Staunton Wants to Clean Up Creek

By: Damon Dillman
By: Damon Dillman

Asylum Creek that runs past Bessy Weller Elementary. The Gum Spring Branch that cuts through Gypsy Hill Park and right under city hall. Like just about every other waterway in Staunton, both feed into Lewis Creek.

"There's a little bit that comes in from outside," said city council member David Metz. "But essentially, we're basically, the city of Staunton is essentially the Lewis Creek watershed."

And according to state and federal conservationists, that watershed is a mess.

"Lewis Creek, technically, is so polluted that you really shouldn't wade in it," said Robert Whitescarver, district conservationist for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service center in Verona.

That's why on Thursday night, city council approved the creation of a citizen committee that Whitescarver says can come up with a plan to clean the watershed.

"This is easy to do, and we have the money to do it," he said Friday. "But we need some coordination."

Said Metz, "My feeling is that we have an obligation to our posterity to essentially try to clean it up."

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