to see it through!