The 28th annual Earth Week Clean Up on Saturday, April 27, 2019 was organized by the:
Oakville Community Centre for
Peace, Ecology and Human Rights,
P.O. Box 52007, Oakville, ON L6J 7N5
(905) 849-5501, firstname.lastname@example.org
Final Report on the 2019 Earth Week Clean Up of Nature Sites:
For a clean, green, litter-free Oakville!
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
1,000+ VOLUNTEERS, RECORD 59 LOCATIONS AND 4,240 KGS OF WASTE REMOVED AT THE 28TH ANNUAL EARTH WEEK CLEAN UP ON SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 2019
“Despite a biting cold wind and even some early morning snow flurries, the 28th annual Earth Week Clean Up of Nature Sites in Oakville was one of our best ever,” stated Stephen Dankowich, event organizer and executive director of the Oakville Community Centre for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights (OCCPEHR).
“In 2019, our campaign slogan was for a clean, green, litter-free Oakville and the community’s response was fantastic,” he said.
“There was a new record fifty-nine nature sites cleaned up by more than 1,000 volunteers on Saturday, April 27. All together, we removed a total of 4,240 kilograms of waste including 620 kilograms of metal for recycling. We filled 737 garbage bags with collected waste,” he noted.
“Based on the incredible job so well done despite the blustery weather, Oakville must have the most committed and dedicated Earth Week Clean Up coordinators. As I drove around the community in the afternoon of the event, I was able to see first-hand the extent of waste collected at our locations and it was very impressive,” he exclaimed.
“Oakville’s nature sites received a great spring cleaning thanks to the efforts of site coordinators who reached out to family members, neighbours, schools and other organizations to pitch-in at their Clean Up location, distributed free bags and gloves to the citizens who showed up to join in, thanked these participants, wished them a happy Earth Week and encouraged everyone to pay attention to the natural environment year-round,” he said.
“It is wonderful that more people and more organizations are getting involved in order to benefit the local natural environment. Individuals, families, students, resident associations, eco clubs, other not for profit groups, businesses, politicians and governmental organizations participated in 2019,” he stated.
“In the week leading up to the event, we added eight new locations to the Clean Up showing that it’s never too late to set-up a new location. These late additions allowed the campaign to hit a record fifty-nine nature sites being paid attention to by citizens and students. It is very encouraging to see the event build up and grow to reach ever more people in ever more neighbourhoods,” remarked Mr. Dankowich.
“In addition, 260 high school students pitched-in during the week following our Clean Up including 140 students from St. Thomas Aquinas, 30 from White Oaks North Campus, 30 from Iroquois Ridge and 60 students from Loyola. Students from Blakelock and Appleby College participated on April 27 and did a great job,” he added. Students who participated on April 27th received credit for their volunteer hours as required for graduation from high school.
Mr. Dankowich applauded everyone’s efforts in stating that “ravines, parks, trails, lakefront and woodlots in neighbourhoods throughout Oakville just received a good spring cleaning. Oakville is cleaner, greener and substantially more litter-free thanks to everyone’s participation in the annual Earth Week Clean Up. Congratulations, Oakville!”
“All in all, our community-wide event reached into most all neighbourhoods in Oakville and succeeded in advancing the goals of the campaign,” concluded the event coordinator.
WHAT WAS CLEANED UP AT THE CLEAN UP ON APRIL 27, 2019?
“People are always curious to know what was picked up at the Clean Up and it was reported by coordinators that the following items were removed from their nature sites: Five bikes, six tires, five shopping carts, a car seat, a bag full of remnants of a child’s birthday party including decorations, napkins, pinchata and streamers just left by the side of a road, a ladder, large railway ties with spike, a 1980s Coke can, electric garage door opener metal track and box, metal household mailbox, set of hand weights, three foot long piece of ceramic piping, melted recycle bluebox, golf balls, fast food containers and cups, plastic stuff, gunk around Charterability.com’s dock and launch pad, parts of a bed, broken barrel, large plastic strips, car rim, LED lightbulbs, giant size tarps, planter pots, stingray foam toy, rods and wire, tiles, roof shingles, a real estate sign, toilet bowl, eight foot long metal sign post, wrought iron chair, e-cigarette, deflated football and soccer ball, bike in pieces, an old tire, four folding chairs, large wood swing structure, BB gun, animal trap, contractor’s sign, stiff wire, bent metal tube, six foot tall artificial tree, broken statue, and a dog poop bag hanging high in a tree!,” he noted.
COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING THE ANNUAL EVENT
“Volunteers and coordinators also provided many valuable suggestions for improving the event in future years including having more grab-it sticks at each site, promote preventative measures so recycling materials do not blow out of household blue boxes, highlight the goals and past results on the front page of the event newspaper, wear safety goggles when entering green spaces with low hanging branches, bring rakes and shovels, get more corporate sponsors, need more garbage cans along pathways especially around shopping plazas and schools, use a phone message to advertise the event similar to political ads in order to reach more people, colour posters were good and well received at schools taken to for display, and more social media presence.
