A Chatham-Kent is using his green to help the environment.
Murray Hebblethwaite recently won one of the two Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority Awards for Volunteer Heroes after he personally donated $1,000 to be put toward the McGregor Creek clean up.
“Once I heard about LTVCA wanting to do something with McGregor Creek, it thought ‘Oh gosh I could donate some funds to it,’ because at my age, I am not going to be picking stuff up,” he said.
The Imagine McGregor Creek project is a collaboration between the Sunrise Rotary Club of Chatham, the municipality and the LTVCA. Some of the work envisioned by the program will be to control invasive species, clean up the stream, help migrating fish pass through culverts, and beautifying the creek to provide more community engagement.
Hebblethwaite, 71, said he was born and raised in Chatham-Kent and that the creek has seriously degraded in the past several decades.
“I lived in the country for some time and have seen major changes. There was a point in time where you used to drink in some of these creeks,” he said.
Now he calls the river “practically poisonous.”
Hebblethwaite tried to get Chatham-Kent’s corporate sponsors to match his personal donation but to no avail.
“I am just very disappointed. To me it would be really publicity just to get on with cleaning up Chatham-Kent,” he said.
“I’m just one individual and I can’t help out by myself.”