Towns work together to help clean up area

By: Tammy Rollie

  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 07, 2014 07:23 am

From left, Jane Toews, Mady Thiel-Kopstein, Margaret Krichbaum and Sandy Gregg clean a flower bed in Black Diamond during Project Green Day last year. This year’s event takes place on May 10 with registration in the town’s Scott Seaman Arena.
From left, Jane Toews, Mady Thiel-Kopstein, Margaret Krichbaum and Sandy Gregg clean a flower bed in Black Diamond during Project Green Day last year. This year’s event takes place on May 10 with registration in the town’s Scott Seaman Arena.
Wheel File Photo

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Dozens of Diamond Valley residents will be pulling on work gloves with garbage bags in hand as they scour the ground for litter and debris in an annual community cleanup event.

The Town of Turner Valley and Black Diamond Parks and Recreation Committee are asking for residents’ help to clear garbage and debris that has accumulated during the last several months in their annual Project Green Day cleanup event on May 10.

Cleanup spots include the Friendship Trail, Highway 22 between the two towns, pocket gardens between downtown businesses in Black Diamond and the Black Diamond community garden, said Les Quinton, Town of Black Diamond’s parks and recreation manager.

“It’s always needed because over the winter things blow around,” he said. “We’ve had car parts, wood, regular garbage, all kinds of things large to small. Some stuff they have gone back with equipment to pull out.”

Last year’s cleanup had more than 70 volunteers collecting garbage in both communities, a number that is growing every year, said Quinton. Garbage collected filled one-and-a-half large dumpsters with refuse, he said.

“This is a community effort to improve the appearance of the towns while also helping to preserve the environment,” he said.

Project Green Day co-ordinator Andy Melnyk said the cleanup is an important event in the two communities.

“Over the winter there is stuff that accumulates and pieces of paper and junk and stuff like that,” he said. “We try to keep our little towns pretty and appealing to tourists. A lot of people take a lot of pride in keeping the towns clean and tidy.”

Melnyk said there will be minimal cleanup along the Sheep River this year because of last year’s flood changing the landscape and remediation work being done.

“The river deposited a lot of garbage along the riverbanks,” he said. “We don’t want to put anybody at risk for putting them too close to the river, even though the water is not too high right now.”

Melnyk said he hopes for good participation in this weekend’s event. Volunteers will be rewarded with plenty of food before and after the event, as well as the opportunity to win door prizes.

“We are hoping that people can come out and have some fun and enjoy some free hamburgers and hot dogs,” he said. “Families with kids come out as well, which is a good thing because the kids get involved. They see the benefit of having a clean town.”

Participants will also have the opportunity to read about the towns’ many environmental initiatives with information displayed in the sports arena about the recycle centre, various water and electricity-conserving initiatives such as the low flow toilet rebate program and solar panels on Black Diamond’s municipal building and sports arena.

Foothills Lions Club members will collect garbage along Highway 22 south of Black Diamond and, following the cleanup, will serve a barbecue lunch at the arena at noon.

At 1 p.m., the Health and Wellness Coalition will host the official opening of its $65,000 Legacy Outdoor Fitness Park, that was completed last fall, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and equipment demonstrations.

The park consists of 10 workout machines that assist with building and strengthening various muscles. The park is located behind the Scott Seaman Arena on 3rd Street.

Residents interested in volunteering for Project Green Day must register at the Scott Seaman Sports Rink in Black Diamond at 9 a.m. where they will be designated to a particular area in one of the towns. Coffee and muffins will be available and volunteers are asked to bring their own work gloves.


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