It was also suggested to consider moving the date of the Clean Up into May when more reasonable weather can be expected and to organize multiple clean up dates starting with a new fall clean up. While some would like the event to begin later at 10 am instead of 9 am, others suggested extending the hours of the Clean Up to go from 9 am until noon in future years.
Volunteers told coordinators that they were very appreciative and delighted to take part in the Clean Up, that they found the event to be very well organized, loved that there are so many locations and were extremely pleased that nature sites are getting cleaner and cleaner each year.
It has also been suggested to “consider using smaller bags to reduce plastic waste, to sell pick-up sticks to volunteers at each location to ease their work and provide the Centre with a small fundraiser, to use bright yellow paper rather than light green for the street posters hung at each location in advance, to consider having one or two afternoon Clean Up sites for those unable to attend in the morning, to try to get schools more involved, to bring a box for found broken glass, to create a more interactive map on the town website, and to attach tags to grabber poles with “property of OCCPEHR” so people don’t leave with them,” listed Mr. Dankowich.
SPONSORS MAKE IT HAPPEN
“Seventy-seven organizations sponsored the 2019 Clean Up. Thank you very much! A third of these sponsors have supported us for twenty or more years. We encourage all variety of organizations to become a new sponsor of the event in order for this campaign to continue growing ever stronger.”
“The full list of sponsors by type of organization can be viewed on the website,” said an appreciative executive director.
MAIN SPONSOR: “Citizens will be very pleased to know that the event’s main sponsor is the Parks and Open Space Department which provided bags, gloves and pick up sticks, produced and displayed a large, full colour map highlighting the Clean Up locations at libraries, recreation centres and Town Hall, promoted the event with eight mobile signs featured around town and donated free skate/swim passes to all site coordinators. As well, the mayor prepared a thank you letter to coordinators,” said Mr. Dankowich.
EIGHT MOBILE SIGNS DISPLAYED FOR TWO WEEKS PRIOR: “I really believe the eight mobile signs on display for two full weeks before the Clean Up truly helped to get more people involved this year,” remarked Don Meade, Board Member. “The signs were well designed, used bold and bright colours, contained our logo and website and were easy to read while driving by. Great public exposure and publicity was generated by the mobile signs and they made a big difference in raising greater awareness of the annual campaign,” added Mr. Dankowich. The eight locations for the mobile signs were Bronte/Donovan Bailey Park, Felan/Rebecca, Ford/Cornwall, Third/Liverpool, Sixth/Glenashton, Eighth/Glenashton, Postville/Dundas, and George Savage Pond. In addition to this publicity, we taped up 60” long posters on green paper at each site that read: “Clean Up Here, Sat. April 27, 9am”.
SECOND MAIN SPONSOR: “This event also succeeds thanks to the generous support of Halton Region’s Waste Management Department which sponsors the hiring of two vehicles from an independent trucking company called LK Trucking whose employees are really enthusiastic supporters of the Clean Up and look forward to it each spring. LK provided a van to pick up scrap metal and a garbage truck to pick up everything else collected at all locations right after the event was over. Pitch-In Canada also provided bags,” he noted.
MAJOR PROVISIONAL SUPPORTS FROM SOME SPONSORS: “This year, we received a variety of donated items from various sponsors that really enhanced the Clean Up including:
1. Film.ca Cinemas generously donated 2,000 vouchers for a free small bag of popcorn. All of the coordinators were very pleased to distribute a coupon attached to a thank you letter to every volunteer at their site when the volunteers arrived to register and get their bag and gloves. Thanks to Bryn Perras and Jeff Knoll at this movie house for facilitating this major contribution.
2. Panago Pizza on Cornwall Road came in early to bake fifty pies for pick-up at 10:30 am by fourteen coordinators in south east and south central Oakville nature sites. Panago Pizza’s pizza was enjoyed by all of their volunteers immediately after their clean ups were over. What a substantial contribution by new owner Mr. Ferdows Ayam!
3. Cobs Bread located in the Upper Oakville mall offered a voucher for a free loaf of bread to all coordinators in north east Oakville. Thanks, Raj!
4. Starbucks served coffee and iced tea at the Lions Valley Park location.
5. The Real Canadian Superstore donated water, juice boxes and muffins to four coordinators.
6. The Real One Realty and their Elite3Team handed out five packs of leaf collection bags to volunteers at Maple Grove Arena and at the Joshua Creek Public School/Pinery Park location.
7. Advertisers and sponsors allowed us to print 10,000 copies of our event newspaper
These many expressions of support and gratitude for the achievements of the Clean Up are greatly appreciated,” said Mr. Dankowich who also noted that “as a not for profit, we certainly welcome any and all donations.”
