The 27th annual Earth Week Clean Up on Saturday, April 21, 2018 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
Monday, April 30, 2018
HUGE TURNOUT FOR THE 27TH ANNUAL EARTH WEEK CLEAN UP
“The 27th annual Earth Week Clean Up of Nature Sites in Oakville was our best ever,” exclaimed Stephen Dankowich, executive director of the Oakville Community Centre for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights and the event organizer.
“There were a record number of participants this year and a record number of nature sites cleaned up in 2018. It is fantastic that more and more people and organizations are getting involved to positively benefit the local natural environment. Individuals, families, students, clubs, not for profit groups, businesses, politicians and faith organizations participated in 2018,” he stated.
“There were more than 1,600 volunteers pitching-in on the weekend of April 21-22, 2018. The event keeps growing as there were a record fifty-eight locations registered for the event with fifty-six sites on Saturday, April 21 morning and two more on Sunday morning,” remarked the event organizer.
“We removed more than 5,000 kilograms of waste (garbage and scrap metal) including 3,800 kilograms of garbage and 1,200 kilograms of scrap metal. More than 640 bags of garbage were collected,” he noted.
“This year’s event was fraught with nervousness regarding whether or not the Clean Up would go ahead or not due to the dramatic ice storms that descended upon Oakville on the weekend before its scheduled date. Fortunately, the weather improved and by Thursday, April 19 the ice was melting away and on Saturday morning we awoke to a dry, sunny and relatively warm morning which was just perfect weather for the scheduled event. As Chris Mark, Director of Parks remarked, we have always promoted the event as taking place rain or shine however we never thought it could be ice or shine!,” said Mr. Dankowich.
“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: bed springs, T-shirt, coconut, three laptops with hard drives removed, car parts, plastic humidifier, a long and thin metal pipe, a barbell, five shoes including one pair, broken glass, discarded plastic bottles, fast food wrappers, coffee lids, several shopping carts, rebar, pool noodle, part of a stroller, many cigarette butts, a three metre long heavy chain, an old rusted sign post, a bench, artificial trees, cable, several locations found metal rods, three pieces of furniture, four tires, large plastic barrel, bike, more long pipes, roof shingles, a wheel rod and ring, a bed frame, three lawn chairs, a roof rack, a scooter, various metal frames from advertising signs, street sign, platform for a sign, garden frames, knapsack with prescription and other drugs, bases for a BBQ, patio umbrella, bong, a Peel Region blue box, broken screen, vacuum, car battery, 195 water-pop-drink bottles counted at the West Oak Trails Park location, golf balls, broken wagon, a long rod, four ten-gallon metal pails, roof of a car, two car hubcaps, multiple BBQ pieces, construction sign, piping, three shopping carts and a bike rescued from below the bridge on Glenashton Drive, chair frame, metal bars, valve cover, sporting equipment, bricks, a volleyball, a ping pong ball, tennis and golf balls, Canadian Tire money, wooden steps and three $20 bills were found at the Bronte Road and QEW carpool parking lot location,” he noted.
“Coordinators also provided many valuable suggestions for improving the event in future years including using more smaller bags to reduce plastic waste, sell pick-up sticks to volunteers at each location to ease their work and provide a small fundraiser, use bright yellow paper rather than light green for the street posters hung at each location in advance, consider having one or two afternoon Clean Up sites for those unable to attend in the morning, preparation of a special thank you letter to give all participants by coordinators, allow volunteers to keep work gloves rather than washing and sorting them afterwards due to various concerns, try to get schools more involved, bring a box for found broken glass, a more interactive map on the town website, attach tags to grabber poles with “property of OCCPEHR” so people don’t leave with them, bring a clipboard for signing in volunteers, and to encourage coordinators to stay at the sign-in table or chair or designate someone to always be present at the location entrance to welcome participants and help sign them in,” listed Mr. Dankowich.
“Trails, ravines, parks, lakefront and woodlots in neighbourhoods throughout Oakville received a good spring cleaning and the difference made is visibly noticeable. Oakville is cleaner, greener and substantially more litter-free thanks to everyone’s involvement in the annual Earth Week Clean Up. Congratulations, Oakville!”
SPONSORS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!
