MPC volunteers help clean up former ‘endangered urban river’

Several Marathon Petroleum Corporation organizations took advantage of the warmer weather this year to do their part to support environmental stewardship within their local footprint and educate community members on environmental topics. This is the second in a four-part series highlighting ways MPC demonstrates its commitment to the world around us.

Mill Creek meanders about 28 miles through Ohio’s Butler County and south into Hamilton County, home to Cincinnati. Nearly 20 years ago, a national river conservation group deemed the waterway as “the most endangered urban river in North America.” But thanks to volunteers, like those representing Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s (MPC’s) Cincinnati Renewable Fuels (CRF) facility, that description no longer applies. Today the Mill Creek corridor encompasses public green space, trails, gardens and a restored habitat for indigenous plants and animals. This summer, MPC employees from CRF gathered to help ensure that progress continues.

“We took part in a cleanup of Mill Creek sponsored by Groundwork Cincinnati, a private, nonprofit organization formed to serve as a catalyst for developing sustainability in the Mill Creek watershed,” notes Suzanne Konkle, human resources supervisor and project coordinator. “Initiatives created by the organization focus on community-based planning and empowerment, environmental education and economically sound ecological restoration.”

Twenty-four volunteers from the CRF facility took part in the cleanup, primarily focusing on removal of extremely large portions of invasive honeysuckle from the banks of the river. “We also weeded flower beds and prepared vegetable garden plots along the Mill Creek corridor,” adds Konkle. “The Mill Creek runs adjacent to our property, and we feel a sense of responsibility for it. Being a small facility, we are somewhat limited in our charitable giving, but we have many hands willing to volunteer to show the community that we care. Everyone had a great time working together to help out in our own back yard.”