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Posted: October 3, 2014

Caring for our community watershed

People care deeply about the health of the Elk River as demonstrated by the 77 adults and youth who participated in the first-ever, valley-wide watershed shoreline cleanup involving Elkford, Sparwood and Fernie.

Cleanup in Sparwood. Photos submitted
Cleanup in Sparwood. Photos submitted

“People recognize that a clean shoreline makes it safe for animals living in or near the river and beautiful for people,” says Lee-Anne Walker, Executive Director of the Elk River Alliance, an organzier for this years event.

“Accolades to the Elkford ATV club which single handedly pulled out of the river three car bodies, 30 tires, a tonne of garbage in two trailers along 50 kms of the river. Gord Galloway and his crew are nothing short of amazing! thanks Walker. We also thank the Fernie Christian Youth Group who again cleaned up Silver Springs. A strong contingent of volunteers showed up from Wildsight Elk Valley Branch and the Elk River Alliance.

“All totaled folks cleaned up 40 bags of garbage and two trailer loads, weighing 1,270 kgs along 72 kms of shoreline,” notes Walker. “Most unusual items found included an ironing board, air matress, battery booster and ball of embroidery yarn. There were a number of items of concern found during the clean up. Lots of metal was pulled out of the river. Plastic bags, fast food and beverage containers were commonly found. Careless users of the backcountry are leaving behind tarps, sleeping bags, tents, lawn chairs, pots, fishing rods, etc. Tires must be disposed properly at the transfer station not in the river.”

Many thanks to our local sponsors for hospitality and prize donations – Extra Foods, Overwaitea, Fernie Tim Hortons, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and Teck.

Lead image: Cleanup in Fernie

Elk River Alliance


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