“We were very pleased that eighty-four organizations sponsored the Clean Up including twenty-four new sponsors in 2018; it is very encouraging in that it shows many local businesses really want to be part of the local environmental movement. Twenty-three of our sponsors have supported us for twenty or more years each and this support has been indispensable to the success of this campaign. We encourage others to sponsor and participate in the event too in order for this campaign to continue growing ever stronger. The full list of sponsors and the number of years they have been a sponsor of the event can be viewed on the website,” said an appreciative executive director.
“Citizens will be very pleased to know that the event is mainly sponsored by 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 six 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.
“I really believe the three mobile signs on display for two weeks and the six mobile signs displayed throughout the town for the final week 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.
“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, a van to pick up scrap metal and a garbage truck to pick up everything collected at all locations right after the event is over. Pitch-In Canada also provided bags,” he noted.
“This year, we received a variety of provisional supports from various sponsors. Advertisers allowed us to print 10,000 copies of our event newspaper. All coordinators were very pleased to be able to offer all volunteers a coupon for a free bag of popcorn from Film.ca Cinemas who generously donated 1,500 vouchers. Ten coordinators in south east and south central Oakville nature sites were feted with pizza donated by Panago Pizza on Cornwall Road after their clean up was over. Meanwhile, Cobs Bread-Upper Oakville offered baked goods to coordinators in north east Oakville. Oko Bagels distributed a free sample gift card to all coordinators. And, Starbucks donated gift bags to be distributed to coordinators in addition to participating in the event at West Oak Trails Park. These many expressions of gratitude for the achievements of the Clean Up are greatly appreciated,” trilled Mr. Dankowich.
COORDINATORS DID AN INCREDIBLE JOB, AGAIN!
Here is a list of the 56 locations pitched-in at on Saturday, April 21 and the other 2 locations cleaned up on Sunday, April 22, 2018:
WARD 1: SOUTH WEST OAKVILLE (8 locations)
1. Bronte Bluffs Park staffed by Bronte Village Residents Association
2. Bronte Road & QEW car pool parking lot and along the banks of Twelve Mile Creek with coordinator Peter Vandermyden
3. Bronte Road & Wyecroft Road green spaces with Team Kevin Flynn, MPP Oakville
4. Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park meeting at Nelson and Ontario Streets with coordinator Gord Cochrane
5. Hopedale Park with coordinators Sharon and Earl Wiese
6. Kinoak Arena and Brook Valley Park staffed by The Independents.ca
7. Lakeshore Woods with several meeting spots around Great Lakes Boulevard (10 am start) with coordinators Maggie Smylie and Jeff Mason
8. Woodhaven Park and Sedgewick Park staffed by School Trustee Tracey Ehl
WARD 2: SOUTH CENTRAL OAKVILLE (6 locations)
1. Busby Park staffed by Charterability.com
2. Forster Park and neighbourhood with West River Residents Association
3. Lakeside Park with Oakville Museum staff
4. Perkins Passage, meeting across from Oakville and Milton Humane Society on Cornwall Road with coordinator Lynne Dolan and son Everett
5. Waterworks Park at the base of Kerr Street staffed by West Harbours Residents Association (cleaned up on Saturday, April 28)
6. YMCA on Rebecca Street for clean up at Suffolk Park and Glen Oak Park too with coordinators Heather and Emiro White
WARD 3: SOUTH EAST OAKVILLE (4 locations)
1. Clearview Park (on May 12 with Clearview Oakville Community Alliance, COCA)
2. Dunvegan Park with coordinator Paul Dankowich
3. Maple Grove Arena and Joshua Valley Park with Joshua Creek Residents Association
4. Oakville Trafalgar High School with Eco Club members
WARD 4: NORTH WEST OAKVILLE (20 locations, 2 New!)