RECORD FIFTY-NINE SITE COORDINATORS DID AN INCREDIBLE JOB… AS ALWAYS!
“Coordinators of the 28th annual Earth Week Clean Up of Nature Sites in Oakville did an incredible job for the benefit of the community and in support of our campaign for a clean, green, litter-free Oakville despite the cold and windy day,” remarked Stephen Dankowich, executive director of the Oakville Community Centre for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights.
In 2019, we organized an all time record high of fifty-nine locations cleaned up. Here is a list of the 59 locations pitched-in at on Saturday, April 27, 2019 and information about the Clean Up at each as provided by its coordinator:
WARD ONE: (Five locations cleaned up)
1. Bronte Bluffs Park is at the end of West River Street just west of Bronte Harbour and it was cleaned up by members of the Bronte Village Residents Association who collected a few bags of garbage.
2. Visitors to Bronte Creek Provincial Park were offered a bag and gloves by members of the Friends of Bronte Creek Park at both the Main Entrance off of Burloak Drive and at the Campgrounds off of Upper Middle Road and west of Bronte Road. Coordinator Joanne Wright reported that the participation of twenty volunteers made the park that much greener for all to enjoy this spring and summer. Contact: email@example.com
3. Coordinator Peter Vandermyden reported another “successful year despite the cold and occasional snow” at the Bronte Road and QEW carpool parking lot site. Twenty-four volunteers collected forty to fifty bags of garbage. They also cleaned up all along Bronte Road south to Wyecroft Road as well.
4. At Lakeshore Woods, there were several meeting spots around Great Lakes Boulevard including Creek Path Woods, Sheldon Creek Trail, the Shell Park free-run dog park, Nautical Park, Nautical Woods Park and Village Wood Park. Volunteers who began pitching in at 10 am enjoyed a luncheon at noon donated by local neighbourhood supportive businesses. Coordinators included Linda Zylik and her daughter Lauren and Melissa Dearden all of whom were enthusiastic first year site leaders in 2019. The Oakville Beaver highlighted this site with a photograph of a volunteer cleaning up at Lakeshore Woods in both their May 2 and May 9 editions of this community newspaper published once a week on Thursdays. Sixty-five volunteers removed forty-five bags of garbage and ten pieces of metal in their expansive clean up.
5. NEW AND JUST ADDED! Colonel William Parkway Green Spaces. Marilyn Harris and her spouse took the bull by the horns to clean up all along this major transportation artery in the Bronte area west of Bronte Road and north of Upper Middle Road. They collected five bags of garbage much of which accumulated around a garbage bin. Marilyn, the concerned and proactive citizen, believes there are three contributing factors to the waste problem here: “dog poop bags strewn about, people throwing refuse out of car windows and the need to empty the garbage bin more frequently so it does not create a distasteful and unsanitary situation.” They also would like to see a workman’s vest removed from the hydro wires that it has been hanging from for years!
WARD TWO: (Fifteen locations cleaned up)
1. The clean up at Aldercrest Park and Taplow Creek began at the bridge at the end of Blackthorn Place with Park Ambassador Cathy Buchanan. Twenty-two volunteers removed 28 bags of garbage, 10 large pieces of garbage and five pieces of metal.
2A. People living in and around Rebecca Street between Morden Road and Fourth Line were encouraged to join coordinators Heather White and Emiro Martinez-Osorio at T.A. Blakelock High School. Appleby College students and teachers joined their counterparts from this high school to team up and Clean Up around the YMCA, along Rebecca Street and at Suffolk Park and Glen Oak Park. Heather also reported that some neighbourhood families showed up and worked at other neighbourhood schools and parks. There were students from four neighbourhood schools at this site. Heather also got Paul Thomson to send seven classes at St. Thomas Aquinas out to clean up the perimeter of STA in the week following. Congratulations to Heather for reaching out to all of the various schools in her area and for getting them involved in the event!
2B. NEW AND JUST ADDED! Appleby College was encouraged to set-up a new location at the college located at Fourth Line and Lakeshore Road and this private school came through with flying colours! Under the leadership of Amanda Johnson from the English Department, students cleaned up their extensive grounds, lakefront and general neighbouring area. Students from Appleby College also joined students from Blakelock High School to clean up around Rebecca Street. It was reported by coordinator Heather White that the students greatly enjoyed meeting other high school students and working together as a team.
3A. Beginning at Coronation Park, a big chunk of public property between Third Line and Bronte Road around Lakeshore Road was cleaned up. Thirty volunteers cleaned up along the lakefront from Coronation Park at Third Line to Bronte Road including at the Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park. They continued north to Lakeshore Road then eastward to the Bronte Athletic Park. This clean up was attended to by volunteers with the Halton Region Police Track Program headed by Constable Ron Ferlin together with site coordinator Gord Cochrane who reported that “even though it was cool, the brisk pace kept everyone warm. The Panago Pizza was devoured in short order by these high energy participants! This group will meet instead at the Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park for their clean up in 2020.
