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Home : News : News
NEWS | Feb. 20, 2014

Volunteers sought for creek cleanup at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston

By Robert Goetz Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

For the last two decades, the annual Basura Bash Waterways Cleanup for the San Antonio area has united thousands of volunteers who collected nearly 430 tons of trash and more than 44 tons of recyclable items.

For the first time this year, volunteers throughout Joint Base San Antonio will participate in the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Basura Bash at Salado Creek Park, which is set for 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. The cleanup will be preceded by volunteer check-in at 8 a.m. and a safety briefing at 8:45 a.m. The event will also include a performance by the Air Force Band of the West.

"Volunteers at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston are doing this for the fourth year," Brian Harvey, JBSA water quality manager, said. "This is the first time it's spread across JBSA, so we're trying to get more people involved."

The cleanup of Salado Creek at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston is part of a citywide effort focused on the tributaries of the San Antonio River. Last year's citywide Basura Bash drew more than 2,800 volunteers.

Archie Cooper, JBSA pollution prevention manager who is coordinating the JBSA effort, said the Salado Creek cleanup has paid dividends for the park at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.
"There has been an obvious reduction in four years," he said. "The amount of debris has become less and less."

The kinds of items that have been removed from the banks of Salado Creek range from paper products, aluminum cans and syringes to traffic cones, trash cans and clothing, Cooper said. Much of it is trash, but some of the items can be recycled.

"Anything that can be recycled is recycled," he said.

Harvey said many of the objects are washed to the creek area from parking lots and other surfaces during times of heavy rainfall.

"It's debris that's not supposed to be there," he said. "The purpose of the cleanup is to keep a healthy environment."

Cooper said the Basura Bash at Salado Creek effort is seeking volunteers from JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph.

Cooper encouraged JBSA community members and military retirees who would like to volunteer for the cleanup at Salado Creek Park to sign up on the Basura Bash website,, by clicking on the registration link on the main web page and following the six-step instructions. Prospective volunteers should select Salado Creek-Fort Sam Houston in Step 2.

He also said volunteers should wear long pants, sturdy shoes, gloves, a hat and sunscreen, and may bring their own cleanup gear, such as waders, trash grabbers and nets. Participants under 18 must have a parent or guardian onsite and drop-offs will not be allowed.

For more information, call Cooper at 652-0181.