With an estimated 650 people showing up to the 11th Annual Fraser River Cleanup in Chilliwack last Saturday, there were also many young people among the river stewards and trash collectors.
“Great turnout for Gill Road and surrounding areas cleanup,” longtime volunteer Terry Bodman said.
Last year there was about 300 people so it more than doubled.
“I have been involved in this kind of activity since 2002 and I am still amazed at how poorly some treat our community. However there is hope for improvement given the increase in the number of young people involved,” Bodman said.
The river cleanup is always a well-organized and well-attended community event that has grown over the years.
Chris Gadsden, one of the founders of the Chilliwack-Vedder Cleanup Society, and supporter of the FVIDA, was recognized for his long-time service.
Gadsden was presented with the Andy Rotzetter Memorial Award by the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance and Fraser Riverkeeper for his “exemplary dedication to the stewardship of the Fraser River.”
Roxanna Froese was also impressed with the cleanup turnout. She attended with husband Ryan and their kids.
“What an incredible day at the 11th Annual Fraser River Cleanup organized by Woodtone and Fraser Riverkeeper!” Froese wrote on Facebook. “Preliminary counts are saying that 650 people were out picking up garbage.”
She praised everyone’s efforts.
“Your work today kept many tonnes of garbage from ending up in the ocean,” Froese continued. “While it was heartbreaking seeing the amount of garbage that was out there, it was also encouraging, watching a new generation of kids out there, picking up after other people, caring and making a difference.”
She saved a huge thanks to the Fraser Valley Salmon Society for donating money to the Friends of the Hope/Camp Slough, to buy t-shirts that they can now wear to events.
“It’s one volunteer group supporting another while we all give back for the salmon,” she said.