Annual cleanup to tackle the mess others leave behind on the Fraser

Last year they hauled away 9,300 kg and organizers are looking forward to building on that success this Saturday

The eighth annual Fraser River Cleanup

The eighth annual Fraser River Cleanup

The garbage left on the banks of the Fraser River in Chilliwack is a perennial problem.

The eighth annual Fraser River Cleanup, organized by Woodtoone and Fraser River, gets under way March 28, starting from the north end of Gill Road.

“It’s crazy,” said Rachel Schoeler of Fraser River Keeper about the garbage left behind. “I think it’s worse than last year.”

They’re aiming to draw a crowd on Gill Road bar this Saturday.

“Last year we had the highest turnout ever with 170 people showing up. We are hoping for more this year. It’s such a great community.”

Last year’s cleanup took away 9,300 kg of garbage, and organizers are looking forward to building on that success this year.

“My biggest hope for this year’s cleanup is to create awareness and educate people about this problem that is facing all of us,” said Kevin Raffle of Woodtone.

“The problem of illegal dumping and burning isn’t just a Chilliwack one. It’s a problem happening in numerous locations all along the Fraser River watershed.”

The group is chugging along, coming together with likeminded volunteers to tackle garbage dumping on local waterways, and forming a new group, the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping alliance.

“It’s broader than just the Fraser River,” Schoeler said. Although they’ve removed tonnes of garbage off sensitive river banks, they are also hoping to craft a long-term strategy to finally tackle the issue.

They started a couple of years ago to do more than hosting cleanups, and are working on raising awareness, and underlining the need report trash-dumpers to the RAPP line.

The cleanup usually attracts lots of river stewards.

“A lot of the volunteers are people who are out on the river all the time,” she said. “The Fraser River is so special. People are so touched by it, they are willing to step up and do something about it.”

For the Fraser River cleanup this Saturday, March 28 they’re meeting at the north end of Gill Road at 10 a.m. Reps will be guiding volunteers into the area where they’ll have tents, the safety briefing, and registration. After the cleanup, there’s a free lunch for volunteers, at about noon.

Just Posted

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

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

RCMP investigating June 15, 2021 crash. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack RCMP say crash into median led to impaired driver investigation

Chrysler 300 driver allegedly collided with tree on Spadina median in June 15 incident

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

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

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

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

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read