It was a perfect day today for the annual Mother’s Day Rideau River Clean-up. Kudos to Catherine Canning of the Urban Rideau Conservationists for organizing the event, which attracted well over 100 volunteers this year and covered the Rideau River from Carleton University to the Rideau Falls. Between the ground crews and canoeists there were at least 100 bags of garbage collected.
I hope my mother and I will make this into a Mother’s Day tradition, although I didn’t manage to find her until the cleaning was done. Maybe next year we’ll come together since it’s hard to see people when they’re off the bike path crouched down behind brush picking cigarette butts out of reeds. I have to say I really enjoyed myself. The work was not difficult and it forced me to pay attention to a place that I most often just cycle through. In fact, the whole morning was strangely relaxing. Besides, I had the company of interesting people, mallard ducks, turtles, and several curious Canada geese to keep me going. And as an added bonus I got lunch, a t-shirt printed on American Apparel and the bag pictured above. That bag says it all really.
The majority of garbage in the Queensway to Montreal Road section where I was working included bottle caps, broken glass, styrofoam, cigarette butts, plastic bags and bread ties. Why can’t the bush party demographic could adopt the hiker’s code: bring out more garbage than you bring in? My mother’s party found a stove top, which is just weird. And Catherine reported finding a load of garbage including a mattress across the river on the other side of Montreal Road.
If you would like to be notified about future clean-ups you can contact Catherine Canning, her contact info is on her blogsite. You can also contact her to get involved in advocacy work on behalf of the Rideau River.