Picking up

Dan Ricci, center, a longtime volunteer who has been doing creek cleanups his whole life and locally for eight years, brought along his daughter Rachel, right, and family friend Walker Kugel, left, who came along because “first of all they want to help the environment” but also got high school service learning hours for the cleanup, Dan Ricci said. In his time cleaning up the creek, Dan Ricci said one of his best hauls was a derelict bicycle, which another volunteer restored and started riding.

Over two centuries after a general and his men rested on the banks of Bread and Cheese Creek, volunteers returned again to the waters to defend it against its newest enemy: trash.

Clean Bread and Cheese Creek’s fall cleanup was held on Saturday, which was the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, now marked by a national day of service where many do good deeds to pay tribute to those who risked their lives in the attacks.

It was also held on the same day Dundalk paid tribute to the successful defense of Baltimore during the Battle of North Point, where on Sept. 11 and 12, 1814, John Stricker and 3,200 American troops camped along the creek.

A portion of the creek “was used as a rallying point” for Maryland’s 5th regiment, who defended North Point during the battle, John Long, Clean Break and Cheese Creek director, said. “That was where they camped, and it was where they would retreat if they were overrun.”

Centuries later, on Saturday, Long’s organization brought in volunteers to pick up.

A total of 42 volunteers came through on Saturday and hauled over 85 bags of trash, a mattress, a store display, an ottoman, a metal chair and more, Long said.

Volunteers can fulfill service hours while cleaning the creek. The next cleanup is on Sept. 25, when volunteers will clean Bear Creek and Charlesmont Park.