The Schofield family, from Shawnigan Lake, were just one of the families that were part of the annual cleanup in the forests around Ladysmith. Dad, Byron along with mom Randi, and Tegan and Charlie enjoyed the day and it was a great outing for Freddy the family dog. Schofield, the owner of Trafalgar Homes in Duncan, was one of the founders of the Island Ranger program that teaches young people the importance of being protective of the area forests as well as the safe recreational uses in the forest and surrounding areas. (Submitted photo)

The Schofield family, from Shawnigan Lake, were just one of the families that were part of the annual cleanup in the forests around Ladysmith. Dad, Byron along with mom Randi, and Tegan and Charlie enjoyed the day and it was a great outing for Freddy the family dog. Schofield, the owner of Trafalgar Homes in Duncan, was one of the founders of the Island Ranger program that teaches young people the importance of being protective of the area forests as well as the safe recreational uses in the forest and surrounding areas. (Submitted photo)

Ladysmith Sportsmen’s Club springs into action with annual cleanup

Organizers estimate between eight and 10 tons of garbage will be collected

By Duck Paterson

Unfortunately, Saturday saw the return of the Sportsmen’s Club spring cleanup event.

The unfortunate part of the story is that the clean up is a much-needed community event sponsored by a group of community volunteers strongly supported by a whole host of other community volunteers.

Event organizer Dave Judson from the Ladysmith Sportsmen’s Club said: “Over the past eight years that I’ve been doing this it never ceases to surprise me at the turnout of volunteers. This past weekend we had over 120 volunteers, families, seniors, neighbours, it was a whole gamut of folks that just wanted to do their part to try even a little bit to make things better.”

Supported by a whole list of local companies, including Mosaic Forest Management, the annual cleanup of garbage in the forests around Ladysmith has been an ongoing project of the Sportsmen’s Club for more than a dozen years. This year there were groups of volunteers picking up garbage in areas around Haslam Creek, the Park ’n Ride at Timberlands and also the road to Mount Hayes.

Bins were donated by sponsors such as Trafalgar Homes and volunteers with trucks brought the collected garbage to the bins to be loaded up and then taken to the CVRD waste disposals at Bings Creek.

Judson estimates there will be between eight and 10 tons of garbage collected from this year’s event.

A group of leaders and guides from the Eighth Nanaimo Girl Guides was out helping clean up in the Peerless Road area. One of the girls said they even picked up a garbage bag full of fish heads. The leader said they came down as they wanted to show the guides a type of community involvement as well as do their part in anyway for the environment.

“This year we probably had the most unusual find, a woman found a bag of mannequin heads and when she opened it it really scared her, and no doubt,” said Judson. “Why couldn’t whomever dumped them have given them to a thrift store so they could be re-used?”

Byron Schofield, from Trafalgar Homes, and his wife Randi and children Tegan and Charlie along with Freddy the dog were also out for the day.

“We believe in doing what’s best and helping as much as we can,” said Byron Schofield. “I helped get the Island Rangers group together to help teach young people the importance of the forest and how we need to respect it and protect it. It’s not just the forest that gets dumped on, but it’s closer to nature and a place of tranquility and used with care can be part of families for generations.”

Mosaic Forest Management had eight of their managers out on Saturday to work with the volunteers as well as supplying a dump truck and an excavator to assist in clearing and pickup.

Judson was thankful for all the volunteers who have come out year after year to make it a success, but without sponsors it wouldn’t be able to happen. Judson said “folks like Xtend Rentals, David Stalker Excavating, the CVRD, Otter Point Timber, Little Valley Restorations, Ray Noel, Tim Hortons, Mosaic Forest Management, Trafalgar Homes, D. Mac and Sons, Granby Bobcat, H. A. Davis, Westcoast HazMat, Take 5, Canada Bread, 49th Parallel and others all of these businesses are behind so much in our community and their generous support is hugely appreciated.”

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