Ladysmith Watershed and Area Cleanup coming up April 12

The Ladysmith Sportsmen's Club is organizing a cleanup for April 12, starting at 9 a.m. from the Bush Creek Hatchery.

Last week, Dave Judson of the Ladysmith Sportsmen’s Club took me on a drive along the logging roads to see how much garbage people dump near our creeks.

The club is organizing a Ladysmith Watershed and Area Cleanup for Saturday, April 12, and from the looks of it, the volunteers will be busy.

When the club did this volunteer cleanup in 2011, the group picked up 48,000 pounds of trash, with six tonnes of that coming from the area right around the Peerless Road Recycling Centre, according to Judson.

It’s a real community effort.

“The last cleanup we did, if it wasn’t for partners like the Cowichan Valley Regional District, TimberWest, community members and local contractors, it would cost thousands,” noted Judson.

Judson wonders if the cost of recycling and access to facilities — or lack thereof — are an issue when so many people are dumping near the recycling centre.

“Most of the things I find on logging roads are free to recycle,” he noted. “What can we do to keep the cost of recycling shingles down or make it easier to recycle drywall? You need to make it easy.”

There is a high cost to the environment and to wildlife when people dump their garbage in the bush, especially near Stocking Creek and other waterways, but another reason for the cleanup is to maintain recreational access to the logging roads.

“People might say why not put a gate up, but it’s recreational access, and the people who horseback ride or ride ATVs, they aren’t the ones who are dumping garbage,” said Judson. “Our 150 members come up here to enjoy the scenery … they appreciate having this in their backyard.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can show up at the Bush Creek Hatchery Saturday, April 12 at 9 a.m.

If you’d like more information, contact Dave Judson at 250-245-3690. Judson advises volunteers to dress according to weather conditions and suggests that if you have a high-visibility top, it might be a good idea to wear that. If you have a truck or trailer, that helps a lot too.

Gloves, garbage bags and lunch will be provided.

—Lindsay Chung