3B. NEW AND JUST ADDED! In the future, Coronation Park will have new coordinators: the Halton Malayalees Association. This group and their youth coordinator Seema Kumar look forward to assembling their more than one hundred members for a thorough cleaning of this park next year; twenty five members were able to attend this year. This park is a jewel to be protected and enjoyed by everyone in the community. A big welcome, congratulations and thank you is extended to Seema Kumar and the HMA!
John Erven, Lead Hand for Environmental Services at the Parks Department also has suggested that such a large group like the HMA would be ideal for this location to help rake up fallen branches and twigs and to return stones to the shoreline. John is a big supporter of the Clean Up, delivers the bags and gloves to us for our distribution to coordinators each year, takes the 3’x4’ map reproductions to all town facilities for display and shares tips about where clean ups are particularly needed around town each spring.
The 3’x4’ map was produced by Manager Frank Goehner and Business Technologist Kailin Campbell of the Town’s cartography department.
4. Forster Park and portions of Hogs Back Park which is at the Speers and Cornwall road crossing were cleaned up by members and supporters of the West River Residents Association. The WRRA does a tremendous job promoting the event including the display of hand-painted signage along Queen Mary Drive. Twenty volunteers removed fifteen bags of garbage and two shopping carts. The WRRA is planning a follow-up Clean Up in May.
5. Four students and four adults cleaned up the Glen Oak Creek Trail at Monastery Drive and collected three bags of garbage. Ken Brodner and son Erik hosted the event here and would like to encourage people to try and prevent recycling materials from blowing out of their blue boxes in order to reduce the amount of garbage that ends up in our green spaces and waterways.
6. Eleven volunteers stuffed six large garbage bags with waste recovered from Hopedale Park thanks to the efforts of coordinators Sharon and Earl Wiese who met volunteers on Tansley Drive. “We had seven members of the Jesus is Lord Church who came last year as well, were a great help and are very friendly people,” reported the coordinating couple.
7. Do you love birds? Under the direction of coordinator Donna Sheppard, a few members of the South Peel Naturalists’ Club tidied up a good portion of the Indian Ridge Trail while removing nine pieces of garbage including six full garbage bags. This group meets at the entrance to the trails on Lindsay Drive at North Service Road across from Staples Business Depot (an event sponsor), and proceed towards Fourth Line.
8. Green spaces around Kinoak Arena as well as Brook Valley Park were cleaned up by Sabrina and Toaster Dementros of The Oakville Independents who filled five large bags with garbage. With many new people moving into this neighbourhood, we encourage them and others to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to assist at this site in the future.
9. Eight volunteers gathered at Old Abbey Lane Park to clean up the trails between Dorval Drive, Montrose Abbey Lane and Old Abbey Lane with coordinator Donna Morano and family who reported that “fifteen bags of garbage were collected with the majority of the garbage being fast food containers, cups and plastic. Are people just dropping or even throwing this from their cars as they pass through?” She also noted that students at Abbey Lane Public School were cleaning the area earlier in the week so her team concentrated their efforts on Dorval Drive.
10. Trafalgar Park at Kerr and Rebecca Streets behind the new fire station is a new location in 2019. Staffed by Geeta Mungo, there were forty people in attendance including twenty-five teens from the Burlington Civitan Group. She also reported that the ravine area at the park was quickly cleaned up by her large crew who also swept the park. The teens then walked a block west to Dorval Drive and cleaned up all along the fence which held a lot of garbage. “We had a great turnout and lots of fun,” she added.
11. The Clean Up for neighbours living on and around Valleywood Court which is just south of Monastery Drive in Glen Abbey was a great success again this spring with ten bags of garbage collected. Coordinators Christine and Robert Schultz continue their good work in maintaining the Glen Oak Creek trails and reported that “we had a great turnout today.”
12. Waterworks Park is at the bottom of Kerr Street along Lake Ontario and staffed by members of the West Harbours Residents Association. Seventeen adults pitched in and filled six bags at this great place to enjoy Oakville’s lakefront.
13. The neighbourhood Earth Week Clean Up at Woodhaven Park and Sedgewick Forest is hosted by School Trustee Tracey Ehl Harrison and her family.
WARD THREE: (Seven locations cleaned up)
1. Albion Park and Wedgewood Park were attended to by members of the Oakville Community Centre for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights with three bags of garbage collected.
