Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society hosted an Earth Day cleanup on April 22 where over 60 volunteers removed more than 7,000 pounds of scrap metal and trash from the shoreline between Lakeside Park and the old Kootenay Forest Products site in Nelson.
The initiative was a response to multiple complaints from dog walkers and beach goers who frequent the area.
Volunteers of all ages came together on this sunny Friday, eager to lend a hand and give these shorelines a fresh start for spring. In a matter of minutes, buckets were filled to the top. Most of the trash they collected was scrap metal, but other items included a car seat, a sink, grocery carts, car tires, and an abandoned boat.
“It was such a wonderful turn out,” said environmental outreach co-ordinator Joelle Burnie.
“Seeing so many eager and passionate people come together was so inspiring. This cleanup goes to show that when we put our hands together, change happens, and happens fast. We are grateful for our volunteers and there is no way we could do this work without them.”
Garbage pollution continues to be a significant issue around the lake, negatively impacting wildlife and other lake inhabitants and visitors. Friends of Kootenay Lake hosts cleanups year-round as one of their many stewardship initiatives. It aims to bring like-minded individuals together, decrease risks to the lake ecosystem, and spread awareness of the pollution issue. Cleanups are especially important this time of year because the water levels are low, making trash and other debris visible and accessible to remove.
A special thanks to Mountain Bin, the City of Nelson, and Western Pacific Marine for helping us to remove and dispose of the materials. Also, thank you to Save-On-Foods for donating refreshments and snacks for the volunteers.
To learn more about Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society and stay updated on their upcoming cleanups, visit www.friendsofkootenaylake.ca.