The 26th annual Earth Week Clean Up of Nature Sites in Oakville
will take place on Saturday, April 22, 2017 and is organized by the:
Oakville Community Centre
for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights (OCCPEHR)
P.O. Box 52007, Oakville, ON L6J 7N5
(905) 849-5501, firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDIA RELEASE (for immediate publication)
Saturday, April 15, 2017
26TH ANNUAL EARTH WEEK CLEAN UP SET FOR SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2017
“The 26th annual Earth Week Clean Up of nature sites in Oakville will take place on Saturday, April 22 from 9 am to 11 am,” said Stephen Dankowich, executive director of the Oakville Community Centre for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights.
“We look forward to everyone pitching in as our local environment truly needs your attention and support. Help clean up a park, trail, ravine, green space, woodlot or lakefront near to where you live. There are forty-five locations throughout Oakville now confirmed for clean up,” he stated.
“It is wonderful that we started with just one location in 1992 and that the campaign has grown so much since. Individuals, families, students, clubs, not for profit groups, business and governmental organizations are participating in 2017,” he remarked.
The 51 nature sites include these 6 NEW LOCATIONS JUST ADDED:
NORTH CENTRAL OAKVILLE
Lions Valley Park
NORTH WEST OAKVILLE
Nottinghill Gate Park
2300 Upper Middle Road: Balmoral
SOUTH WEST OAKVILLE
Bronte Road & QEW greenspaces
Bronte Road & Wycroft Road greenspaces
NORTH WEST OAKVILLE (15)
Abbeywood Drive Trails
Bronte Creek Provincial Park – Main Entrance
Bronte Creek Provincial Park – Campgrounds
Fourth Line and Upper Middle Road
Glen Oak Creek Trail at Monastery Drive
Indian Ridge Trail at Lindsay Drive
Sandpiper Road at Pheasant Lane
16 Hollow Park
TD Bank ravine at 3rd Line & Upper Middle Road
Watercliffe Court Pond
Westoak Trails Park
NORTH CENTRAL OAKVILLE (6)
Munns Creek Trails at Margot Street and Munn’s Avenue
River Glen Park: Shannon Creek Trail
River Oaks Boulevard west of Trafalgar Road
NORTH EAST OAKVILLE (10)
Bayshire Woods Park
Forest Glade Park
Glenashton Drive Bridge
Glenashton Park – Iroquois Ridge Community Centre
Pinery Park – Joshua Valley North at Arrowhead Road and Pinery Crescent
SOUTH WEST OAKVILLE (7)
Bronte Bluffs Park
Great Lakes Boulevard
Woodhaven Park and Sedgewick Forest
Wyecroft and Bronte Road green spaces
SOUTH CENTRAL OAKVILLE (5)
Busby Park, Larry Cain Trail
Hogg’s Back Park, Forster Park
Lakeside Park-Oakville Museum
SOUTH EAST OAKVILLE (2)
Clearview Park (on April 29, 2017)
COORDINATORS ARE THE REAL HEROES OF THE CLEAN UP CAMPAIGN
In 2017, locations are being staffed by sixteen various organizations.
Neighbourhood residents associations include the West River Residents Association at Hogg’s Back Park and Forster Park, the Bronte Creek Community Residents Association along Colonel William Parkway and the Bronte Village Residents Association at Bronte Bluffs Park. The Clearview Oakville Community Alliance (COCA) is hosting their clean up on Saturday, April 29 at Clearview Park and it will feature hot air balloon rides from Remax. Sponsor West Harbour Residents Association also are planning a follow-up clean up at a later date.
Environmental groups include the South Peel Naturalists Club at Indian Ridge Trail and the Friends of Bronte Creek Park who will be handing out Pitch-In Canada bags to visitors at both park entrances.
Governmental representatives who are coordinating a location include Councillor Tom Adams and family at Algrove Park, School Trustee Tracey Ehl and family at Woodhaven Park, and Team Kevin Flynn (MPP Oakville) cleaning up green spaces in the Wyecroft and Bronte Roads area.
Other coordinators include the Trafalgar Presbyterian Church at Litchfield Park, Remax realtor Paul Butler at Isaac Park as well as at Bayshire Woods Park, Pace Team with Century 21 at Pinery Park, Charterability.com at Busby Park, the 36th Guides of Oakville at West Oak Trails Park and the Oakville Chinese Seniors 99 Association at Glenashton Park.
