Friday JohnKu – AKA – TGIF – Fri-Yay/Good News

Today’s Good News comes from the Good News Network. The following is an excerpt from the full story. You can read the whole story by following this link. https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/acres-of-toxic-chemical-barrels-and-rusting-cars-becomes-national-park/

Acres of Toxic Chemicals and Rusting Cars Becomes National Park After Amazing Transformation

The Krejci dump before and after in Cuyahoga Valley – Chris Davis / National Park Service

When President Gerald Ford signed a bill creating the Cuyahoga National Recreation Area in Ohio in 1974, the site’s boundaries deliberately included a well-known local garbage dump, assuming it could be easily cleaned.

When the National Park Service (NPS) discovered a nearly-unmanageable chemical wasteland where even the water and soil were flammable, a decades-long cleanup effort converted it, at the polluters’ expense no less, into a vibrant marsh ecosystem with some of the highest biodiversity in the region.

“This was a toxic wasteland only a few decades ago. To find this diversity of species there today is remarkable,” said Ecologist for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Chris Davis.

The story begins when the Krejci (krech-ee) family opened up a dump along a river between Akron and Cleveland in 1940. Before municipal waste management, people were responsible for their own waste disposal, and Krejci innocently offered them an out-of-the-way place to do it.

As the years went by, the 200-acre site, with 50 acres meant for landfilling, began accepting heavier and heavier waste until many of the Rust Belt’s biggest manufacturers began relying on Krejci for disposal of their most harmful chemicals.

Getting stuck with the bill

As the years passed, the Cuyahoga area became a National Recreation Area and eventually a national park—the only one in the Rust Belt states. However, visitors began getting sick, and when NPS members finally got wind of the severity of the situation at the dump, a 25-year cleanup process began.

NPS needed a lot of cash to lead the cleanup, so they nominated Shawn Mulligan, a former Assistant Attorney General for Colorado, as an attorney representing the NPS. Mulligan would pursue companies like Chevron, Ford, Federal Metal Co., and Chrysler for almost $50 million in damages to pay for the cleanup.

The case dragged on, and few of the EPA legal staff believed it would yield a positive result for them. Eventually, as the NPS reported in a 2016 magazine issue, Ford quietly took the NPS legal team aside and decided on a solution: let the Motor City mechanics pay for and organize the whole cleanup.

The cleanup begins

With offices and resources close at hand, Ford hired contractors to begin excavating the contaminated soils. Still, every inch further dug revealed more sludge—and even more dangerous carcinogens like polychlorinated biphenyls or polyaromatic hydrocarbons.

The rusted cars and barrels, the tires, and all the other waste and discarded machinery were cleared out from 2002 to 2012, along with 400,000 tons of contaminated dirt—equivalent to 20 feet of topsoil.

Once no more barrels were found sticking out of the ground, and soil samples were clear of containments, the ground was contoured to match the surrounding ecosystem, and several wetlands were built up on the 50-acre dumping site.

Krejci dump today

Today, indigenous plants have been restored, and natural wetlands and all the plant and animal species they support are thriving.

Park visitors who experience the full-summer landscape find themselves soaking up the vista of native wildflowers and grasses as they watch turtles sun themselves on floating logs and listen to the birds sing.

Ford has been involved the whole way, paying its debt to society to a tune of $29 million and ensuring that the grasses and vegetation grow undisturbed and that soil erosion is prevented.

“[The Krejci site] is now as clean as any natural area in the park,” Dickerson says. That’s something remarkable, considering what it was in 1985.”

“You can categorize wetlands, and these are right up there with a three and a four (the top rating for wetlands). They can sustain high levels of benthic communities and critters, and turtles. They can sustain life here. It’s a vibrant resource for them.”

The Good news here is when like-minded people tackle a problem, there can be a positive solution. Today’s JohnKu discusses dedication. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

The Impossible by John W. Howell. © 2022

Something worth doing,

Seems impossible at times. . .

Grit saves the day.

 

 

82 comments

  1. Dear John,
    what a great example showing how we can solve problems.
    Wishing you an easy weekend
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wishing the Fab Four a super weekend as well. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic, John! A story of perseverance, determination, and succcess. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend 💕🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you have a super weekend as well, Harmony. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. They did that with at least 2 dumps around here. Remember holding my breath whenever we drive by them, but now they’re parks. I did confused here though. It was Ford the President and Ford the company involved? Just missing Harrison Ford for the trifecta.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Someone should have enlisted Harrison for a third.

      Like

  4. I always enjoy these positive stories. Amazing what we can do when we try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is. I think people forget about the spirit within.

