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Kamloops outdoors groups come together to clean trash out of grasslands

FILE PHOTO: Last year's clean up discovered some odder items among the refuse. Frank Ritcey holds up an antique gas can which people used for target practice.
Image Credit: contributed
March 23, 2017 - 9:30 AM

KAMLOOPS - After thousands of pounds of garbage were pulled out of the Dewdrop area of the Lac Du Bois grasslands last year, outdoors groups are coming together this weekend to do it again.

Several different groups are coming together for a common cause. Frank Ritcey with the Kamloops Naturalist Club says last year was the first, and the group was able to pull 20,000 pounds out, or about the weight of 11 Volkswagen Beetles. That’s relevant, as the body of a Beetle was one of the items pulled out last year.

“The idea is we’ll get out there, clean up the place in the morning and have some food.” he says. “After that I’m going to lead a nature hike out across the grasslands.”

A food truck will be on hand to feed participants.

Charlie Denbigh, president of the Kamloops 4x4 Club, says despite people thinking off-road fans and naturalists might not be natural allies, they share a lot in common.

“It seems like we’re on separate sides of the same page,” he says. “I think we’re closer to being on the same page than people realize.”

“It’s really nice to find that common ground between diverse groups like that,” Ritcey says. “There’s lots of space in B.C. for everybody to do their thing.”

Denbigh points out the different groups are appreciating the same things, but in their own ways.

“We have the same reason to be out there as anyone else,” he says “We like to be outside, in the fresh air and see the sights.”

Both groups see garbage and damage to the environment as a serious problem. Denbigh, who's been out in the woods since he was a kid, says the problem is growing. The 4x4 group do their own, separate clean up in the Batchelor Heights area.

“Last year we got close to 18,000 pounds of garbage,” he says. “A lot of it is small stuff, but there was couches, appliances, household garbage, some of it is contractor waste.

“Last year at the clean up we pulled a box of sex toys out of Batch.”

While some of it is just household trash, a lot are things deliberately dumped in the wild, like broken shingles and tires. Denbigh hauled out 2,600 lbs. of concrete himself during one clean up.

Other groups participating include the Kamloops Fish and Game Club and the Four Wheel Drive Association of B.C. The general public are invited to help out too, and Denbigh encourages any other organization dedicated to the outdoors to join in.

“The more outdoor user groups we can get working together, the more we can combat people dumping in the bush,” he says.

The event starts at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 26. To get to the Dewdrop area drive past the Kamloops Airport. Denbigh says signs will be up to guide people to the muster point as they approach the grasslands. The area being cleared up includes part of the Dewdrop-Rousseau Creek Wildlife Management Area.

Members of the Kamloops 4x4 Club along with some tires pulled out of the Dewdrop area last year.
Members of the Kamloops 4x4 Club along with some tires pulled out of the Dewdrop area last year.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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