Opinion: Volunteers roll up their sleeves for Rivers Day

Cleanup crews will once again be on the Chilliwack/Vedder system to help mark World Rivers Day

Once again the Chilliwack/ Vedder River Cleanup Society is organizing a work bee this Sunday to collect some of the debris that has accumulated over the summer.

Once again the Chilliwack/ Vedder River Cleanup Society is organizing a work bee this Sunday to collect some of the debris that has accumulated over the summer.

Rivers Day is upon us, and along with the family friendly activities and educational events, we are called to do a bit of stewardship.

We haven’t always taken the best care of our waterways. For much of the past, we simply didn’t know any better, or didn’t have any better options. The Fraser River took a lot of abuse – overfishing, waste dumping, dredging or diking without regard to habitat – and some of those scars remain. Local streams and rivers, too, have been diverted or damaged in years past. Some are still in danger.

Fortunately, people have taken a great deal more care and ownership over our waterways in the last few decades.

Their display of kindness towards the rivers and streams, and the wildlife that depends on them, comes in many ways.

Once again the Chilliwack/ Vedder River Cleanup Society is organizing a work bee this Sunday to collect some of the debris that has accumulated over the summer.

This is not the first time volunteers have been out. Every year they haul away tonnes of garbage, while at the same time educating the public about the value of our sensitive watersheds.

Registration for this year’s event opens Sept. 25 at 8:30 a.m. at the Chilliwack Fish and Game Club (48685 Chilliwack Lake Road).

Teams will set out from there, with the actual cleanup going from 9:30 to noon. There will be a barbecue lunch to follow for the volunteers, with an impressive selection of draw prizes donated by local businesses.

The cleanup goes rain or shine. Participants are asked to dress for the weather and remember to bring gloves and other tools that might help in the clean up.

Hundreds of volunteers take part at every cleanup, but there’s always room for a few more.

It is a true community effort, and organizers and participants deserve our appreciation.