Susan Crane is the director of the Oakville Museum on Navy Street and in addition to organizing the morning clean up she is inviting everyone to join them from 1 to 4 pm to celebrate Earth Day at the Museum! Children and families will enjoy a nature scavenger hunt and outdoor games on the grounds of Erchless Estate. Let your creativity flow with Earth-themed art including bird feeders made of natural and recycled materials and geocache containers. Participate in a milk bag mattress weaving project. This free event is for all ages and registration is not required.
All other locations are being staffed by volunteers with the Oakville Community Centre for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights.
The event is sponsored by the Town of Oakville’s Parks and Open Space Department which provides bags and gloves. They also produced a large map highlighting the Clean Up sites which are now prominently on display in all municipal facilities including libraries, recreation centres and Town Hall.
Halton Region’s Waste Management Department sponsors two garbage trucks, one to pick up metal and one to pick up garbage. Pitch-In Canada also provides bags.
Longstanding community sponsors have sustained this campaign these past twenty-five years; visit the website to view the list of sixty-six sponsors in 2017.
THE MANY BENEFITS OF THE ANNUAL CLEAN UP
“This annual event is the largest community-wide Clean Up in Canada during Earth Week. 75,500 students and citizens have participated since 1992,” 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 of thousands of dollars a year for the local taxpayer and significantly boosts property values,” he stated.
“The Clean Up campaign promotes 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 garbage-free parks and trails this spring and summer. We are very grateful for the financial support of sixty-six local sponsors including a few participating schools. We encourage and need more local organizations to sponsor the event. As the environment is everyone’s responsibility, we are very pleased that so many people have volunteered to make a big difference for our local environment in Oakville over the past twenty-four years. Let’s make the 26th annual clean up our best ever,” he concluded.
HISTORY OF THE 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.
Since 1992, there have been a total of 133 location coordinators. There are six new coordinators in 2017.
Some locations lasted for only one year while others have been ongoing almost since the start. Many locations have had changes of coordinators with one person finding someone else to replace them and keep the clean up going in that neighbourhood. As well, many locations suspended their clean up because the coordinator reported that the clean up was so successful that their green space no longer required their annual maintenance of it. Many past coordinators moved away to another community.
Up to and including the 2016 Clean Up, we have organized a total of 658 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 and a record forty-seven locations last year.
Since 1992, when there were thirty volunteers cleaning up under the Bronte Road Bridge at the QEW, the campaign has involved more than 78,000 students and citizens.
Coordinators have primarily included individuals, families or groups of families working together. Over the years, other not for profit organizations also have played a large role in encouraging participation in this community-wide effort.
All past and present coordinators truly have made a big difference in our community. They took the bold step of becoming an organizer for the local environment. As a volunteer coordinator, they became a source of inspiration for others who shared their concerns and joined in on clean up day.
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.
Last spring, we were very pleased that a record 47 nature sites were cleaned up. More than 4,600 kilograms of garbage and scrap metal were trucked away after being picked up by 1,500+ enthusiastic volunteers. The response from the community for this event has been tremendous.
EARTH DAY CELEBRATIONS CONTINUE AFTER CLEAN UP IS OVER
The annual Clean Up is a special occasion for many neighbourhoods. People renew acquaintances with friends and neighbours at the Clean Up. Organizations gather their members and bring them together in a positive and constructive activity at their locations. Some coordinators and organizations host a BBQ for the volunteers or treat volunteers with drinks and snacks to enjoy during and after the event. Some coordinators reach out to local businesses for support and donations of food or snacks for their volunteers.
This spring, seven locations in south Oakville will be enjoying pizza donated by Panago Pizza after their clean up is completed. The immense generosity of Panago Pizza will be greatly appreciated by volunteers at Coronation Park, Woodhaven Park and Sedgewick Forest, Hogg’s Back Park and Forster Park, Perkins Passage, the YMCA, Busby Park and at Dunvegan Park.
It’s not too late to set up a new location for clean up on Saturday, April 22 in the morning.
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.
Please download the 2017 Earth Week Clean Up Poster and print and display it at your workplace or school.