February 11, 2012 3:57 am ET
On a mission John Long will not be deterred.
The Dundalk Renaissance Corporation honored John Long with their 2012 Milestone Award for his long term commitment in his efforts to restored the “Bread and Cheese Creek” and rid it of trash and debris.
John’s efforts have been documented many times in local publications and his commitment has brought out hundreds of volunteers in the constant battle to rid the creek of litter. John is the president of the Clean Bread and Cheese Creek, a position he has held since 2009.
The Bread and Cheese Creek has a storied history dating back to the War of 1812 and is now part of Dundalk folklore. The Creek is a 4.71 mile long stream in Dundalk. It backs up to businesses and homes along Merrit Blvd. and empties into Black River. John pointed out that during the War of 1812, American forces set up a field hospital along its banks. “They used it as rallying point in their second attack against British forces,” he said.
John is a driving force in the Dundalk community and is known for bringing out hundreds of volunteers including political leaders in his efforts to clean up the stream of trash and debris.
John recalls his first attempt to gather volunteers for the initial cleanup effort. “I was able to enlist the help of 40 volunteers,” John said. He proudly announced 153 came forward in the last cleanup.
According to John Baltimore County has provided us with dumpsters and an Argo Amphibious vehicle. The vehicle is used to pull large items like refrigerators from the creek. In the past it was people power who did the job.
Since 2009 they have taken out 50 tons of debris. Once the creek is cleaned of litter a maintenance effort will be instituted.
John alluded to some of the more perplexing problems including storm drainage and dealing with an invasive plant species that kills native plants which complicates the creeks ability to contain the erosion problem.
Senator Norman Stone is an ardent supporter of John’s efforts and has volunteered numerous times in the cleanup projects.
John wanted to mention some upcoming important dates which begin with a cooperative cleanup effort with Karen Cruz’s Stansbury Park group on April 14th. Mrs. Cruz is also a former Milestone Winner. He also pointed out that the fall cleanup is slated for September 24.
You can check the progress of group efforts on a billboard complete with updated photos at Gold’s Gym one of the big supporters of the Bread and Cheese Creek cleanup efforts.
The DRC will celebrate the Milestone Award at the Sparrows Point CC on Saturday, March 31 from 6 pm to 10 pm.
Congratulations to John Long for his award and contributing to the betterment of the Dundalk community.
To visit the group’s website go to Breadandcheesecreek.org.