The Eden Park Drain Cleanup and Storm Drain Marking event will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. Check-in will be located behind the Jack Robey Junior High School gymnasium on Main Street and 38th Avenue.


Students from Jack Robey and area volunteers will participate in the effort, according to a news release.


“Roadside ditches accumulate many kinds of trash, from tossed items out of vehicles to illegal dumping, that is carried by stormwater into nearby lakes, rivers and bayous. Community volunteer events are excellent ways to educate on and prevent this type of watershed pollution,” according to the release.


The event will also serve an educational purpose about storm drains.


“Saturday’s volunteers will not only be removing trash from the community, but will be participating in the first ‘Make Your Mark’ program event, aimed at increasing awareness of what storm drains are. This city-wide program uses colorful storm drain markers with the message ‘Flows To Waterways’ to educate local citizens that anything other than stormwater going down the drain can have negative impacts on our environment,” according to the release.


Main Street, behind Jack Robey is part of the Eden Park Drain that flows into the Bayou Bartholomew about a quarter mile south of the school, according to Christine Cooley, urban stormwater extension agent in Jefferson County for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.


“I think that the students and other volunteers participating in the event will gain a strong sense of connection between storm drains and general stormwater dynamics as they follow the water trial by marking the drains, picking up litter along the ditches, and then reaching the Eden Park Drain to see it flowing to the bayou,” Cooley said.


Partners in the cleanup are the city of Pine Bluff, Keep Arkansas Beautiful and Jefferson County Solid Waste.


To learn more about participating in this event or how to protect water quality, contact Christine Cooley at the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service, 870-534-1033, ccooley@uaex.edu or visit www.uaex.edu.


The Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture which offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without discrimination.