Last week, as part of the spring time Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a group of eager Mother Nature lovers and I landed upon Little Norway Park to rid its space of any litter that others have left behind. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is an initiative started by the WWF and the Vancouver Aquarium that happens on a bi-yearly basis across Canada to improve the appearance of our shorelines and protects wildlife from human garbage.
This is not my first time participating in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. I’ve cleaned up Woodbine Beach on two occasions in the fall. This is something that I love to do and will participate in every chance that I get. There’s just something about not only helping the earth be a little cleaner but the act itself. There’s something peaceful about time to quietly clean up the earth. No technology, no rules, nothing complicated — you’re just picking up whatever you see on the ground that doesn’t belong there — no thinking, and sometimes no talking. It’s very soothing. : )
Little Norway Park is located by Bathursh and Queen’s Quay and isn’t necessarily a shoreline although it is very close to the water’s edge. It actually was a cleaner space than we all expected; there were no huge pieces of debris on the grass like some other local streets or parks that we all have seen in the city. Nevertheless, we did spent more than an hour culling the grass, bushes, sidewalks, and water’s edge of garbage.
Once again, the most common trash item was the cigarette butt. Why is it that smokers leave behind so many of these?! It’s a pain to pick out and also really bad for whatever is in the cigarettes to seep into our ground and waterways. Good thing I had my trusty litter picker with me! There was someone in the group who was kind enough to grab a couple of these from the dollar store and lend them out to the rest of the group so that we could all save our backs a little by not having to bend down completely to pick up the trash. In any case, I’m sure I picked up more than 100 cigarette butts..and that’s just my stash! That’s just too many butts that smokers are leaving behind.
All in all, I loved it. It was a wonderful sunny spring day that wasn’t too cold or hot. It became a little gloomy just as we were leaving. I do wish we spent our time on another space that was more littered, but we still made a difference. Thank you to the organizers for providing us with trash bags, gloves, and even picnic items like juice and water to make the event enjoyable and fun.
I can’t wait until my next shoreline cleanup/the next time I can pick up some trash. 🙂