1. Aldercrest Park with Park Ambassador Cathy Buchanan
2. Arbourview Park with Oakvillegreen Conservation Association (10 am start)
3. Bronte Creek Provincial Park – Main Entrance with Friends of Bronte Creek Park
4. Bronte Creek Provincial Park – Campgrounds off of Upper Middle Road, Friends of Bronte Creek Park
5. Fourteen Mile Creek Trail at Millstone Park with Halton Green Screens (NEW!)
6. Fourth Line and Upper Middle Road green space and Glen Oak Creek Trails north of Upper Middle Road with coordinator Antonio Fonseca
7. Glen Oak Creek Trail at Monastery Drive with coordinator Ken Brodner and son Erik
8. Heritage Way Park with Glen Abbey Neighbours Association
9. Indian Ridge Trail with South Peel Naturalists’ Club meeting at Lindsay Drive and North Service Road
10. Langtry Park with Change by Youth
11. Nottinghill Gate Park with 1st Scouts of the Al Falah Islamic Centre
12. Old Abbey Lane Park and trails between Dorval Drive, Montrose Abbey Lane and Old Abbey Lane (NEW!) with coordinator Donna Morano
13. Sandpiper Road at Pheasant Lane to Upper Middle Road and north of West Oak Trails Boulevard to 3rd Line with coordinators Carol Anderson and Keith Webster
14. Sixteen Hollow Park for trail clean up too off of Westoak Trails Boulevard with coordinator Sharon Brodner
15. 2300 Upper Middle Road staffed by residents at The Balmoral condominium
16. Third Line & Upper Middle Road for ravine clean up around the TD Bank with coordinator Amy Young
17. Valleywood Court meets here for trails clean up with coordinators Christine and Robert Schultz
18. Watercliffe Court Pond staffed by Bronte Creek Community Residents Association
19. West Oak Trails Park with the 36th Oakville Guides and BCCRA
20. Woodgate Woods with coordinator Voulay Caffrey and family
WARD 5: NORTH CENTRAL OAKVILLE (7 locations, 2 New!)
1. Isaac Park (NEW!) with coordinators Mamta and Ajay Rosha
2. Lions Valley Park staffed by Al Falah Islamic Centre
3. Memorial Park with coordinator Gita Zoghi
4. Munns Creek Trails staffed by Park Ambassador Dave Stefan as well as coordinator Brenda Winkels; meeting at Munn’s Avenue and Margot Street
5. Nipigon Trail with Councillor Jeff Knoll (NEW!) meeting at Sixth Line and River Oaks Boulevard
6. Oxford Park with coordinators Michelle and Jeff Sholdice
7. River Glen Park off of Marlatt Drive with coordinators Geoff and Mary Hospital
WARD 6: NORTH EAST OAKVILLE (11 locations, 1 new!)
1. Algrove Park with Councillor Tom Adams
2. Bayshire Woods Park with Remax broker Paul Butler
3. Forest Glade Walkway with coordinator Dan John
4. Glenashton Drive Bridge with members of the Iroquois Ridge High School Green Team and with coordinator Don Meade
5. Glenashton Park with the Oakville Chinese Senior 99 Association
6. Lancaster Woods with coordinators Irina and Alex Fomenko
7. Litchfield Park with Trafalgar Presbyterian Church members
8. Pinery Park with staff, parents and students at Joshua Creek Public School (also on April 22)
9. Pondview Place; 300 Ravineview Way-The Brownstones with coordinator Leslie Osborne
10. Postridge Park and trails behind the shopping centres with coordinators Niki and Brad Jandrew
11. Valleybrook Park (NEW!) with coordinator Joni Babulal
AND, ON SUNDAY, APRIL 22 (THE ACTUAL EARTH DAY CELEBRATED AROUND THE WORLD), THE CLEAN UP CONTINUED WITH TWO MORE LOCATIONS CLEANING UP:
1. Students with the Eco Club at T.A. Blakelock High School on Rebecca Street cleaned up their school grounds and surrounding green spaces with assistance from Oakvillegreen
2. Volunteers with the local Progressive Conservative Party cleaned up the green spaces around Upper Middle Road from Third Line to Postmaster Road with coordinator Mason Saunders
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 2018, there have been a total of 146 coordinators including 13 new coordinators in 2018. Coordinators are the backbone of the campaign and true environmental heroes of our community.
Up to and including the 2018 Clean Up, we have organized a total of 768 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-eight sites in 2018.
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 81,500 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. In 2018, twenty-five 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.
Let’s keep it going next year on Saturday, April 20, 2019!
Please share this report with others”, said Mr. Dankowich.
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.