Last week Jody and I took a peek at the section of Beargrass Creek south fork underneath the 264 underpass after another week of heavy rain and storms.
The water levels had gone down, exposing lots of trash and waste such as shopping carts, plastic bags, wrappers, and containers.
Here's a map to give you an idea of the area in which this is happening. The red circle is the section near the Kemmons alley (in yellow) behind Turtle Creek apartments where we check out Beargrass Creek about once a week. As you can see, upstream is the large shopping center where Kroger, Walmart, Target, Burlington, and Lowe's are located. This is where much of the shopping carts, trash, and waste get washed downstream from.
Many of the trees and plants along the bank of this section of the creek are dead or dying. Much of the bank has eroded into steep drop offs, making it impossible for anything to grow. The plants that are managing to grow are being suffocated with trash and litter. A lot of soil continues to be eroded away, exposing roots of trees.
Although our mistreatment of the ecosystem is disheartening, the area is still fairly active with local wildlife. Swallows and other birds are nesting underneath the underpass feeding on bugs and insects. There were a few fish of varying sizes exploring the nooks and crannies of the creek, and even deer trails leading through the foliage with signs of browsing in between the creek and hotel!
Life definitely persists within this section of Beargrass Creek, although the trash and pollution are not doing it any favors. We at Beargrass Thunder are currently organizing and coordinating efforts to walk along the creek and attempt to remove any trash and litter we come across, and hopefully take some samples along the way. I'm sure we will come across some very interesting stuff.