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NEWS | Jan. 31, 2020

Basura Bash heads into 10th year of Salado Creek cleanup

By Sarah Otto 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron

Feb. 15 will mark the 10th year of Joint Base San Antonio family heading out to Salado Creek Park at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston to grab a trash bag and get to work cleaning up the creek as a part of the annual Basura Bash!

The Basura Bash is a one-day, all-volunteer event to clean up the San Antonio Watershed from 8 a.m. to noon Feb. 15 at the Salado Creek Park.

Whenever stormwater flows instead of soaking into the ground (stormwater runoff), it goes to our creeks and rivers, picking up contaminants along the way. This is how the majority of pollutants end up in our waterways affecting plants, fish, animals and people. These are the waterways where we swim and fish, and where we get some of our drinking water.

Stormwater runoff brings all of the trash littered on the streets, as well as the chemicals on our lawns and driveways, and waste from our pets. Even soil and grass clippings can have an adverse effect on the aquatic life in our waterways.

Last year, more than 2,500 volunteers pitched in to clean 19 tributaries across San Antonio, collecting 19 tons of trash and recycling 8 tons of metal. Over 400 of those volunteers, including the Navy Medicine Training Support Center, 232nd Medical Battalion, PAC Program, NCOA, the Boy Scouts of America, Cole High School’s National Honor Society, along with several other military and family groups came out to help clean up at Salado Creek Park.

The Basura Bash is hosted by the 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron, and supported by the MWR Outdoor Rec Staff, the Operation’s Heavy Repair Shop, and many other individuals representing their units across JBSA.

Registration for the event is online at It is recommended that volunteers wear long pants, sturdy shoes or boots and bring bug repellent. Some parts of the creek will be well maintained, others will have light to dense brush. Kayaks will be available, thanks to outdoor recreation, for cleaning up the harder to reach spots of the creek.

Gloves, trash bags, and water will be provided for all volunteers. It is recommended that volunteers bring their own reusable water bottle, in order to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles thrown in the recycle bins. A light breakfast will also be provided by the City of San Antonio.

Thanks to those who have helped make this event a success for the past nine years, and we hope to see you again this year.

While the Basura Bash is a one-day event, people can help keep our waterways clean every day, by making sure trash makes it to the proper receptacles, that items in the bed of trucks are secured, that chemicals are cleaned from driveways, and pet waste picked up and disposed of.

For more information on the event, go to or call 210-671-0396. For more information on how to keep our storm drains clean for downstream, call 210-652-3314.