2. Busby Park is located behind the downtown Central Library at the harbour of the magnificent Sixteen Mile Creek. This site is staffed by CharterAbility.com, a charitable organization dedicated to providing accessible recreational boating experiences for people of all ages with disabilities. Contact: email@example.com and Stephen Cull for more information. He thanked the ten volunteers helping out while noting that “getting out of that warm bed today probably wasn’t the easiest thing to do but our planet needs us.” He also extended a special thanks to Mr. Berriman for bringing rakes and shovels to clean up the gunk around their dock and launch ramp.
3. On Saturday, May 11 from 9:30 to 11 am, a huge clean up was again organized by the Clearview Oakville Community Alliance (COCA). Residents gathered at Clearview Park and proceeded to clean up the whole wide neighbourhood including Clearview Woods, Kingsway Park, Bishopstoke Park, Wynten Park, Jonathan Park as well as trails along Kingsford Gardens and the Avonhead Ridge Trail. With no wind yet still being cool, the weather certainly was more cooperative for the Clean Up at Clearview Park. Lots of families with very young kids participated with about 150 volunteers pitching in to gather approximately 500 kilograms of waste in more than sixty garbage bags left for removal at multiple spots next to signage promoting the day in advance. The COCA also organized a barbeque picnic in the park for all of the volunteers afterwards and the hotdogs were relished by the hungry picker uppers! The Clearview neighbourhood Clean Up is both an environmental event and a big social event for the community. Congratulations and thank you for building community in Oakville, COCA!
4. Dunvegan Park is located behind Maple Grove Village. The long time site coordinator has been OCCPEHR’s Administrative Assistant Paul Dankowich who reported that seven volunteers removed ten bags full of garbage. A postage stamp sized park with a children’s playground, it backs onto Cornwall Drive and is the unfortunate recipient of lots of fast food containers, cups and other similar waste.
5. Learning and Community Development Officer Susan Crane and other Oakville Museum staff coordinated the clean up at Lakeside Park and the historic Erchless Estates. It was reported that a few hardy volunteers did a great job with many others signed up but deterred by the weather from attending. Susan welcomes all Clean Up volunteers to visit the museum and to encourage others to drop in as well this spring and summer. While visiting, you can also check out the nature scene sculptures of wolves and caribou on the grounds that were produced by Bert Jackson of Way Cool Tattoos Oakville, and event sponsor.
6. The Joshua Creek Residents’ Association met at Maple Grove Arena to clean up Joshua Valley Park’s many trails and parks east and west of Ford Drive. JCRA Director Terri Ball reported that forty-five volunteers worked on the pick-up and covered the trail beginning at Constance Road at Maple Grove Village all the way to Lakeshore Road and Arkendo. There were thirty bags of garbage and five pieces of metal collected. Elite3Team brought their 5-packs of garden bags, Panago Pizza provided five pies and Ward Three Councillors Dave Gittings and Janet Haslett-Theall brought timbits and coffee. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
7. Perkins Passage is located off of Cornwall Road across from the Oakville and Milton Humane Society. Coordinator Lynne Dolan and family directed volunteers to Post Park, Maple Valley Park, the Cornwall Road Sports Park and along both sides of Cornwall Road from Trafalgar Road to Chartwell Road. A large collection of more than thirty bags of garbage was gathered by three dozen volunteers. Lynne and her young son Everett hand delivered 600 copies of the event flyer to households south of Cornwall Road to really get the news out!
WARD FOUR: (Thirteen locations cleaned up)
1. Arbourview Park is located west of Third Line and north of Upper Middle Road. Beatriz Gomez and other members of the Oakvillegreen Conservation Association staffed this lovely area of town and attracted thirty-eight volunteers including twenty-two students who removed thirteen bags of garbage. Beatriz noted that the Clean Up is a great initiative with high impact and community involvement which helps to build community while keeping Oakville green. She believes that people are willing to get involved and be stewards and they just need guidance and a bit of help to make a difference. Get involved at email@example.com to join a tree planting initiative!
2. The Glen Oak Creek Trails north of Upper Middle Road at Fourth Line was staffed by long time site coordinator Antonio Fonseca who reported that “the Clean Up went very well, volunteers were pleased that the park is getting cleaner every year as reflected by the fewer number of bags of garbage collected, this year’s participation by volunteers was the best ever and to top it off our MP Honourable Pam Damoff dropped in and had words of encouragement.” Eight volunteers gathered five bags of garbage and removed a car tire.