      Like

  5. If ever we needed an example of the great things that can happen when people work TOGETHER, this would be the time. And what a remarkable example it is. And big props to Ford and all the auto makers who stepped up and changed the game in the process. They put their money where their motors are.

    Happy Friday Sheriff

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pilgrim. Well said. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. An amazing story, John. It goes to show what can be accomplished when people work together and not against one another.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Joan. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Now – this is good news, John!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is, GP. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this story and your last line, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jill. 😁

      Like

  9. That’s really a positive outcome and your JohnKu fits the situation perfectly. Thanks for making my weekend better, John. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tim. You just made mine better. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a remarkable transformation! I’m really curious now about how the cleanup actually works. When the contaminants are removed, where do they go?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question, Liz. Probability to another hazard waste site

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That was what I was thinking. It has to go somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As long as it is not my front yard.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Definitely not!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. What a long haul that was, but the results were worth every minute. An amazing transformation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is amazing, Teri. Thanks. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s amazing to me how fast the ecosystem rebounded once the cleanup was done. Reminds me of the Jurassic Park quote: life finds a way.

    So glad to hear this. Thanks for the smile.

    Like

  13. The impossible is always possible! We lived in Cleveland when the Cuyahoga River caught fire (from all the pollutants) and burned down structures on the shores!

    Like

  14. This is the first I have heard of this story. And usually stories on the CVNP catch my attention. It is a beautiful park. And it has a well equipped adult hydration station just a few steps from they hiking trail as you pass through Peninsula. It is very good to hear that it is now clean and safe. Three fingers sir !

    Like

  15. Good old American ingenuity on display — thanks for telling us about it, John. I don’t live that far from Ohio, but this is the first I’ve heard about this transformation. Would that we could work together to find creative solutions to some of our other problems, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish we could as well, Debbie. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Now THIS is definitely a perfect Friday Good News Story. Proof positive that when people decide to work for a common good, miracles can happen.
    Happy Friday to you, good sir! Excellent JohnKu to go with the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Dale. Have a great weekend as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, kind sir. I shall do my besterestiest!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Plus, it IS date night so there’s a stronger than strong chance that I shall 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Date night? Yowzaaaa.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Every Friday night 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That is some commute.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. LOL! Amazing what you can do over the Internet with a video call 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I can imagine. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Amazing story and love your Ku, John. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lauren. You as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. That’s impressive, dear John! Other countries…especially mine must follow this example. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it would be good if we tried to work together on these problems.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agree. The entire world must gather forces to clean the earth. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We can only hope.

        Like

  19. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    Wonderful post, John. People can be amazing problem-solvers when they work together. We’ve never needed “community” more than we do now. Thank you for offering a concrete example of the miracle waiting to be embraced. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes grit is a group effort. Thanks, Gwen.

      Like

    1. I know right?

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Grit does save the day! This is proof positive that people can make a difference. And Ford gets a huge benefit from doing the right thing. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mu pleasure, Pamela. I’m a believer in grit.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Yes, it can be done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We need to work on it for sure, Jo. Have a great weekend.

      Like

  22. This gives me hope for our planet! Thank you for sharing, John! Here’s to grit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Here’s to grit. 😁

      Like

  23. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    This makes me happy to see. Nice the corporations paid for the clean up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it was nice.

      Like

  24. Dan C · · Reply

    John, back in the day when we made a call on Revco in Solon OH you were only about 2 miles away from the park. I lived in Hudson OH. which bordered the park. I don’t remember the junk yard issue. I have been back since I moved to IN and visited the park. It is Beautifull, featuring the rolling hills of Cuyahoga County.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow this is a first hand observation. Thanks, Dan

      Like

  25. What an amazing transformation, John. It give us reason to hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Dan

      Liked by 1 person

  26. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    Good to see people working together in productive ways. If we quit screwing things up, Earth would have a better chance of healing itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Humans = Screw up

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Wow, what a great story, John! Thanks for sharing it xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup. Had to be told.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I am cheering Ford for doing the right thing. This is a great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. They did step up for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. That’s a stunning transformation and well worth it I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do too. Thanks, Deborah.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Yay for this happy story John. Amazing what people can do when they actually work together. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Debby.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Wow. I kind of wonder how they disposed of all the bad stuff though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They take it to another hazardous site but one that is for that purpose.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. This is great news.
    Your JohnKu nails it.
    NOW, I wonder where they dump all that stuff. I mean it’s not like we have stopped making garbage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They take it to a site that has been especially build for this kind of waste.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. … and they take better care, not just creating the same mess all over again?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I think they do. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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