The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

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April 14, 2008

Groups, individuals work together to clear refuse from Arbuckle Creek

MINDEN — Over 40 volunteers met Saturday, April 5 at the Minden Community Center to participate in the daunting task of cleaning up trash in and around Arbuckle Creek, the creek that runs through Oak Hill to the historical coal town abutting the New River Gorge National River and reaching the New River at Thurmond. Arbuckle Creek was clear and running at a normal level in spite of predictions of heavy rains and flood watches for the previous three days.

Jesse Bibb, born in Minden, was the event coordinator with the support of the Kanawha Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter, Plateau Action Network and Minden Community Center. Minden residents Randy Propps, Frank Ward, Sue Hudson, Debbie Guffey, Ashley Smith, and Vickie and Jack Pizzino all pitched in, making the event a big success. Coffee and lunch was generously donated and prepared by the Minden Worship Center members, led by Lana Pittman, Pastor “Rocky” Pittman’s wife.

Bibb continues to encourage community members to join the fledgling organization, Arbuckle Creek Watershed Association. To learn more, contact him at 304 228-3650.

Volunteers retrieved refrigerators, televisions, a barber’s chair, commodes, a tail gate, swimming pools, tires, a dozen bikes and several large carpets. PAN volunteers Laura Ketchum and Eileen O'Neill worked on one carpet for about 30 minutes before they finally got it out of the creek. Eight people working together finally were able to pull a large swimming pool out of the creek after Larry Orr, a KVTU chapter member, stabbed it at least 15 times with his knife to let water and mud run out.

“It was an impressive showing of strong backs and fearless individuals volunteering to pull trash out of this little creek and its streambanks,” said Meredith Gregg, OSM-Vista for Plateau Action Network. “We collected over 150 bags (3000 pounds) of trash along with all the other junk.”

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