PUEBLO—The City of Pueblo has scheduled a comprehensive clean-up and outreach effort at Fountain Creek to address the growing concerns of trash and individuals experiencing homelessness at the river bottom. The multi-day clean-up effort beginning Oct. 17, includes many community partners to address the growing concern of safety and environmental health.
Although City of Pueblo Code Enforcement normally is dedicated to the health, safety, welfare and quality of life within neighborhoods and private property, this area at Fountain Creek has been identified as a concern for City Officials, residents and business owners. Code Enforcement has taken the lead to help organize the team of community partners to assist with the efforts for the clean-up.
“We know how unsightly the Fountain Creek area has been for members of our community, so this clean-up looks to address that issue like we do with many of our clean-up events held throughout the year,” said Mayor of Pueblo Nick Gradisar. “The City of Pueblo’s biggest concern is the safety and health of the individuals in Pueblo and the protection of our waterway. We know this clean-up will provide much needed outreach and the environmental protection in the area.”
The Pueblo Police Department, City of Pueblo Code Enforcement, Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, City of Pueblo Stormwater Department, Pueblo Department of Public Works, Pueblo Parks and Recreation, Pueblo Fire Department, Pueblo Triple Aim and Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment all are working together at Fountain Creek. In addition to the clean-up, community partners will work to speak to and provide outreach for the individuals experiencing homelessness in order to better meet their needs and connect them with resources.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity to partner with many community organizations to make this clean-up successful,” said Code Enforcement Manager Karen Willson. “This clean-up is for the safety, well-being and cleanliness of our Pueblo community and to protect the Fountain Creek environment.”
Heavy equipment such as loaders and skid steers will be used to help haul away trash in the area of CO 47 and Highway 50 Bypass. Dumpsters will be in the area to assist with the clean-up effort. After the conclusion of the clean-up, boulders will be placed to discourage individuals from driving into the area and creating hazardous or unsafe conditions by camping or living in the area.
This collaborative clean-up event includes outreach from local law enforcement officials to notify the individuals occupying and living in the area of the intended clean-up dates prior to the start date of Oct. 17. The Chief of Pueblo Police Department spoke about the collaborative effort involved for the clean-up.
“We take our role in maintaining the safety of all our citizens seriously and projects like this clean-up allow the Pueblo Police Department to partner with other City departments, our peers with the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, and non-governmental organizations such as Triple Aim,” said Chief of Pueblo Police Department Chris Noeller. “This clean-up allows us to improve the lives of those who are unhoused as well as improve the quality of life for our citizens who want to enjoy our amenities such as the Fountain Creek.”
The Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District just completed the 9th annual “Creek Week” from Sept. 24 through Oct. 2, which aims to raise public awareness, protect watershed and enhance native habitat. Approximately 175 volunteers participated in the event and assisted with collecting litter and debris along the waterway.
For more information about the Fountain Creek clean-up with the City of Pueblo contact Pueblo Police Department Captain Dustin Taylor at 719-553-2544.