Bearden Rotarians clean up Fourth Creek

Tracy Haun OwensFeature, West Knox

Donning waders and work gloves, garbage bags in hand, about a dozen volunteers from the Rotary Club of Bearden tackled the cleanup of Fourth Creek in West Knoxville Sept. 8. It was the 12th annual work day at the stream, said organizer John Heins.

“It takes about two hours, and we have fun doing it,” Heins said.

Volunteers worked from Walden Drive (on the east side of Northshore) to Sacred Heart Cathedral, where the creek crosses to the west side of the road, and down to where the creek intersects with Westland.  Plastic bags and flattened cans nestled in the streambed as volunteers went in after them.

Heins says that during the first couple of years of cleanup, volunteers removed large objects that had likely sat there for years: engine blocks, washing machines. Every year the creek is a little cleaner, thanks in large part to the heavy work that the club has already done.

“Clean water is one of our avenues of focus,” Heins says. “This fits right into what we try to do.”

Volunteers included current Rotary Club of Bearden president Wayne Underwood and others who have been part of the team in years past. New to the gathering, prospective Rotary member Libby Derting was a Rotary International scholar out of the Bearden club in 1995 -96. Working on such projects, she says, is a chance to repay in service the opportunities the club gave her.

The Rotary Club of Bearden normally meets Fridays from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. at Bearden Banquet Hall, 5806 Kingston Pike, and the club is actively seeking new members. You can learn more on the group’s Facebook page at

Members of Rotary Club of Bearden get ready to clean up Fourth Creek.

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