Kamloops university students lead weekend shoreline cleanup

By Adam Donnelly
April 8, 2019 - 1:37pm Updated: April 8, 2019 - 3:11pm

KAMLOOPS — Every spring when the snow melts, a hidden cornucopia is revealed. Discarded coffee cups, plastic bags, and assorted other trash seems to pile up throughout the city and is often swept down storm drains and into waterways.

On Saturday, a group of students from Thompson Rivers University’s Eco Club invited members of the community down to Riverside Park to help clean up some of that garbage, as part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

From assorted plastic items, especially bags, to discarded personal items like shoes, clothes, and backpacks, Saturday’s clean-up at Pioneer Park took a tremendous amount of trash off the shoreline of our city. But there was one item that stood to the person who found it.

“I saw something red in the bushes,” volunteer Natasha Lyndon told CFJC Today. “It turned out to be a huge — what do you call it? Like a mixmaster? Not with the bowl, but the huge appliance part of it. So, I hefted that out. It was quite heavy.”

The event was part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup hosted by members of the TRU Eco Club. Club member and cleanup organizer Christian Andrews says the cleanup was a great way to help take care of the place he lives while educating people on how discarded items can make their way into our watershed.

“We have quite a bit of litter in the ocean, as a lot of people know,” Andrews explained. “[The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup] is an educational thing — to tell people what’s going on, at the same time doing some community building.”

Christian even recruited his mom, Gudrun Caller, to come and help out with the event, and it was a good thing she wore her gumboots because she got right into Peterson Creek and started pulling garbage out.

“Lots of odds and ends, lots of bags,” were among the items Caller said she found in the creek. “Even those bags we want to take instead of plastic — those are being discarded down the creek, too, so that’s disappointing.”

According to the volunteers who came down to lend a hand, the area needed a good cleaning.

“It’s amazing what people leave behind,” Lyndon said. “We haven’t mentioned all the dog poo that people don’t pick up either. Maybe next time it’ll be a big shoreline dog poo cleanup.”

For Andrews, the engagement he got from not only fellow students but from members of the community made the event a success.

“Part of my values is to have a cleaner world, so sharing those values is very important to me,” Andrews said. “Setting up this event was sort of to show our community what we can do to help better Kamloops.”

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