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Denver-area church works with state to help clean up Colorado parks and water

Members of a local church spent Sunday morning cleaning up several Colorado parks.
Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 09, 2024

NORTHGLENN, Colo — Denver-area church members are working with the Colorado Department of Health to help create a cleaner environment. Volunteers at the World Mission Society Church of God helped clean up several Colorado parks Sunday morning.

The volunteers worked at Jaycee Park in Northglenn before eventually moving to parks in Aurora.

“If we can assist in any way to make this world a better place through community service, then we're all hands in," said Murray Whitaker, a volunteer.

The volunteers have held several cleanups in Colorado this year. Earlier, the group was in Colorado Springs for a river cleanup. Due to heavy pollution issues, the church says there is significant emphasis on river and lake cleanups.

"We need to clean up rivers, to clean up lakes," said Whitaker. "It's all a really big puzzle can actually be can be fixed."

Water cleanup efforts in Colorado are underway after new federal regulations. In April, the Environmental Protection Agency established new thresholds for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of chemicals known to cause major health issues.

Denver-area church works with state to help clean up Colorado parks and water

Alarmingly, 300 of Colorado's 900 water districts still aren't testing for PFAS, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

"There's just so many gaps," said Dr. Shere Walker-Ravenell, the executive director of the Black Parents United Foundation. His group has established Colorado air monitoring programs and pushes for clean water policies.

"These are forever chemicals," said Walker-Ravenell. "We have to get the water tested."

Water districts in Colorado have until 2026 to start testing for PFAS and 2029 to lower rates below acceptable thresholds.

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