We are very excited about our 26th annual Clean Up of Oakville’s nature sites on Saturday, April 22. This year’s event is particularly special because it falls on Earth Day which is celebrated around the world.
All local citizens and organizations are encouraged to participate in this community-wide effort.
GOALS AND RESULTS FROM LAST SPRING
The goals of the annual Clean Up are to promote awareness and respect for nature and waterways, beautify local neighbourhoods, build community through environmental activism, improve people’s health, protect wildlife, and increase awareness about the need to protect biodiversity in Oakville.
Our`s is the largest annual clean up during Earth Week in Canada. 78,000 students and citizens have participated since 1992. A record 47 Oakville locations were cleaned up by 1,500 volunteers who removed 4,600 kilograms of waste last spring.
COORDINATORS ARE THE REAL HEROES
The campaign is a real grassroots accomplishment. Citizens concerned about littering and the protection of our local natural environment became coordinators of the Clean Up in their neighbourhood.
Up to and including the 2016 Clean Up, we have organized a total of 658 neighbourhood clean ups. We began with one location in 1992, five in 1993, six in 1994 and 1995, twelve in 1996, a big jump up to twenty-seven locations in 2002, thirty-eight sites in 2004, forty-six locations in 2013, 40 in 2014, 42 in 2015 and an all-time record forty-seven sites in 2016.
Coordinators have primarily included individuals, families or groups of families working together. In 2016, twelve local not-for-profit groups were involved as coordinators; three real estate agents coordinated sites as they know the value of curb appeal.
All 132 past and present coordinators have truly made a big difference in our community. They took the bold step of becoming an organizer for the environment. As a volunteer coordinator, they became a source of inspiration for others who shared their concerns and joined in on clean up day.
YOU CAN SET UP A NEW CLEAN UP LOCATION
We will help you to set up a new location in your neighbourhood and gain the support of a few or hopefully many others to clean up a park, trail, ravine, green space, woodlot or lakefront near to where you live. It is easy and very personally rewarding for you and your family to become an event coordinator. 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.
There are several specific neighbourhoods where we are looking for new coordinators including any new development around Dundas Street, Petro Canada Park and the Twelve Mile Creek under the QEW bridge at Bronte Road in the southwest, countryside neighbourhoods around Trafalgar and Burnhamthorpe Roads, trails around the Glen Abbey and River Oaks Recreation Centres, Nottinghill Gate Park, Riverbank Way, Glenashton Drive and Trafalgar Road area, Sheridan College, Winston Woods, Deer Run Park in the south east, and Iroquois Shoreline Woods at Upper Middle Road and Grand Boulevard.
Oakville’s Parks and Open Space Department is the main sponsor of this event and Halton Region’s Public Works Department sponsors two garbage trucks.
We hope you will be able to participate in the Clean Up this spring. We encourage you to join a location or to coordinate a new location where you live or work in 2017. Please contact me to get further involved.
Stephen Dankowich, executive director,
Oakville Community Centre for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights (OCCPEHR)
PS Our organization is always looking to expand our Board of Directors and new volunteers are always welcome. Event planners, social media specialists and web designers are particularly needed! Thank you.