Volunteers were busy on Sunday making Calgary looked beautiful with the 47th Annual Pathway and River Cleanup. Approximately 2,900 volunteers showed up to clean city parks, riverbanks and 200 km of pathway. While a lot of the riverbank areas could be covered, some were not accessible this year due to damage from the flood.
The volunteers were provided with gloves and garbage bags and were able to clean up a lot of the debris from the flood. This flood overflowed at the riverbanks causing debris to flow downstream.
Last year the teams picked up 4,000 kg of garbage according to a waste audit. The City of Calgary Parks has the goal of reducing that high amount down to 100 kg by 2025. It's not known yet how much waste was picked up this year but there's a chance that the numbers may be less due to the inaccessibility issues.
There is still work to be done on the project though. Mayor Naheed Nenshi spoke to a crowd at the Poppy Plaza, which overlooks the Bow River, and asked the group to avoid tossing cigarette butts on the ground in public places. He recommends that if you can't stop smoking you can at least stop flicking.
The event was supposed to be held three weeks ago but was put off due to weather conditions. A lot of what was collected along the river banks seemed to be flood debris. As well, campsite remnants and 3 bicycles were found. While smaller objects were deposited into garbage bags, the larger items were hauled off by the city.
While some people were taking the weekend off and just enjoying the weather or heading to the Calgary Lilac Festival, others were getting down and dirty to clean up the city. We thank them for their time and the effort they put in to keep the city looking its best.