Friday, March 13, 2015

Local News

Tidy Trails  

Fraser Riverkeeper is back to clean up Gill Bar March 28

By Rachael Schoeler, FRK


Each year volunteers big and small contribute their time and energy into cleaning up after careless river users.


he organizers of the annual spring clean-up at Gill Bar will be at it again this year with another clean-up on Saturday, March 28th! Last year's clean-up was a huge success, removing some 9,300 kg of garbage, and organizers Fraser Riverkeeper and Woodtone are looking forward to building on that success this year with another great day of fun cleaning up the beautiful riverside that we all share.


ďMy biggest hope for this year's cleanup is to create awareness and educate people about this problem that is facing all of us." said Kevin Raffle of Woodtone, a Chilliwack-based company who have been helping to organize river clean-ups for the past 7 years. "The problem of illegal dumping and burning isnít just a Chilliwack one. Itís a problem happening in numerous locations all along the Fraser River watershed. The more people that know about what is happening in their own backyard and the more eyes we have on these places the less the offenders will feel inclined to continue to illegally dump.Ē

The Gill Bar clean-up is a family-friendly event and will go ahead rain or shine at 10:00 AM on March 28th. The Vancouver Aquarium will be on site to provide educational entertainment for the kids, while Starbucks and the Chilliwack Water Store will be on hand to provide coffee and refreshments. Finally, the clean-up will end with a free BBQ for volunteers provided by the folks at Restaurant 62 and the Chilliwack IGA at 1:00 PM. Dumpsters and garbage removal equipment will be provided courtesy of Rotz Disposal, Progressive Waste Solutions, and the Chilliwack-Vedder River Clean-Up Society. Free disposal of the waste collected will be provided by the City of Chilliwack. Volunteers are being asked to wear gumboots and to bring a refillable mug or water bottle and a pair of gloves, if possible.

In addition to this year's annual clean-up, Fraser Riverkeeper and Woodtone have been working with the Conservation Officer's Service, the City of Chilliwack, the Fraser Valley Regional District, and other local partners including the Chilliwack Vedder River Clean-Up Society, the Fraser Valley Salmon Society, and Great River Fishing Adventures, to form the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance (FVIDA).

"The newly formed FVIDA consists of great people from all walks of life and different organizations that have come together to put in a collective effort to stop what is happening, and to say this type of behaviour will not be tolerated" Kevin explained. "Working as a team, the Alliance will create awareness and educate everyone, as well as come up with concrete solutions so we can take back these pristine areas that sit right on our doorstep." FVIDA plans to reach out to other organizations and businesses to join the alliance in the coming months.

Joe Daniels of Fraser Riverkeeper echoes Kevin's sentiments. "Illegal dumping represents a serious health and safety hazard to the people who live, work, and play in the Fraser Valley, as well as the many wild species that we share it with." says Joe.


"It's truly inspiring to see local government and business working together with grassroots organizations to tackle the problem of illegal dumping in our communities."

Stay tuned for more clean-up events, preventative signage, and education sessions coming from the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance in the months ahead!

For more information, volunteers can check out or contact Kevin or Joe:

Kevin Raffle, Woodtone 604.792.3680 or via e-mail here and Joe Daniels, Fraser Riverkeeper 604.674.7444 or via e-mail here.


See previous Voice coverage here and here and here.


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