Onondaga Creek Annual Summer Cleanup

Each summer since the initial cleanup in 2001 over which Creek Rats, Inc was founded, we host a major in-creek cleanup of Onondaga Creek. Creek Rats teammates, community volunteers, and anywhere from 30-70 incoming SUNY-ESF freshmen participating in their Saturday of Service deploy to various worksites in and along the creek to work on removing shopping carts, bicycles, so many tires, and every now and again a safe or two… along with the rest of the year’s trash finds. It is a big job, and for many participants a wet and muddy job, but is made manageable and fun thanks to everyone who joins us, eager to help out.

The date for the annual cleanup each year follows SUNY-ESF’s academic calendar to align with the Saturday before the first day of class.

Follow volunteer Stefanie Noble as she documents her 2021 cleanup journey:

This event couldn’t happen without the help of Youlanda Johnson and Bob Moore who help us get our city permit each year, and Robin St. Hilaire who works magic to make a city dumpster appear wherever we need it. Sarah Houck at ESF coordinates the indispensable ESF work crew, and Britney Farmer is our key for critical infrastructure: the port-a-potty. Chris Deiter helps us gain access to our worksites, and Owen Kearney can always connect us to the right person for our many questions. Our 20th anniversary of the annual in-creek cleanup would not be possible without the help of these and many other contacts with the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, and SUNY-ESF, as well as the community volunteers who show up happy to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Thank you!