Two-year-old Zoey Millin came out with her mother

Two-year-old Zoey Millin came out with her mother

Chilliwack set to celebrate Earth Day this weekend

This coming weekend, Chilliwack residents are stepping outside to hold a wealth of free, family-friendly events to encourage green living.

This coming weekend, Chilliwack residents are stepping outside to hold a wealth of free, family-friendly events to encourage green living, and show how much the city cares about its environment. The events come just ahead of the official Earth Day on Monday, April 22.

First up this weekend is the busy second annual Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 20. At Yarrow Pioneer Park, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be live entertainment, pony rides, EcoVillage tours, demonstrations, and panel discussions. Local organic farmers, businesses and organizations will sell their products.

“This is a great way to learn how to garden, grow organic vegetables, meet your farmers and local artists and shop owners,” the organizing groups note on the event’s website. Visitors will need to bring either a donation, or a non-perishable food item for the local food bank.

Second up on the same day is the kick off for Food Matters Chilliwack’s Plant a Row, Grow a Row program, from 14 p.m. at the Salvation Army Thrift Store parking lot (45746 Yale Road). Gardening enthusiasts will hear from Brian Minter on growing popular vegetable crops, from Jack Kouwenhoven on amending the soil, and from FMC on converting a grass patch into a vegetable paradise. The first 100 names to register at 1 p.m. will receive a free garden starter seed kit. There will also be an area reserved for seed trading.

The weekend will also have plenty of opportunity for volunteers looking to give back, in a choice of three environmental cleanups. And if karma and warm weather aren’t enough of a draw, there’ll be plenty of free food too.

The Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society is holding its twelfth annual river cleanup, meeting at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve on Saturday, April 20, at 9 a.m. Last year, participants logged 2,464 volunteer hours to collect nearly six tonnes of garbage from the Chilliwack River sides, all garbage that may have washed into the Pacific Ocean. The Heron Reserve will also host drop-in activities from 12-4 p.m. that day, and a guided walk to see the heron colony at 2 p.m.

On the same day, the Fraser Riverkeeper is inviting residents to help remove garbage from the banks of the Fraser River, just in time to keep the high water of the spring freshet from carrying it out.

“Some people have been treating the river’s shores like a dumping ground, from beer cans and burn piles to appliances and bags of household trash,” said Fraser Riverkeeper campaign director Tyee Bridge in a release. “It’s a case of the few spoiling it for the many. Dumping ruins the ecosystem for everyone else, including salmon, eagles, and other wildlife as well as people.”

Since starting the event in 2008, the group and volunteers have cleaned up 26 tonnes of garbage. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., meeting at Gill Bar, at the end of Gill Road, which is a popular recreational site and salmon-spawning area. Volunteers will be rewarded with a free salmon-steak barbecue.

The Vedder Mountain Trails Association is inviting residents to its thirteenth annual cleanup of the eastern side of Vedder Mountain on Sunday, April 21, at 9:30 p.m.

“It’s important because there is nobody else doing this work,” explained VMTA president Dr. Mark Steinebach.

Every year, volunteers collect the same amount of garbage, about 7–10 tonnes. Despite not seeing a reduction, Steinebach is confidant that the cleanup is well worth it.

“We still feel encouraged to do this work…because each year, we’re seeing more and more people become involved, and we’re seeing a fairly large contingent of kids, of teenagers and youth, involved,” he said.

Steinebach hopes that by raising awareness about dumping, the problems it causes, and the herculean effort required to clean it up, illegal dumping will become something that you just don’t do.

“There’ll be an overwhelming abhorrence for this kind of dumping, and that eventually it will decline, and hopefully stop completely,” he said.

There will be food for volunteers, and the second half of cleanup day will focus on trail maintenance.

A couple of weeks ago, twenty-six volunteers cleaned up the western, Majuba Hill Road side of Vedder Mountain. They hauled all the construction material debris, household waste, and thousands of spent shells to the City of Chilliwack dump. All the volunteers left proud that a couple of hours of work on a rainy Saturday resulted in a pristine mountainside.

For all cleanups, organizing groups will generally provide tools and safety equipment, but it’s always good to bring your own gloves and tools as well.

New this year, the City of Chilliwack has declared April to be “Earth Month.”

“We brand the month of April as ‘Earth Month’ in Chilliwack. This gives us all an opportunity to demonstrate our stewardship in the way we look after our beautiful city. There are many opportunities to help clean up our community,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz, who confirmed that she will attend the Chilliwack River clean up, as well as the Earth Day events at Yarrow Pioneer Park.

The city’s popular Spring Pitch-In program is ongoing this year, drawing hundreds of volunteers to pick up litter at the roadside and city parks. Last year, about 60 groups received the city’s $100 grant for participating in the program. Around six hundred volunteers collected 8.5 tonnes of roadside waste, including 291 car tires that were illegally dumped. The city also organized with non-profits to collect 18 tonnes of large, bulky items, such as no longer usable furniture, from homes.

The city is also accepting scrap metal for free at the Bailey Landfill throughout April.

And on Sunday, April 21, residents can pick up free compost from noon until 4 p.m. at Parr Road Green Depot.

On Earth Day itself, Monday, April 22, Rosedale Middle School students are screening the award-winning 2010 documentary about the hazards of plastic bags, Bag It, at 7 p.m., at the school.

The city will again host its city-wide garage sale on May 11. Sellers need to register their items online by May 5.

akonevski@theprogress.com
twitter.com/alinakonevski

Just Posted

Folks look through some of the items for sale during the Voice of Hope giant garage sale at 7350 Barrow Rd. in Chilliwack on Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Giant garage sale today in Chilliwack supports Kenyan widows, orphans

Funds go to Chilliwack-based Voice of Hope charity to improve quality of life for impoverished Kenyans

Ben Holwerda of the Chilliwack Spartan Swim Club competes in a swim meet at the Landing Leisure Centre on Feb. 12, 2011. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre to close temporarily for scheduled maintenance

Pools, steam room, and sauna at Landing Leisure Centre closing for maintenance July 19 to Sep. 4

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Volunteers will gather at South Gate Shopping Centre on Fathers Day before fanning out to help clean up downtown Chilliwack. (Facebook photo)
Kindness Chain Chilliwack Association organizes Fathers Day cleanup

Volunteers will spend 90 minutes fanning out to gather trash in downtown Chilliwack

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read