Red Deer River Cleanup an important piece of Green Deer puzzle

Every year, there’s an informal contest to see who can bring back the weirdest item during the spring Red Deer River Cleanup.

“We’ve had taxidermy,” said Tanya Wells, Red Deer River/Great Canadian Shoreline Coordinator. “We get a lot of cellphones now, as well as pieces of houses, toys, vehicle parts.

“If its portable they’ll keep it out of the garbage and bring it back.”

The annual cleanup is a major part of Green Deer.

Volunteers convened at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre to embark on the endeavour to keep the river clean.

Participants arrived at 12:30 p.m. and after receiving cleaning supplies, were sent to a specific area of the riverbank to clean. Last year about 170-180 volunteers came out to lend a hand in the cleanup. Wells hoped for a similar turnout this year, but noted the help of the 100 Kids Who Care group is a large portion of that.

“I’m hoping for over 200 today,” Wells said. “That will be a nice number.”

Last year the Kerry Wood Nature Centre took over organizing the cleanup, which Wells said fits well with the centre’s goals.

The cleanup focuses on the shores of the Red Deer River within the city boundaries as well as Waskasoo and Piper Creeks. Some groups walked from the nature centre and back as part of their cleanup while others were bused out and walked back or walked out and bused back.

“We try to cover as much as we can,” said Wells. “If we have overflow they can go in the Gaetz Lake Sanctuary, further along McKenzie Trails or near Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School.”

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