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The East Ridge City Council accepts a $2,000 grant from Tennessee American Water Co. / Contributed photo by Amanda Bowers

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Chickamauga Creek cleanup

South Chickamauga Creek winds its way through East Ridge's Camp Jordan Park, alongside Concord Golf Club, and into Audubon Acres. But over the years, the creek has lost bank stabilization, downed trees have blocked the passage of canoes and litter has fallen into the water.

With a $2,000 environmental grant from Tennessee American Water, the city of East Ridge will invest in a heavy-duty cleanup effort later this year.

"It means a lot to take care of our natural resources, not only for recreation but for the wildlife, too," said Amanda Bowers, East Ridge's community involvement coordinator.

Bowers applied for the grant earlier this year, citing a much-needed creek cleanup. The money will go toward tools, refreshments for volunteers, and a watercraft that'll help volunteers remove debris from the water, she said.

The city hosts the annual Tennessee River Rescue the first Saturday of October to clean up Spring Creek, but Bowers said this grant will tackle the neglected South Chickamauga Creek.

"One of our key values is environmental leadership, and our environmental focus includes assisting residents and organizations involved in caring for natural resources. We believe all of us play a part in protecting our most precious resource of water," Tennessee American Water President Darlene Williams said in a news release.

Other local grant recipients include the Lookout Mountain Conservancy, to begin an environment- focused internship at The Howard School; Waterways, to offer environmental engineering training at Red Bank High School; the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, to bring over 800 volunteers to clean banks along the Tennessee River; and the Boys and Girls Club of Chattanooga, to help volunteers remove 2,000 pounds of trash from the Tennessee River.

Bowers said the city is planning the cleanup for late September or early October. She urged people interested in volunteering to apply via the city's website at eastridgetn.gov.

Contact Sabrina Bodon at sbodon@timesfreepress.com.

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