Technician Report – Tuesday, October 26th
Cleanup Team ~ By Lisa Pierce
Many communities are facing an increasing number of homeless and at-risk folks, especially as many of our communities don’t have adequate housing resources. Folks without stable housing may be displaced and often seek refuge in wooded areas and set up camps. For various reasons, people may move on from these areas quickly, abandoning all their possessions and seeking refuge in other places. When camps are abandoned on stream banks, like Glen Urquhart, these items can wash into the waterways. These items may also reach our beaches and open ocean. Because temporary encampments may be necessary ways for certain folks to seek refuge, cleaning up these areas once they are abandoned is a way we can help and lessen the impact on our environment at the same time.
Project Watershed would like to thank Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness for their help with this cleanup and the work they do to support people, who, for whatever reason, are without permanent housing.
Four truckloads of garbage (950 kg) were removed from Glen Urquhart Creek and Hollyhock Flats including various clothing, bedding, household goods, and even a mattress. Several shopping carts were also retrieved from the stream and returned to their respective grocery stores. If anything was in good condition, it was set aside for donation. The refuse was taken to a sorting facility to sort and recycle as much as possible before taking the rest to the landfill.
Have you seen abandoned camps in your area? Contact the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness to report them for investigation. Never approach or attempt to clean up camps yourself as they may be occupied and can have safety hazards such as hypodermic needles.
With the help of the Healthy Watersheds Initiative funding Project Watershed has hired environmental technicians to assist with our projects over the summer and early fall. The Healthy Watersheds Initiative is delivered by the Real Estate Foundation of BC and Watersheds BC, with financial support from the Province of British Columbia as part of its $10-billion COVID-19 response. Jamie Lund, one of these technicians, will be posting a brief report every Tuesday to update the Project Watershed community on what they have been up to.