3. Heritage Way Park and various trails including the Glen Abbey Trail and those on the Fourteen Mile Creek Lands were tidied up by twenty-nine people including fourteen students who removed thirty bags of garbage. In an effort co-coordinated by Weidong Zhu, President of the Glen Abbey Neighbours Association, and Edward Drennan, the volunteers were lined up to register and eager to get going despite the high winds at this location. Edward noted that if there is less garbage collected at a site year after year it means conversely that the effort is really succeeding. Weidong and his kids also made a big contribution to raising awareness and environmental consciousness by hand-delivering 800 copies of the event newspaper to households west of Third Line in south Glen Abbey. Ms. Sijia Liu of Cogeco TV came to this location to interview the organizers and volunteers; you can view the excellent coverage at www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXukXdHdo1A. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Langtry Park is in the southwest corner of Glen Abbey and it too was staffed by the Glen Abbey Neighbourhood Association. Mrs. Dan Liu welcomed a group of parents with their ten to eleven year old boys who are affiliated with the Oakville Soccer Club. The fifteen adults and fifteen soccer kids at this site picked up fifteen bags of garbage. Mary Mavroudis organized the participation of the boys in the Clean Up because “it is a great team building event.”
5. Just east of Third Line on Upper Middle Road there is a Ravine behind the TD Bank that always requires a good spring cleaning. Thanks are extended to coordinator Amy Young for attending to this location which is another good site for Loyola SS and Abbey Park HS students to go to. Amy reported that “this location had a few mystery volunteers who collected between ten and fifteen bags of garbage about a week ago. On April 27th, six more bags of garbage were filled while a toilet bowl was left lodged in the ravine and will require Public Works to remove it. Amy would like to see more corporate sponsors for the event, more garbage cans along pathways and trails especially near plazas and schools and multiple clean up dates starting with a fall Clean Up.
6. The trails north and south of the intersection at Sandpiper Road at Pheasant Lane are cleaned up annually from Upper Middle Road to north of West Oak Trails Boulevard at 3rd Line with coordinators Carol Anderson and Keith Webster. Twenty-four volunteers including six students collected twenty-four bags of garbage, a shopping cart and a long metal sign. A waterlogged couch could not be lifted and Public Works will need machinery to remove it from nature.
7. Nine volunteers including four students picked up waste at Sixteen Hollow Park and on the trails behind Westoak Trails Boulevard with coordinator Sharon Brodner. Four bags of garbage, four large pieces of garbage and a wrought iron chair with legs missing were removed.
8. Westoak Trails Park next to Garth Webb Secondary School is thoroughly cleaned up under the leadership of Karen Wilson Davis and the 36th Oakville Guides. Twenty-nine volunteers including fourteen students collected ten bags and three large pieces of garbage. Over the winter a camp was built with picnic tables and cast-off furniture that ended up in the creek and could not be moved by the team.
9. Woodgate Woods is off of Postmaster Drive and a great location for students from Pope John Paul II to attend. Coordinator Voulay Caffrey and family reclaimed the natural beauty of the woodlot and adjoining children’s playground park with the removal of seven bags of garbage.
10. NEW AND JUST ADDED! Glen Abbey Trail. This trail runs from the Glen Abbey Community Centre south to Abbeywood Drive and had not been cleaned up as part of our event for a few years. Nicole Panabaker stepped up and corralled seven adult volunteers to remove eleven full bags, six large pieces of garbage and five pieces of metal including two shopping carts much of which was in the stream. “Thank you so much for confirming your participation for next year already, Nicole,” said Stephen Dankowich, event organizer.
11. NEW AND JUST ADDED! Millstone Park and Trail. Bill and Marlene Keay quickly assembled six volunteers to give a good spring cleaning to this northwest site. Bill reported that “despite the cold and windy day we got the job done, collected nine bags of garbage and found a metal shower rod bar as well as roof shingles.” He added that “a lot of other people want to help the environment too.”
12. NEW AND JUST ADDED! Oakhaven Drive Trails. Chris Ellen contacted the Peace Centre in the week leading up to the April 27th event and he quickly organized a very successful neighbourhood Clean Up with eight volunteers gathering at the entrance to the green trails off of Oakhaven Drive. Chris sent out an email to some neighbours previously connected together to encourage participation. They collected eight bags of garbage and the neighbourhood now will thoroughly enjoy their litter-free trails this spring thanks to this new event coordinator’s initiative.
13. NEW AND JUST ADDED! Summit Ridge Drive Trails. Lynne and David Jenkins reported that “everyone seemed to have fun especially a second grade boy who was proud of rolling an old tire up the ravine hill! We found a bike in pieces, an old tire, a folding chair and a large wooden swing set and neighbours for a new annual spring cleaning of the local ravines and trails. Nineteen volunteers including seven students collected six bags and two large pieces of garbage, and three pieces of recyclable metal pieces.
WARD FIVE: (Seven locations cleaned up)
1. Memorial Park in the rapidly developing Oak Park neighbourhood claimed “nineteen volunteers which was great,” said coordinator Gita Zoghi. Twelve bags of garbage were filled by this team which met on Hays Boulevard. Volunteers also enjoyed the donated goods from the Real Canadian Superstore.
2. The Munns Creek Trails and neighbourhood parks were cleaned up in an effort coordinated by the Stefan family who are Park Ambassadors. Two bags of garbage were collected.
