July 24, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Champion Creek needs champions

A1 mg color 5cols 060609creek2jt.jpgLee Schmid of Granger Township wades across Champion Creek as part of cleanup day June 6, 2009, at Roscoe Ewing Park in Medina. Schmid, a member of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, teamed with neighborhood residents and members of the Rocky River Watershed Council to patrol the creek for trash. (Gazette file photo)

MEDINA — After winning a bet, Ward 3 Councilman Mark Kolesar is preparing for this year’s Champion Creek Clean Up Day with a little help from Brunswick.

Set for June 5, volunteers will clear the creek of litter starting at Roscoe Ewing Park off Guilford Boulevard. Kolesar is sponsoring the event with the Brunswick Green Advisory Group, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and the Rocky River Watershed Council.

On Monday, Ed Kelly, chairman of the Brunswick Green Advisory Group, informed City Council that his group lost a bet with Kolesar regarding who could get the most volunteers for their separate spring park cleanup days in April.

The advisory group helps to “inform citizens of all green issues in the city and adjoining areas,” Kelly said.

“In this case, since we lost, I’m volunteering to come out and bring as many people from Brunswick to help the councilman on Champion Creek,” Kelly said, noting Medina had 180 volunteers show up to clean the city’s parks in April.

Kolesar is asking residents to volunteer to help. Trash bags and gloves will be provided.

“This cleanup is going to be a little more intense than the park cleanup. You will be most likely getting wet and getting your feet wet in the creek,” he said.

But by cleaning the creek, residents will be helping to improve an already important community resource.

“It’s a real community asset,” said Bill Jordan, associate field director at the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. “It’s a place where families and others can reconnect with nature. It’s worthy of our efforts to keep it in as natural condition as possible.”

Kolesar said the creek cleanup will give participants a better understanding of what the creek has to offer Medina.

“We plan on cleaning the creek from Guilford Boulevard west. And when I say west, I mean we’re going to be going through the East Smith corridor section. … Come out and see why we want to preserve this area. It gives you a great opportunity to understand the topography of the land and understand how the creek plays a role through there.”

Kolesar was referencing the Smith Road/Champion Creek Development Plan, a proposal for redeveloping the area south of Public Square that’s home to several large commercial properties for sale.

The plan involves extending the Roscoe-Ewing Multi Use Trail, which ends at Guilford Boulevard, through Nichols Park and into the development plan area. The trail would follow Champion Creek in parts, which roughly follows the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway tracks.

“Champion Creek eventually flows into the West Branch of the Rocky River, which flows into the Rocky River and then into Lake Erie,” Kolesar said. “The city of Medina receives its water supply from Lake Erie through Avon Lake, so the water that we send down there we’re most likely pumping back to drink.

“So it’s not only from an environmental aspect, it’s also for the health and safety of our community,” he said.

Contact Kaitlin Bushinski at (330) 721-4050 or kbushinski@medina-gazette.com.