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Volunteers clean Willow Creek

COCC students, others

by: Photo by Joe McHaney - Above, Central Oregon Community College student Mike Richardson, of Bend, assists in the Willow Creek cleanup project, hosted by six COCC students on May 28. The students and others cleared 2,000 pounds of trash along a two-mile stretch of the Willow Creek.

A team of six Central Oregon Community College students organized and hosted a Willow Creek cleanup day May 28.
   Headed by Madras' Brandon Dubisar, the team and its volunteers removed 2,000 pounds of trash that included 20 tires, three huge corrugated tubes and 75 bags of trash.
   "We just wanted to clean up Willow Creek Canyon," Dubisar said.
   The team covered two miles downstream starting at the Madras Public Works building.
   "Volunteers contributed so much to our efforts, and I'm deeply moved by their resolve and determination," Dubisar said.
   The team had local businesses chip in as well to their project. Papa Murphy's, Erickson's, Middleton Septic Pump Service and Madras Sanitary Service all donated services or products to support the cause.
   "We were able to hand out free pizzas and other goods to those that helped volunteer," said Linda Newland of Bend, who was one of the COCC students.
   Dubisar said the local businesses were key to the project's success.
   "Without all the contributions from Madras' businesses and the Madras City Public Works, we could not have done this to the level he had," Dubisar said. "As a local resident, I have a new appreciation for the willingness of local people to give back when they can."
   Sally Miller of Madras spent a good portion of the day picking up trash.
   "I live above Willow Creek and I like to hike this area," Miller said. "This is my neighborhood and I wanted to help out."
   Rich Botto recently moved to Madras and he also volunteered.
   "I just like to get involved and I felt this was a good way to help clean up Willow Creek," Botto said.
   A wide range of volunteers turned out, according to Dubisar. A 12-year-old Boy Scout turned out and worked hard.
   "Marcello came out thinking other members of his troop would be there," Dubisar said of the Boy Scout. "He was the only one who showed, but impressed us all with continued focus to get trash out."
   The COCC students began working on the project at the beginning of the term.
   "We had to learn about the logistics of putting something like this together," said Mike Richardson of Bend, who is one of the COCC students. "This has been a tremendous learning experience."