JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS FILE Visit the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve for its Earth Day celebration on April 22.

JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS FILE Visit the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve for its Earth Day celebration on April 22.

Chilliwack celebrates Earth Day with free compost, river cleanups and more

April 22 is Earth Day. How will you be spending it?

April is all about celebrating the environment we live in. And that means remembering just how important it is to respect it.

This is Earth Month, and Saturday, April 22 is Earth Day. To help encourage residents to ‘think green’ the City of Chilliwack has coordinated several events, and helped to promote others.

There’s already been a Fraser River cleanup, at Gill Bar. It was attended by countless volunteers who picked up an unprecedented amount of trash. And right now, as the local waterways are preparing to rise and swell, is the perfect time to pick up after those who thoughtlessly used the water’s edge as their personal trash can.

This Saturday, there are three main activities to celebrate Earth Day and help improve our local environment.

The day begins with an Adopt-A-River Clean Up at the Vedder River. Those wishing to take part can meet at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

Then, celebrate Earth Day at the Reserve, from noon to 4 p.m. This is a free community event by the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve ociety with guided walks, educational programs, crafts and special guests.

For those greenthumbs out there, there is also a free compost giveaway at the Parr Road Green Depot. It runs from noon to 4 p.m., with a limit of one 30-kg bag per person.

There are also some month-long incentives at Bailey Landfill, to encourage people to dispose of products properly. This month, all scrap metal can be dumped there during business hours, for free.

For those who can’t get out to the dump, or can’t haul large loads, there are volunteers willing to help.

The Spring Clean Up Program matches residents with volunteer organizations who will set up a pick up time to haul away large or bulky items. In return, the organizations ask for a reasonable donation, to cover expenses for their vehicles such as fuel. To learn more about the Spring Clean Up Program, including guidelines and non-allowable items, visit the City of Chilliwack website.

Pick ups are taking place now, and can be sorted out with the organization caring for each area of Chilliwack. They include the Mt. Cheam Lions Club, the Chilliwack Lions Club, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Chilliwack Vedder Watershed Restoration Society.

If Earth Day and Earth Month get you excited to do more, there are many ways to help keep Chilliwack clean.

The City of Chilliwack also offers an Adopt-A-Road and an Adopt-A-River program, a storm drain marking program, tree planting opportunities, and a business waste reduction program.

Terrarium building

Bring a little bit of nature into your home with a lovely terrarium.

Florist Elke Almhjell from Florabunda Flowers is leading a class at the Chilliwack library, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat., April 22. This is for ages 10 and up, and children must be accompanied by adults. There is no fee, but registration is required by calling 604-792-1941.