Leah was walking along Bellevue Creek a week or so ago and noticed small bits of plastic scattered about on the dried leaves from last fall. She picked up some but as she pulled the leaves back for more there was a never-ending cascade of coloured plastic confetti deep into the sandy creek bank. She spent an hour and a half sifting leaves, sand, soil and in and around rocks and managed to make a pretty good dent in it but still, so much remains. She posted her photos and commentary on our Facebook page with concern:
"As the water level rises this spring, this plastic will wash away downstream and into the lake. Much of it will be eaten by fish, which will then be eaten by birds of prey and other creatures (including people). I’m sure whoever is doing this would stop if they knew the ramifications of their glittery celebration. How can we address this?"
Great question Leah, how can we address this? A few neighbourhood people saw the FB post and have volunteered to go to that area of the creek where the plastic is and have another go at cleaning it up. The area is by the bridge at Varney Court that crosses the creek, it leads to a neighbourhood green space and onto the sidewalk that heads up onto Gordon Drive. So that location is a good start. Perhaps if others are going that way they can remember to bring a bag to gather waste and especially this plastic from the creek, every little bit helps.
At first I thought the confetti might have come from a backyard party and floated down to its spot under the bridge but Leah (the one who saw it) said it looked more like it came from a confetti cannon. Really? I had no idea there would be such a thing as a 'confetti cannon' (I had to look it up). Oh geez, it's 2020, surely we know better at this point. Confetti can easily be made with a hole punch and leaves. It may be a little time consuming but it could also be a part of the pre-party planning and a whole bunch of people could sit around punching holes in leaves while they chat and open gifts. What about throwing bird seed? Then again, why are we throwing things at people? (I'll need to look that up too).
Creeks are habitat for fish and critters. They are a water supply to the lake and the lake is the water supply for humans and critters and weather systems.
Bellevue Creek leads to the Lake and Leah is quite right, it is everyone's creek and everyone's lake to take care of.
Friends of Woodhaven Nature Conservancy can be reached via our website:https://www.friendsofwoodhaven.ca/?fbclid=IwAR1W-A4PNBzH6eYDs8Rq6AG3-0yr764N3fiMxDugKGSWZTQhE9HQHehQMPs
or through our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/friendsofwoodhaven/about/?ref=page_internal
Stay tuned for upcoming announcements and the schedule for the next community meeting. If you have anything at all to add to our suggestion box please don't hesitate to drop us note via the website or the FB page.
We are a non-profit society, founded by a group of neighbours of the Woodhaven Nature Conservancy. The purpose of the Society is to protect and improve the overall well-being of Woodhaven Nature Conservancy for the benefit of the public and future generations. The aim is to do this by promoting education about the park and by hosting or facilitating free public events regarding conservation of the park’s ecosystem, the history, and culture of Woodhaven, and becoming involved in projects that support the plant and animal life found within the park.
We acknowledge that Woodhaven is located on unceded territory of the Okanagan Nation. Our intention is to honour this fact and to ensure our activities are based on respect for the land and its history.