A branch of Clear Creek runs alongside and through McDoel Gardens, though until recently it looked more like a drainage ditch than a real creek. The reason for its transformation? McDoel resident Paul Ash spearheaded a plan to have the neighborhood "adopt" the creek through a program run by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Under the program, the section of the creek in McDoel is cleaned up twice a year. McDoel was the first neighborhood association to adopt a river or creek under the DNR's program.
The first several cleanups have been highly productive, with items such as grocery carts and car parts fished out by stoic volunteers. The creek has been so persistantly used as a dumping grounds over the years that clean-ups are still producing a large quantity of debris.
The winter creek clean-up has been aided by City of Bloomington's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day project grants, which have been used to provide gloves and bags and other supplies, and allowed use of dumpsters set up to receive the "loot."
The youth group at McDoel Baptist Church has generously contributed their labor and cheerful attitudes to the clean-ups, as well, another way in which the church stands out as a very good neighbor.
These photos show neighborhood and church volunteers braving January cold to clean up the creek on Martin Luther King Day.