Buchanan steps up efforts to clean waterways

BUCHANAN, Mich. -- Buchanan officials and community members have been working to restore the McCoy Creek area for several years. The project is nearly complete and residents are pleased with the results.

A few years ago, the water in McCoy's Creek was murky and filled with trash.

Now, the water is clean and clear.

It's a place Morgan Cabanaw is proud to take her little brother.

"You can actually interact with everything, and it looks a lot better," said Morgan.

Recently, the city of Buchanan made it a priority to clean up their waterways so people can enjoy nature and take pride in their city.

"This is our water, this is what keeps us alive," said Donna Southwell, Special Projects Manager.

Southwell wears many hats in Buchanan but her passion is water.

She and others are restoring McCoy's Creek, and places like Pears Mill, but there's still a lot of work to do. Things like grass clippings and household chemicals are seeping in.

"We're not trying to punish our people, what we're trying to do is educate them, and get compliance that way without writing tickets," said Southwell.

If you're looking to give your car a good cleaning in Buchanan, you'll have to do it at the carwash, or your front lawn. City officials say they don't want any polluted water in the drain, to wind up here in a newly renovated creek.

"It happens a lot more than you think," said Southwell.

She's hoping other Michiana cities will be mindful of protecting their waterways.

Area creeks and streams are connected, so pollution in one part of the river affects others elsewhere.

The city says it's not at a point now where they'll issue fines, but they're close to doing so. They're hoping to take these next few months to educate residents before they start cracking down.

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