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Water Balls by John Kahre

                                                                            Water Balls

                                                                         By John Kahre

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I have been known to whack a golf ball. I keep score by the number of times that I hit a ball into water. If I can’t retrieve a ball from water peril then that is a point against me. The person in the group that I’m in that has the most “water balls” buys lunch.

Tulsa’s Mohawk Park is truly an amazing park. Bird Creek traverses through this beautiful park and through the golf course that I have enjoyed for years. Tragically, this stream and others in Tulsa have been victims of what is called non-point pollution.

Non-point pollution is pollution that occurs when run off water flows across our lawns, drive ways, streets and highways. The water picks up litter, chemicals, and soil that is eroded from bare lawns and construction areas and dumps it into our water sewage system, then, untreated, into our streams. I have seen the results of this in Bird Creek especially with the presence of litter. My children learned early that they would experience the wrath of their Father should they throw anything out of our car window. They also learned, first hand, how much litter that Up With Trees picks up before planting or mowing a site when they helped pick the trash up themselves.

I know that the City of Tulsa has a big problem removing run off soil that clogs the system and causes potential flooding upstream. Trees provide part of the solution by slowing water down and retaining soil with their massive root systems.

Whether it is golf balls, litter, soil or drips from our car, we all participate in non-point pollution.  By knowing that, perhaps we can all be better stewards of our community’s waterways.