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MCHS students clean Trail Creek

September 22, 2017 GMT

MICHIGAN CITY — Members of the Michigan City High School Wolves Environmental Restoration Team canoed down trail creek on Thursday morning as part of Trail Creek Week.

The purpose of that morning’s workshop was to learn how to clean up the creek and about invasive species, water pollution and how it can affect an animal’s habitat.

“They hear about this stuff but it’s so much more effective if they can see it on the water,” said Trail Creek Week Organizer Nicole Messacar.

According to MCHS biology and anatomy teacher Andy Jasicki, the point of the workshop was not only to teach students about pollution dangers, but also to appreciate Trail Creek and what it used to look like when it was first founded.

“As more and more people came, we changed it,” he said. “We built streets and the drainage from those streets started to pollute the creek and then the animals left. When the animals left, the plants that were normally kept in check by those animals were gone and as more and more visitors came to the area, invasive species started to grow and they crowded out plants that are supposed to be here.”

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Among the many invasive species students found, they also located such foreign objects as refrigerators and TVs in the creek, according to Messacar.

She said cleaning the creek wasn’t the only agenda. For the second year in a row, students learned how to camp, set up a tent, make food over a fire and plant trees.

This year, the students also planted oak bur trees around Hansen Park in an effort to help bring back a proper habitat for wildlife. These necessities include producing food for the animals as well as provide shade.

“Shade is one of the most important things for Trail Creek because it’s a cold water fishery and trees are what make that happen because they keep the water cool,” she said.

While Trail Creek Week has been associated with Michigan City Area middle schools, Messacar said the high school programs have been just as successful.

“Most of these kids are coming back for the second time because they really enjoy it and some of them have never done things like this before,” she said.

To learn more about the Michigan City High School Wolves Environmental Restoration Team, go to https://www.facebook.com/MCHS-Wolves-Environmental-Restoration-Team-504356033242058.