3. People living along the Nipigon Trail were encouraged to meet just south of River Oaks Boulevard off of Sixth Line to tidy up the ravines and trails from Upper Middle Road north to Glenashton Drive. Richard Slatter, the site coordinator reported that only five volunteers attended and removed a solitary bag of garbage; “it seems that the last Saturday in April is not good for a clean up as there generally is bad weather and too many other activities at this time.”
4. Councillor Jeff Knoll encouraged Ward Five residents to join him in cleaning up at Memorial Park and Oak Park Walk and many did to remove fifteen bags of garbage and some wooden poles at this location.
5. Oakville Park was cleaned up by thirty students from White Oaks Secondary School-North Campus under the direction of teacher Nicole Roseneck in the week after the community-wide event. This park extends north from McCraney Street all the way up to Upper Middle Road.
6. Oxford Park and the Cedar Creek Trails which are located west of McCraney Street West were tidied up in an excellent effort spearheaded by coordinators Michelle and Jeff Sholdice and family. Six bags of garbage and two pieces of metal were left for pickup by our garbage trucks at the two different spots.
7. Coordinators Geoff and Mary Hospital gathered volunteers together at the entrance to the Trails and parkette on Marlatt Drive, south of River Glen Boulevard, for the neighbourhood Clean Up that extended through River Glen Park situated next to Our Lady of Peace Elementary School. Seven adults, three students and one child collected ten bags and three pieces of garbage and a shopping cart. Geoff reported that “our Shannon Creek Trail/Marlatt Drive Clean Up was a great success once again!”
WARD SIX: (Nine locations cleaned up)
1. Inclement weather including snow flurries restricted the numbers participating this year at Algrove Park on White Oaks Boulevard. Ward Six Town and Regional Councillor Tom Adams and members of his family delivered two hundred copies of the event flyer to local households to encourage attendance at this park and along the Trails of the Morrison Valley South which extend south down to Town Hall. Besides raising a lot of awareness and generating a lot of advance publicity, the coordinators made a big difference by removing four bags of garbage and a contractor’s sign.
2. Remax Broker Paul Butler does a great job at Bayshire Woods Park with everyone meeting at the entrance to the park at 1511 Bayshire Drive just east of Grand Boulevard. This spring, there was less garbage at this location than in past years but nonetheless more than twenty bags of garbage was collected by the two dozen volunteers.
3. The ravines and trails of Morrison Valley North were cleaned up by ten volunteers including six Iroquois Ridge High School “Green Team” Eco Club members and their teacher. Meeting on Glenashton Drive at the Bridge located between Trafalgar Road and Eighth Line, student environmentalist Yawar Ashraf joined OCCPEHR Board Member Don Meade as co-coordinators at this site. Twelve bags of garbage and three pieces of metal were retrieved.
4. Under the direction of Mr. Jinglie Dou, the Oakville Chinese Senior 99 Association met at the Iroquois Ridge Community Centre to pitch in at the adjacent Glenashton Park and Nena Woods Park. Fifty seniors collected a total of four bags of garbage.
5. Litchfield Park and a portion of the Morrison Valley south of Upper Middle Road were cleaned up by members of the Trafalgar Presbyterian Church under the leadership of George Liebold and John Cross. Thirteen volunteers including five students all less than fourteen years of age old collected eight bags of garbage and one long piece of stiff wire. Two tire rims found at the bottom of the ravine will require the assistance of Public Works to be gotten rid of. Contact: email@example.com
6. The Parent-Child Council at Joshua Creek Public School organized the community clean up at and around Pinery Park. After gathering in the school parking lot at 10 am for the Clean Up and setting out to tidy up the wider school neighbourhood, the parents, teachers and students enjoyed a pizza party at noon sponsored by the RBC. Thirty bags of collected garbage and several pieces of metal were left for pickup by our garbage trucks at three spots. Elite3Team also distributed five packs of leaf collection bags to all volunteers at this site. Many thanks are extended to Principal Ricciardelli and Van Bantoft for their care and concern for the neighbourhood in which their school resides. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
7. Postridge Park and the trails and pathways behind the Dundas Street shopping centres just east of Trafalgar Road are spruced up by coordinators Niki and Brad Jandrew.
8. Sheridan Hills/Lancaster Woods coordinator Irina Fomenko met volunteers on Lancaster Drive between Grosvenor Street and Sheridan Public School at the trail entrance. Nine volunteers including four students collected four bags of garbage. Three found folding chairs were later picked up by somebody passing by from the curbside drop-off spot for collected waste.
9. Nineteen residents including six kids from The Brownstones at 300 Ravineview Way pitched in to clean up ravines and trails in their area under the coordinatorship of Leslie Osborne. She reported that “twenty bags of garbage were collected and the popcorn coupons brought many smiles.”
