A team of city employees, inmates in the state's correctional system and local volunteers gathered along Gwynns Run in Southwest Baltimore on Friday morning to clear trash and debris that had found its way into the stream.

The effort, which the city said was the "first ever mass cleanup" of the stream, kicked off at 7:45 a.m., officials said.

"It is our plan to remove all the trash in the stream and along the banks. We also want to point out that everyone can protect our streams, harbor and the Bay through proper trash disposal," said Department of Public Works Director Alfred H. Foxx in a statement. "Clean streams and parks are an essential part of the Mayor's goal to grow our City by 10,000 families over the next decade."

The Gwynns Run stream, located behind Carroll Park, is part of the larger Gwynns Run watershed and receives stormwater runoff from 1,000 acres, or about two-and-a-half miles, of surrounding land, the public works department said.

"Litter and debris from streets and alleys in this drainage basin washes into storm drains and ends up in the stream, the Gwynns Falls, the Middle Branch of the Patapsco and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay," the department said.

The city has said such unwanted distribution of trash into the Chesapeake Bay was one reason behind new state-mandated stormwater fees.

In addition to public works and recreation and parks employees and state corrections inmates, assistance in the cleanup was also provided by Parks and People volunteers.

krector@baltsun.com

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