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Several logs and tree branches litter the creek bed of Contrary Creek in southern St. Joseph. The Contrary Creek Cleanup Group hopes to clear debris like trash and trees along much of the creek.

Some St. Joseph residents are taking the initiative to clean up Contrary Creek.

Several South Side community members are pooling efforts to tidy up the creek, leading to the birth of the Contrary Creek Community Cleanup group a few days ago.

Business owner and residents already are showing interest, co-organizer Aaron Armstrong said.

“We’re asking for any agencies and businesses out there to join us,” he said. “This is something that affects everybody. It’s not just the South Side we’re talking about, we’re now talking about the water in that creek that leads to drinking water, so it’s pretty serious all the way around.”

Multiple lawn care services and tree trimming companies have contacted the group, Armstrong said. He hopes that the group can borrow a wood chipper as well to dispose of trees.

Around 10 volunteers have made the commitment so far, co-organizer Erin Ganote said. Around 30 volunteers would be ideal for cleanup, as well as having a few nurses on hand in case something goes wrong.

“We’ve had a lot of people reach out that want to help, that want to donate food, that want to help us with the supplies that we need,” she said. “We just need more people with chainsaws to come down, and trucks and a winch, and some strong bodies to help us because together we are strong.”

There also will be liability waivers for volunteers to sign before working, Armstrong said.

“Obviously if you don’t sign, we can’t put you out there,” he said. “We just can’t.”

The waivers and food supplies will be located at the group’s starting point and command center on Parker Road near Ollmeda Street, Armstrong said.

The goal is to start in early June and finish before summer ends, he said.

“Hopefully we can get it done by end of August, September maybe,” he said. “Hopefully, that’d be ideally, but honestly we may be starting this right now in June and maybe going into next season of spring and summer still working on it.”

The group is on Facebook as Contrary Creek “The Forgotten Federally Protected Waterway.”

Alexander Simone can be reached at alex.simone@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter at @np_simone.

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