Friday, Feb 17, 2017 



All That Glitters is Garbage

Gill Bar clean up 10th Anniversary March 18
Joe Daniels, Fraser Riverkeeper, Voice file photos


Trash is treasure at various spots on Chilliwack rivers.


ack in 2007, with a small group of volunteers and a big love for our salmon and rivers, Fraser Riverkeeper (FRK) hosted a spring clean-up along the Fraser River in Chilliwack, BC.

Over the past nine years, with the support of local businesses Woodtone and the late Andy Rotzetter of Rotz Disposal, this little clean-up has grown into a massive annual event; bringing out hundreds of volunteers to remove a grand total of 88 tonnes of illegally dumped garbage from sensitive habitat and wilderness areas in the Heart of the Fraser.

This year marks the clean-up's 10th anniversary, so we're working with our partners and sponsors to pull out all the stops and make the 2017 Fraser River Cleanup our biggest and best ever. We're inviting you to come out and join us on Saturday, March 18, at Cleanup HQ, located at the end of Gill Rd in Chilliwack, and help us bring our 10-year clean-up total to more than 100 tonnes of garbage removed, and celebrate a decade of bringing our community together to keep our beloved river safe and clean for all to enjoy.

“Since day one this has always been a volunteer driven event. Without the efforts of our volunteers, and the generosity of our sponsors we would have never been able to accomplish what we have done to date," says Woodtone rep, Kevin Raffle. "When it comes to our local environment, and the issue of illegal dumping in our watershed, the community has always been quick to react, pitch in and support the efforts of various groups that try to make a difference in keeping our back country looking as pristine as possible.  The Fraser is our backyard and this year’s event we want to celebrate the impact that the volunteers have had, and to say thank you for everyone’s support.”     

Additional logistical support, safety gear, and heavy equipment operation will be provided by Timbro Contracting, Biocentral, First Class Disposal, Big K Clothing, and the City of Chilliwack. Once again, Restaurant 62 will be serving up a delicious BBQ lunch, with food donated by IGA and additional refreshments supplied by Starbucks and the Chilliwack Water Store. The Vancouver Aquarium's AquaVan will also be there, providing a fun and interactive learning experience for kids, with even more exciting surprises in store from clean-up organizers and sponsors Inner Vision Yoga and Patagonia. 

Volunteers help get garbage of the banks of Gill Bar in 2014. Above, gyproc is a common item illegally dumped to avoid paying to dispose it.

 "These days, with so many big issues facing our communities, it seems like we're always being called upon to dig our heels in and scream 'no!' at something. That's why it feels so good to take part in an event like this, where we can all come together and say 'yes' to a clean river," explains FRK clean-up organizer and Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Aliance (FVIDA) Coordinator, Joe Daniels.

"Of course we'd prefer it if illegal dumping would stop altogether so that organizing a clean-up every year wouldn't be necessary. But the more families participate in these events, bringing their kids out to learn the value of giving back to their community and of keeping the woods and waters they love clean, the more likely it becomes that we can transform these annual clean-ups into what they truly are: a celebration of life and community along the Fraser."

Additional cleanup support provided by Kal Tire, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, Fraser Valley Salmon Society, Great River Fishing Adventures, Sitka Foundation, G&F Financial Group, and Vancity Credit Union.

For more information contact Kevin or Joe:
Kevin Raffle, Woodtone 604 792 3680 or via email here.
Joe Daniels,  FRK 604 674 7444 or via email here.





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