Devoted Earth Week Clean Up Coordinators and Volunteers Persist Despite Inclement Weather on Saturday, April 20, 2013March 10th, 2014
The 22nd annual Earth Week Clean Up of Oakville nature sites on Saturday, April 20, 2013 was organized by the:
We hope you will enjoy reading this Report about the campaign. The following is a revised version of the media release issued on April 22, 2013.
DEDICATED EARTH WEEK CLEAN UP COORDINATORS AND VOLUNTEERS PERSIST DESPITE INCLEMENT WEATHER ON SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2013
Oakville’s 22nd annual Earth Week Clean Up of nature sites took place on Saturday, April 20 despite inclement weather.
“Neither rain, wind, near freezing temperatures nor snow flurries could stop the Clean Up from going on,” exclaimed Stephen Dankowich, executive director of the Oakville Community Centre for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights.
“This year’s event is particularly noteworthy because of the dedication and perseverance of the site coordinators. They were not going to let poor clean up weather stop them from making a big difference for the local natural environment in their own neighbourhoods,” he said.
“There is no question that the cold weather was a huge factor in deterring many more people from pitching in. As people looked out their windows around the nine o’clock start time, they saw the wind whipping the snow flurries around and probably thought that the clean up would not happen. Fortunately, the poor weather subsided substantially soon thereafter and the coordinators were there to assist the volunteers who bravely showed up,” he remarked.
“It can never be said that the Earth Week coordinators are not a hardy bunch of people. It is remarkable how they persisted and insisted on doing the clean up regardless of the weather. Mother Nature tried to deter the coordinators but their commitment to biodiversity and the natural environment was too strong to overtake,” he said.
“As the overall coordinator of coordinators, my task on the day of the Clean Up is to try and visit as many sites as possible in the morning to see how things are proceeding. After the Clean Up is over, I take a photograph of the waste collected at each site so that we will have a good idea about how clean the site is from year to year and whether the Clean Up is helping to diminish the amount of garbage needing to be removed from that site each year. These photographs are being posted to our website for viewing,” he noted.
“More than 500 bright yellow and dull grey Pitch-In Canada bags were filled with garbage. Wooden boards, wiring, tires, metal rods, mattresses, shopping carts, lost or discarded toys and lawn furniture constituted most of the larger pieces removed. There were lots of bottles, cans, candy wrappers and other product packaging found. A teenage volunteer at Bronte Bluffs Park removed an old stubby beer bottle that somehow eluded us these many past years as this location has enjoyed an annual clean up every year since the 1990s!,” he said.
“The total amount of garbage collected weighed 4,400 kilograms and this included 890 kilograms of metal,” he confirmed.
“The good news as reported by many coordinators is that the amount of garbage collected is becoming less at those parks and trails where coordinators have been returning year after year. It seems to prove the old adage that it is harder to litter in a place that has no litter than in a place that is visibly littered. We have also discovered that the number of larger pieces of refuse collected is diminishing year after year at consistently attended to sites,” he stated.
RESIDENTS ASSOCIATIONS STEP UP SUPPORT IN 2013
“The 2013 Clean Up can be described as the year of the clean up by residents associations based on their increased participation. The new Bronte Creek Community Residents Association took on the challenge of cleaning up green spaces along Colonel William Parkway from Upper Middle Road to Dundas Street; coordinator Jill Abrams recruited more than 50 people to pitch-in including some members of the Oakville Federal Liberal Association. The West River Residents Association has been a sponsor of the event for the past nine years and they created a very attractive painted wooden sign that was displayed at Stewart Street and Queen Mary Drive; Paul Musiol reported that 24 volunteers at Hogs Back Park collected 39 bags of garbage and some larger pieces. The Joshua Creek Residents Association tidied up beginning at Deer Run Park. Mark Molder of the West Kerr Village Residents Association e-mailed that ‘we braved the snow, ice pellets and bone chilling temperatures; three kids and nine adults filled ten garbage bags and removed four shopping carts, a car pipe exhaust tail and a broken hockey stick; there was lots of coffee cups and junk food wrapping at and around Trafalgar Park’. The Clearview Oakville Community Alliance (COCA) rescheduled its Clean Up at Clearview Park to Saturday, May 4 and more than 200 people participated; sponsor George Kloet brought the Remax hot air balloon to the park. Sponsorships also were received from the West Harbour and the Bronte Village Resident Associations,” acknowledged Mr. Dankowich.
