The City of Jacksonville has set the date for the spring 2013 cleanup of the Town Brook for Saturday morning April 20th. This was one of the items covered in the city council’s Town Brook Special Studies Committee meeting this morning.

Alderman Lori Large Oldenettel said the spring cleanup will follow the format of the fall cleanup. Work went from 8:30-11:30 am, folks met at the old Midland’s parking lot, had to be 18 or over to participate. Follow updates, developments and details on the our community group’s Facebook page. Start spreading the date of April 20th (rain date April 27th). Completing the cleanup will get the city a $500 grant from the EPA’s SCALE fund (Streambank Cleanup & Lakeshore Enhancement).

Until then, here’s a challenge for everyone — where does all the trash in the Town Brook come from? The late Roger Zulauf pushed for a park along the Town Brook, and would tell his students at Turner Junior High School “if it blows, it flows.” Meaning anything that blows around at Turner or along Morton ends up in the Town Brook. Take it upon yourself to try to find the sources of garbage that ends up in the creek. That way we can work with business owners and the city to try to find ways to cut the flow of trash.

Other highlights from the meeting . . .

  • Mayor Andy Ezard will get the special studies committee in touch with the city’s new lobbyist, to see if he can help snag some grants/funds for development of the park along the Town Brook.
  • Bruce Surratt of the city’s parks & lakes department is working with the Illinois Department of Transportation to approve plans for putting up a pedestrian/bicyclist bridge below the Lake Jacksonville spillway. Once this is complete people will be able to safely get around the lake and better take advantage of the community’s major recreational spot.
  • Farnsworth Group planners will be asked to meet with city officials and the public to give the results of the community input day. Tentative date is Monday May 13th at 5:30 pm (before the city council meeting).
  • Alderman Lori Large Oldenettel registered the Town Brook for a State Farm $25,000 Neighborhood Assist Grant. If our community gets to the next stage of one of 200 projects nation-wide, starting April 4th people can vote on Facebook with the top 40 receiving grants. Get the Facebook App at
  • Alderman Oldenettel also gave a report on last month’s Town Brook Improvement Project Community Input Day (see story). She reports good feedback from neighboring property owners, who pointed out the town brook is already used by local children and as a short-cut by pedestrians. She also said thinking outside the box will make it more likely for the community to get grants. So, beyond a park, think outdoor learning, place for community gardens, a way to fight childhood obesity.
  • City Treasurer Ron Smiljanich reminds us “just one person can make a difference.” He’s been picking up trash along the Town Brook, and reminds everyone they can do the same, every day. Thanks to all those who care about the community who do this!

Posted by Steve Warmowski. Follow us on Facebook.