Community service is a major priority for the Rotary Club of Farragut and on a beautiful Saturday this past weekend a team of 12 from the club performed just such a service. They pulled on their waders around 9 a.m. and with tools in hand and gloves, began cleaning up a stretch of Big Turkey Creek along Kingston Pike that winds behind Costco.
It is, of course, an urban stream, winding through stands of trees, behind homes and businesses in the area, and surrounded by a wetland as it snakes toward Parkside Drive. It is narrow in some places, wider than you might expect in others, and deeper than it looks.
Farragut Rotary’s Projects Committee co-chair Mary Ann Imgram had a group of six Rotarians and six others who are family or friends working until around noon. The stream cleanup team included Rotarian John Hoffman; Rotarian Teri Jo Fox and her husband, Eric Whitener; club president-elect Keith Bryson; Rotarian Howard Fass; Rotarian Beverly Kobus and her daughter Melissa and her friend Sydney Viox, Rotarian Candace Viox’s daughter; Rotarian Yvonne Key and her husband Terry, and Caleb Key, Yvonne’s son.
Working with them was Abbie Casey, an AmeriCorps national service volunteer who spends much of her time walking the streams and creeks of the town of Farragut and helps coordinate the town’s Adopt-A-Stream program. The town furnished the team with waders and trash bags.
The team pulled from the creek a tire or two, a bed frame, a pool chair and several bags of just plain trash and a lot of various pieces of metal. And all of this came from only a 4/10-mile stretch of the creek. The creek flows south through Farragut for 10 miles and into Ft. Loudoun Lake near Concord Road.
“Some people treat our creeks like landfills, throwing things over their back fences into the creek just to get rid of it,” Abbie said.
In one creek she found a full swing set that she said looked very new. “This was in Village Green and it was in good condition. We’ve found concrete blocks, bathroom tiles, asphalt, tires galore, old solar lights people use on their driveways and yards, tire rims and chairs.”
The town’s creeks and streams are also home to what is now listed as a “Near Threatened” fish species, the Flame Chub, a small (3-inch maximum) fish.
Big Turkey Creek also helps support wildlife in the Farragut area – deer, beavers, raccoons, opossum and skunks, to name a few.
Rotary’s motto for this year is “Making a Difference.” Projects like this make a difference in our community!