NORTH WEST OAKVILLE REPORT
“The number of locations in northwest Oakville has really increased recently. Lydia Irwin is a new coordinator this year and her team of volunteers filled more than twenty-five bags with garbage collected at Castlebrook Park on Pine Glen Road. Ten bags were filled at Spring Meadow Pond around Stratus and Fallingreen Drive under the direction of Anje Mostert. Antonio Fonseca was joined by a hard working young woman to clean up around the pond at Fourth Line and Upper Middle Road. Nearby at Aldercrest Park, Jane Wiggins coordinated a vigorous removal of twelve bags of garbage, a tire and boards. The Glen Creek Trail on Monastery Drive saw four bags of garbage filled as well as wiring and boards removed. Oakvillegreen and coordinator Diane Burton beautified Nottinghill Park by filling eight bags,” reported the executive director. “As well, the Clean Up at Bronte Creek Provincial Park was rescheduled to Saturday, April 27 when members of the Friends of Bronte Creek Park handed out Pitch-In Canada bags to everyone entering the park throughout the day,” he remarked.
NORTH CENTRAL OAKVILLE REPORT
“North central Oakville was busy cleaning up too. Our youngest coordinators organized another super successful event on April 20 at Riverbank Park; high school students Drew Mortensen and James Spagnuolo filled sixteen bags of garbage and found thick metal rods. Tinker Stevens and team filled eight bags of garbage and removed several mid-size pieces of refuse from Munn’s Park and the Munn’s Creek Trail West. At Oakville Park, Renee Lehnen and family coordinated the removal of fifteen bags. Oxford Park was a late addition to the clean up and was attended to by Karen Motherwell. Doug Maybee led a group of concerned citizens in a clean up all around River Oaks Boulevard and Trafalgar Road that netted five bags of garbage. Donna Sheppard and members of the South Peel Naturalists Club cleaned up at Indian Ridge Trail,” he stated.
New coordinator Richard Slatter did an amazing job at the Nipegon Trail along Sixth Line from north of River Oaks Boulevard to Upper Middle Road; twenty-two bags of garbage were filled by eight adults and two kids; a double mattress, metal coil springs, motor wheel rim, metal fence posts, plastic tarpaulin and lawn furniture was removed; of note, Mr. Slatter printed up a hundred and thirty flyers and hand-delivered them door-to-door before the event to encourage attendance; of greater significance, it is important to note that it is never too late to get involved as a coordinator of Oakville’s annual earth week clean up as Mr. Slatter is 80 years young,” enthused Mr. Dankowich.
NORTH EAST OAKVILLE REPORT
“Councillor Tom Adams coordinated the removal of ten bags of garbage and wiring from Algrove Park in northeast Oakville. The Morrison Valley Trail at the Glenashton Drive bridge was attended to as always by members of the Trafalgar Presbyterian church and they left a big pile of garbage by the curb for disposal including fifteen bags of garbage, metal pieces, a mattress and bed springs, boards and wiring. Caroline Sadowy led her team in finding a car seat, metal and broken blue boxes and in filling ten bags of garbage at Pondview Place and Ravineview Way. The trails along Postridge Drive are a joy to stroll along today thanks to the removal of twenty bags of garbage and a shopping cart in an effort coordinated by Niki and Brad Jandrew. Woodington Lane was tidied up by stand-in volunteer coordinators Fran de Freitas and Angie Filax,” he remarked.
“More than thirty bags of garbage was collected by a team of volunteers under the leadership of local real estate agent Paul Butler at Bayshire Woods Park. Shelley Frank coordinated efforts around Arrowhead Road and along Pinery Crescent and collected five bags. At Forest Glade Park, Colin John organized its clean up and removal of five bags. The Edgar family again coordinated the effort at Sheridan Valley Park and collected eight bags,” he noted.
SOUTH OAKVILLE REPORT
“In southwest Oakville, 25 volunteers removed ten bags of garbage and a tire at Bronte Bluffs Park where they were served hot chocolate kept warm on a Coleman stove by coordinator Catherine Morch. Brent McKnight coordinated the clean up at Lakeshore Woods. Tracey Ehl and family again led a spirited clean up at Woodhaven Park and collected four bags. MPP Kevin Flynn and members of the local provincial Liberal Party cleaned up at Coronation Park. Earl and Sharon Wiese coordinated the clean up at Hopedale Park and noted that ‘it was a nasty day but we persevered and the park is getting cleaner year after year’. Councillor Pam Damoff coordinated the clean up at Brookdale Park and at Brook Valley Park where twelve bags got filled and volunteers were seen still working hard until late in the morning; a colourful hand-made poster directed volunteers to Kinoak Arena to receive their bags and gloves,” stated Mr. Dankowich.
“In south central Oakville, in addition to the clean ups at Trafalgar Park and Hogs Back Park, there was a clean up by sixteen people at Busby Park led by Stephen Cull who is the founder of Charterability.com. Volunteers at the Oakville Museum cleaned up at Lakeside Park while others pitched in at Market Square. Michelle Stanford coordinated a clean up of the Sixteen Mile Creek from South QEW Park to Shipyard Park at the harbour.”
“In south east Oakville and in addition to Deer Run Park previously mentioned, five bags of garbage were removed at Dunvegan Park in a effort coordinated by Paul Dankowich,” he noted.
THE REAL HEROES OF THE CLEAN UP
“The coordinators are the real heroes of this campaign. They are the people in our community who are the most concerned about littering and are willing to take action to beautify their neighbourhood. Their resolve to do the clean up regardless of poor weather is remarkable and indicative of how important biodiversity and the need to protect the natural environment is to a lot of people in Oakville,” he added.
“The Clean Up was supported by seventy-nine sponsors this year. We could not organize this community event without their generous annual donation. Budds’ Imported Cars is now a twenty year sponsor while COCA, Life Source Water Systems and the three local Sobeys became fifteen year sponsors in 2013. We hope you will support our sponsors too. Visit our website at www.oakvillepeacecentre.org to review a list of the sponsors,” said Mr. Dankowich.
“Many people remarked about how impressed they were with the Town’s Parks and Open Space Department which produced a large map of the clean up locations and displayed it prominently in municipal facilities throughout the community. The downtown library dressed up the map with gloves and bags to draw further attention to the display. As well, LK Trucking and Halton Region’s Public Works Department are to be thanked for their prompt removal of the collected garbage on April 20 afternoon,” he added.
“Nine schools cleaned up commencing on Earth Day which is April 22 every year. Students at Abbey Lane, Heritage Glen, Joshua Creek and Maple Grove Public Schools, Our Lady of Peace and St. Luke Elementary Schools, St. Ignacius of Loyola and St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary Schools and at Dearcroft/Westwind Montessori received a first-hand lesson regarding littering and biodiversity,” he stated.
“The winner of the bicycle helmet donated by Cyclepath is Diana Lytle who participated in the clean up at Oakville Park that was supervised by Renee Lehnen and family. Congratulations, Diana,” enthused Mr. Dankowich.
“In those areas cleaned up on April 20, everyone will now enjoy garbage-free parks and trails this spring and summer. Thank you to everyone who participated in the community-wide Clean Up. The environment is everyone’s responsibility and we really appreciate the fact that the coordinators and volunteers are doing so much to protect and enhance nature in Oakville” he concluded.
For more information, please contact the Oakville Community Centre for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights at (905) 849-5501, by
e-mail at: email@example.com or by writing to: OCCPEHR, P.O. Box 52007, Oakville L6J 7N5.
NOTE: THE 23rd ANNUAL EARTH WEEK CLEAN UP WILL TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2014.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THE SUCCESS OF THE 22ND ANNUAL EARTH WEEK CLEAN UP IN OAKVILLE:
- 79 SPONSORS
- 46 SITE COORDINATORS
- 9 SCHOOLS
- 3 BOARD MEMBERS
- 100’s of VOLUNTEERS