SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Clean Up & Poster Contest
By Jerry Cegelske


June 03, 2007

People have been at work the last two months trying to clean up the Whitman Creek area and South Tongass highway. There are several spots where people have dumped cars, trucks, and trash over the last 40 years or so. Now it is time to clean these areas up and hopefully keep them clean.

jpg parts of vehicles

Parts of vehicles removed from the shores of George Inlet.

Last summer the Borough received a $35,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the Southeast Alaska Coastal Conservation Program and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program to remove much of the solid waste which is not able to be cleaned up by volunteers. In cleaning up the vehicles and trash, we will hopefully remove some eyesores and decrease the pollution going into the ocean. In picking up the trash along the road, we have collected bottles of acid, bleach, and deck cleaner as well as other materials which should not be dumped along the road.

Wade Purdy of Purdy's Totem Towing has been pulling junk cars from the shores of George Inlet along S. Tongass. They aren't pretty when he gets them to the road. Some have been left along the road due to the construction problems and delays, but Wade will get them out of there soon. They are something different for the tourists to look at.

In an attempt to keep people from dumping more material once we get the areas cleaned up, we will put some signs in these locations. Since we don't seem to have much luck using the standard government provided signs, I asked the kids at Fawn Mountain Elementary school to provide some posters we could laminate and place at the dumping sites. Maybe people will pay attention to their desires and signs.

jpg poster contest

Some of the students that entered the contest.

I asked Principal Barb Roberts what the school would like as a reward for their assistance and hard work. Barb replied that they would like some trees for landscaping around the school. On Tuesday, May 29th I picked up the posters and formed a committee to review and select the winners of the poster contest. On the Thursday I met with Barb and the children and announced the winners. It was interesting that there was a brother and sister who each won a prize. The prizes consisted of two arborvitae, two apple trees, four Japanese maples, and three mugho pines which were donated by North Shore Gardens, Wal-Mart, and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.

jpg trees given as prizes

The trees given as prizes for the winners of the poster contest for donation to the school. A name plaque will be by each tree donated by a student for their contribution.

While many of the people in the community, older than the students, refuse to change their ways and continue to litter, allow trash to be blown from their trucks, and don't take care of their trash, it was encouraging to see the children's ideas on what they thought needed to be done to keep Ketchikan clean. It was rewarding to see the children's enthusiasm while I showed them the winning posters and explained what we would be doing with them. Maybe they have that enthusiasm because they will be inheriting the world we leave for them, and they would like it a in a little cleaner than it is now.

Jerry Cegelske
Ketchikan, AK

Received May 31, 2007 - Published June 03, 2007


Winning Posters








Cleanup Photographs


A truck bed with trash in it from the shores of George Inlet.


One of the junk cars removed by Wade Purdy as part of the Fish and Wildlife Grant to clean up the Whitman Creek area and S. Tongass areas.


Another vehicle discarded for others to take care of...

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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska