Saturday, April 4, 2015

Community

Coming Clean

Adopt a River Chilliwack-Vedder river cleanup April 18  

By Joe Daniels, Fraser Riverkeeper

 

n Saturday, March 28, 2015, over 200 community members came together to clean up the banks of the Fraser River at Gill Bar. Through this tremendous effort 9.6 tons of garbage and 400 kilos of discarded metal were collected and safely disposed of at the Bailey Landfill. Among the items collected were mattresses, vehicle parts, construction waste, and household garbage.

 

The event, which was hosted by Fraser Riverkeeper, Woodtone and Rotz Disposal was a resounding success. The City of Chilliwack was happy to support the event by waiving the tipping fee for the materials collected, and hopes that the cleanup conveyed a strong message about the importance of stopping illegal dumping in the Heart of the Fraser.


"Talk about people power!" said Riverkeeper Joe Daniels. "To see so many people of all ages rolling up their sleeves to clean up their local waterways is so inspiring. Collecting nearly ten tons of garbage is a massive achievement but it's also a heartbreaking testament to the need for this kind of community action."


Illegal dumping has been an epidemic problem in the Fraser Valley, threatening the recreational areas and wildlife habitat that we all love to enjoy. The organizers of the event hope that education through river cleanup events, signage and general community awareness will help curb the trend of dumping garbage next to our rivers.


“For this year’s cleanup, we wanted the focus to be on creating awareness and educating people about the problem of illegal dumping and burning along our waterways" says Kevin Raffle of Woodtone. "It is a positive step forward when more and more people are talking about this issue, and then showing up with their families to pitch in. This is teaching the next generation that this sort of behavior is unacceptable."


The organizers would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the folks at Restaurant 62, the Chilliwack IGA, Chillwack Water Store, and Starbucks for providing delicious refreshments for the volunteers; as well as to the Vancouver Aquarium's AquaVan for providing some fun and educational activities for kids and grown-ups alike.


For those that missed Saturday’s event, there’s still time to make a difference! The Chilliwack/Vedder River Cleanup Society, has organized another Adopt a River cleanup event in partnership with the City of Chilliwack and Fraser Valley Regional District that will be taking place on Saturday, April 18th.

 

Registration is between 8:30 – 9:30 am at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve where free coffee and donuts will be provided by Tim Hortons.

 

Clean up will take place from 9am – 12pm. More information is available online at www.chilliwack.com/adopt.


For more information about the City of Chilliwack’s many green initiatives, please contact the Environmental Services department at 604-793-2907. Also, stay tuned for new and exciting initiatives coming soon from the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance.


“ We want to keep this issue at the forefront and remain proactive in finding solutions" explains Woodtone's Raffle. "Through creating more awareness and education initiatives with the joint efforts of the newly formed Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance it will make offenders think twice about dumping or burning their garbage on the river”.

 

For more information about Fraser Riverkeeper, visit www.fraserriverkeeper.ca

 

 

 

 

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