Reporting Christie Ileto
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Gwynns Run got a mass cleanup Friday. City workers hauled away tons of trash and debris from the watershed.
Christie Ileto explains how Friday’s cleaning puts only a dent into the problem.
With rakes and shovels in hand, workers and volunteers combed through plastics, papers and other debris at the Gwynns Run.
Phase one of a mass cleanup starts now.
“We’re going to pull all the debris off embankments, out of the water and out of the netting system that we already have,” said Alan Robinson, division chief of special services.
The stream, behind Carroll Park, is part of the Gwynns Run watershed. It gets stormwater runoff and debris from 1,000 acres of surrounding land.
Robinson says there’s so much trash that the cleanup will take longer than a day.
“We know that we’re only going to make a dent today, but a dent will chip away at the overall issue,” he said.
Officials couldn’t tell us just how much trash is down there. Right now they expect to fill at least two 40-yard dumpsters, if not more.
“If we don’t catch it here at Gwynns Run, then it falls into Gwynn Falls and then into Middle Branch,” explained Guy Hager, Parks and People Foundation.
Hager says the trash eventually ends up in the Chesapeake Bay.
“A lot of people see this site, and it’s not really pretty,” Hager said. “Cleaning this up is good for the environment, aesthetics and better impression for Baltimore City.”
The city says that unwanted trash is one of the reasons for the new state mandated stormwater fees.
“We’d rather capture it before it comes into our storm drain system,” said Kimberley Burgess, surface water management division chief.
And with proper funding, Public Works says they can later install more devices to catch trash before it becomes the big problem it is now.
Phases two and three will include cleaning up trash in the Gwynns Falls.