Duke Energy employee Mark Davis removes brush from along the Mill Creek, in Cincinnati. Duke provided volunteers to help with the city’s efforts to clean up the creek that runs through industrial areas and has long been a problem due to deforestation, pollution and sewer overflow. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Ten sweat-soaked Duke Energy Corp. volunteers were working on a recent day, wielding machetes and sprayers to clear honeysuckle and other invasive plants along the Mill Creek. The greenway project is helping to revitalize heron, turtle and other wildlife habitat along the Ohio.

Student volunteers are helping to teach local youths more about the area’s history, as well as the environment, nutrition and horticulture.

Some of the newly planted trees are called “Freedom Trees” to celebrate Mill Creek’s role in the Underground Railroad system that helped fugitive slaves reach freedom.

Even on a recent hot summer day, a few people came down the trail on bicycles. Soon, it’s hoped, they’ll be able to stop and pluck some blueberries or an apple while taking a break under shade trees.

“Anyone who uses the trail who wants to grab some fruit and nuts and vegetables, that’s what it’s there for,” Carothers said.


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