VOLUNTEER CREW TO CLEAN UP OUTLAW DUMP

May 12, 2001 12:00 am
GETTING READY: Gayle Lee, foreground, and Dave Dahlstrom of the La Grande Ranger District rummage through years of illegally dumped trash at Pelican Creek Thursday. The Forest Service along with community volunteers will take three days to complete the cleanup project next weekend. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).
GETTING READY: Gayle Lee, foreground, and Dave Dahlstrom of the La Grande Ranger District rummage through years of illegally dumped trash at Pelican Creek Thursday. The Forest Service along with community volunteers will take three days to complete the cleanup project next weekend. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).

By Alice Perry Linker

Observer Staff Writer

You look down the slope toward the creek and see rusting car bodies, old refrigerators and other discarded appliances.

Thats the view from a road above Pelican Creek, a fish-

bearing tributary of Five Points Creek near Hilgard. If you try to walk along the quarter-mile or so near the draw, youll probably stumble over rusted cans, broken glass and other trash.

The garbage dump sits on U.S. Forest Service land. Working with the Forest Service, a former Eastern Oregon University student has organized a major clean-up of the draw May 19.

Lanelle Connolly, a 1999 Eastern graduate who now lives in Portland, first learned about the dump while doing a stream research project as a university student. When she realized the magnitude of the trash pile, she decided to find a way to clean it up.

Connolly said she wrote a proposal for the Forest Service and petitioned Hilgard residents for support. Then she called SOLV, the volunteer Oregon group that sponsors clean-up activities along beaches, parks and other public areas.

SOLV, which provided information and brochures, designated the Pelican Creek Area as part of its down by the riverside clean-up day May 19. The universitys Biology Club is a co-sponsor of the event, and volunteers are coming from other organizations, including the Boy Scouts.

Connolly has planned a drawing for gifts and a free barbecue as rewards for the hard work that will be needed to get rid of the trash.

Local businesses have donated gifts for a drawing, she said.

Volunteers are asked to sign up ahead of the work day. To volunteer, call the Biology Club at 962-4376 (GERM). Please leave your name and phone number, Connolly said.

We need a head count for supplies, water and so well know how many will be at the barbecue, she said.

Volunteers will meet at 8:45 a.m. May 19 at the confluence of Pelican and Five Points creeks. The clean-up will end at 1 p.m.