hand in water' The Veins of Life
Watershed Society

Cleanup of the Millstream Creek


      As part of the Veins of Life’s ongoing restoration of the Millstream, the Year 2000 E-Team spent one week cleaning up a section of the creek and bank. The area of the creek that was worked upon was found to be jammed with logs, thus impeding the flow of water (Figure 1). Large amounts of garbage were also found littered in the creek, and along the banks.
Figure 1: Log jams in the Millstream Creek impeding the flow of water



  • Chain saw
  • Hand saw
  • Fish net
  • Garbage bags
  • Waders
  • Rakes
  • Crow bar
  • PPE (steel-toed boots, hard hats, vests) 


The first step towards cleaning up the creek was to remove all garbage that was found in and surrounding the creek. The diversity of the garbage found included objects such as plastics, anti-freeze, food wrappers, tires, styrofoam, a children’s pool, metals, a large barrel, a toboggan, glass, foam, carpet, and large amounts of plywood. It was found that the most problematic
item to be removed was the styrofoam, as tiny pieces were found to cover the surface of the creek. Removal of the styrofoam was aided by the use of the fish net, which was used to skim the surface waters (Figure 2). 
Figure 2:  Diane and Crystal using a fish net to remove the styrofoam from Millstream Creek

In total, 560kg of garbage was removed from a small section of the creek (Figure 3).

Figure 3:  A small section of the pile of garbage that was removed

The garbage that was collected was brought to the Point Ellice dump, where it was separated and then recycled or safely disposed.  Besides the synthetic items that had to be cleared, it was also necessary to remove a number of log jams and loose debris in the creek to clear the waterway (Figure 4). 
Figure 4:  E-Team members hard at work removing the log jams

The larger of the logs were cut into manageable size pieces through use of the chain saw operated by qualified personnel outside the E-Team, while the smaller logs were cut using handsaws.  The cut logs were carried up the bank to the road, where piles were made for free firewood.  The loose debris in the creek was collected by hand, along with the usage of the rakes.  The debris was dispersed along the banks to help naturalize the area, and to cover up any paths that the team may have created. 
Figure 5:  Clean-up site in December, three months after debris was removed


Through the hard work of the teams, the Millstream Creek is now flowing naturally, and is more aesthetically pleasing.  The Year 2000 E-Team hopes that its efforts will help to enhance the trout habitat, and the beauty of the area. 


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