Tuesday, May 17, 2022 May 17, 2022
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Mother Nature Called. She Wants Her Creek Back.

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Local photographer Justin Terveen wants to get this mess cleaned up so he can enjoy his kayak trips. Photo by Justin Terveen.

Instead of assuming its natural ecological role, White Rock Creek is backed up, literally. The waters are stagnant thanks to a debris build-up that resembles a smorgasbord of mixed concrete and algae. Sounds picturesque, right?

Well, for Dallas-based photographer Justin Terveen (a local favorite of D’s editorial staff), the creek has become a focal point both professionally and personally. After getting into kayaking, Terveen set out to get White Rock Creek moving again for paddle-goers and Mother Nature alike.

This Saturday, he is hosting a White Rock Creek Trash Bash (yes, that’s a bash involving trash). The event will kick off at 8 a.m. from Olive Shapiro Park. From there, volunteers will walk on over to the creek, equipped with nets, trash grabbers, and watercraft to attack the pesky piles.

“It needs to be done,” Terveen says. “And we need people to assemble to get the creek maintainable again.”

In his photographs, the debris-sprinkled surface of White Rock Creek looks like a concert venue floor after a sold-out Friday show. The pieces have piled up against fallen trees, which will be removed by the Trinity Watershed Management team after Saturday’s cleanup.

Terveen, who had been looking to get as much support from the city as possible, was finally successful in securing the Trinity Watershed Management team’s assistance thanks to former Dallas City Council member Angela Hunt and council member Philip Kingston. After contacting Hunt, Terveen says both she and her husband, Paul, were instrumental in getting their cleanup effort the departmental help necessary to remove heavy trees and debris. This should help prevent future trash buildup.

In preparation for the event, Terveen has started to break up the piles at the creek. Volunteers are needed to not only get in watercraft but also stand along the edges of the water and collect freed debris. Warning: it’ll be a good, messy time. And, if you’re lucky enough to find one of the strangest objects, you could win a prize.

To join in on the fun, go to the event’s Facebook page.

Nina Bolka is a D Magazine intern.