WARD SEVEN (Three locations cleaned up)
1. Isaac Park is located in the newly created Ward Seven and was the meeting place for residents who wanted to clean up wherever they live north of Dundas Street. Volunteers were encouraged to come to this park to pick up their bags and gloves and then return to their immediate neighbourhood or green space. Coordinators Mamta and Ajay Rosha greeted the two dozen volunteers at Isaac Park and got people going to gather fifteen bags of garbage. The coordinators reached out to local neighbourhood businesses for sponsorships and received a favourable reply in response from several businesses and potentially even more in 2020 as their community grows.
2. Lions Valley Park is one of the most beautiful parks in all of Oakville and it is yours to discover! Enter the park south off of Dundas Street and just east of Neyagawa Boulevard. Mr. Husnain Zakaria of the Al Falah Islamic Centre greeted volunteers with bags and gloves. Starbucks served ice tea and coffee to all thirty volunteers who could only find five bags of garbage to fill; “I was very glad to see that we had less waste to deal with this year at this beautiful park,” remarked Mr. Zakaria.
3. NEW AND JUST ADDED! A last minute addition was Palermo Park in northwest Oakville. Sunil Kardar of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) brought together eight members to remove three bags of garbage. “We shall return again to maintain this park for future Clean Up’s,” he said. “It has been our pleasure to participate as volunteers for this noble cause of community service. The purpose of our volunteering is to work selflessly towards the betterment of our society and country,” added Mr. Kardar. The HSS is a national not for profit group with chapters in Ontario, Quebec, BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE 28TH ANNUAL EARTH WEEK CLEAN UP
The campaign received good media coverage including the following:
– The Oakville Beaver publicized the event and sent a photographer to the Lakeshore Woods location on Saturday morning. Two photographs were printed in the May 2 and in the May 3 edition of this weekly community newspaper.
– Cogeco TV filmed us on Saturday morning when Sijia Liu interviewed organizers at the Heritage Way Park.- Our advertisement in Snap’d Oakville received a lot of attention.
– Neighbours of Glen Abbey and Neighbours of Olde Oakville promoted the clean ups.
ENUMERATING THE MANY BENEFITS OF THE ANNUAL CLEAN UP
“This annual event is the largest community-wide Clean Up in Canada during Earth Week,” remarked Don Meade, a Board Member. The annual Clean Up encourages people to take care of their own neighbourhood and it has contributed to building community by bringing neighbours together. In addition, it saves tens and tens of thousands of dollars a year for the local taxpayer and significantly boosts property values,” he stated.
“The Clean Up campaign is succeeding in promoting awareness and respect for biodiversity, local nature and our trails, parks and waterways. We are beautifying the local natural environment, protecting wildlife and benefiting people’s health while doing our best to encourage environmental activism in our schools and throughout our community,” he noted.
“The Clean Up is a family activity that will be remembered, cherished and talked about for years to come. By participating, parents are educating their children about the importance of the natural environment in a very practical way,” said Mr. Meade. “The Clean Up will allow everyone to enjoy trash-free parks and trails this spring and summer,” he said.
“This annual campaign is succeeding in reaching its goals of increasing awareness and practical concern for our local natural environment in Oakville,” he concluded.
HISTORY OF THE ANNUAL EARTH WEEK CLEAN UP
“The campaign has been a real grass roots accomplishment! Over the years, citizens concerned about littering and the protection of our local natural environment became coordinators of the Clean Up in their neighbourhood,” remarked Mr. Dankowich, a co-founder of the Oakville Community Centre for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights in 1992.
“Since 1992 to 2019, there have been a total of 154 coordinators including 8 new coordinators in 2019. Coordinators are the backbone of the campaign and true environmental heroes of our community. Coordinators have primarily included individuals, families or groups of families working together.
Up to and including the 2019 Clean Up, we have organized a total of 827 neighbourhood clean ups. We began with one in 1992, five in 1993, six in 1994 and 1995, twelve in 1996, twenty-seven locations in 2002, thirty-eight sites in 2004, forty-seven in 2016, fifty-two locations in 2017 and the new record fifty-nine sites in 2019.
Since our first clean up in 1992, when there were thirty members cleaning up under the Bronte Road Bridge at the QEW, the campaign has involved more than 83,000 students and citizens.
Over the years, other not for profit organizations also have played a large role in encouraging participation in this community-wide effort. In 2019, twenty various organizations staffed a nature site and were the coordinators for that Clean Up.
Coordinators have regularly reported that their neighbourhood has become a lot cleaner and a lot more liveable thanks to the annual clean up. Many have said that they have less and less to clean up each year with the larger pieces of garbage long ago removed.
The response from the community for this event has been tremendous. Thank you very much!
Please share this report with others”, said Mr. Dankowich.
CONTACT INFORMATION: 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 P.O. Box 52007, Oakville L6J 7N5.