Valley Creek cleanup set for Saturday in Brighton

Valley Creek cleanup set for Saturday in Brighton
Councilor Barbara Watkins, far right front row, and other volunteers show a certificate of appreciation they received following a past cleanup in Brighton. (contributed)

The city of Brighton will host a Valley Creek Volunteer Cleanup Day from 8-11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18.

The work will include clearing rights of way and city property of trash or debris, especially along city streets. But the primary focus will be Oakdale Cemetery, according to City Councilor Barbara Watkins, one of the organizers for the cleanup.

“It doesn’t belong to the city of Brighton, but it’s in the city of Brighton and it’s an eyesore,” she said. “We ask all churches in the city of Brighton to send at least two volunteers to help, and also come if you have any family members at the Oakdale Cemetery. Bring weed trimmers and rakes, power saws … any tools that can be used to do yardwork.”

Valley Creek begins under downtown Birmingham (near UAB Hospital) and flows west to the Black Warrior River. In addition to Brighton, the 245-square-mile Valley Creek watershed includes parts of Bessemer, Birmingham, Fairfield, Hueytown, Lipscomb, Maytown, Midfield, North Johns, Pleasant Grove and Sylvan Springs.

The multiple cities support the cleanup every year, along with the Jefferson County Department of Public Health, the nonprofit Freshwater Land TrustAlabama Power and the affiliated Renew Our Rivers campaign, residents from across the county, and others.

This year’s annual Valley Creek cleanup was held in August, but because of a shortage of volunteers, Brighton’s portion was rescheduled for Sept. 18. Watkins appealed for volunteers to come and help.

“It’s important because we’re small in number, and our resources aren’t what other cities’ are,” she said. “We can’t afford to hire, so we need volunteers.”

Volunteers are asked to meet at Brighton Fire Station, 1215 Woodward St., at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18. All state health and safety guidelines will be followed for the protection of volunteers.

To register, contact Watkins at 205-428-9547.

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