River Clean Up & Responsibility

A few days ago I wasn’t feeling great but knew that fresh air would help, and my fur baby Zola needed to get out too.

So, I drove down towards Peg Road to take Zola for a walk – Only to find that nope, the road is barricaded again, after being open for several months. Sadly, during the time it was open, I saw people camping, burning pallets and dumping garbage into the farmer’s field bordering the road. So while I’m disappointed that it’s closed again, I’m not surprised.

I continued down to Jesperson Road boat launch – another area that is freshly fenced and gated, but the gates have been open lately (I’m guessing for fishing season). I pulled in to see a few parked vehicles and a few people hanging out, and someone having a small fire on the far end of the parking lot.

I parked away from the people so I could let Zola run without bothering anyone else, and as soon as I got out of my truck, I was saddened by the sight of many empties littering the gravel.

Luckily, I had a recycling bag under my backseat. I opened at least a dozen of half-full attempted shut-gun Budweiser beer cans and poured them out before adding them to the bag. I picked up the garbage too and went back to my truck to sanitize my hands.

The sun came out from behind the clouds, and I was surprised how warm it was. I sat on my tailgate, enjoying the sunshine after a week of freezing cold winds.

I realized that as much as it sucks that people don’t clean up after themselves, we need people willing to help clean these places up without formal clean ups, or they will all get shut down permanently.

While it would be nice if people took responsibility for themselves and didn’t leave a mess in the first place, the reality that I have come to accept is that not everyone cares. People will leave garbage, empties, and burn pallets leaving piles of nails behind. So knowing that we won’t change those people, we need to be willing to pitch in and clean up after others, to keep these places open.

Zola enjoyed exploring the back corner of the parking lot while I did a mini cleanup, and took a few minutes to reflect.

As I get older, I think I understand that responsibility a little bit more, and try to always have bags, gloves, and a “make it better” attitude when I head out anywhere. Before Gill Road was shut down permanently, I always brought my kids to the Spring clean up so they could not only pitch in and help clean the area we all enjoyed so much, but also to hopefully prevent them from being the teenagers having fires and leaving empties and garbage behind. As my kids got older, they started to ask me why they had to clean up after other people, when we always made sure to clean up when we were at the river. I explained that we can’t make those people come and clean up unfortunately, so we need to do our part to try and keep these places open. The Vancouver Aquarium usually had a booth set up at the Gill Road Clean ups and did a great job of explaining the effects of garbage entering our waterways and the wildlife that live there, so there was always an education component of the clean ups.

As always, Thanks for reading! Keep on adventuring, and maybe bring a garbage or recycling bag with you on your next one!

Published by Road Trip Mama

I am a 34 year old Mom of two, married to my wonderful husband living in Beautiful British Columbia. My kids are 9 and 12 and pretty much complete opposites! My daughter loves to Road Trip like her Mama and my son is more ‘are we there yet?’ From 8 hour road trips to see family, ferries to the island or just a good old drive up a dirt road, I’ll have tips to keep the kids entertained, food to pack and road reports! We are so fortunate to live in this beautiful place surrounded by mountains and rivers and endless trails to explore! Follow me and see how I maintain my sanity on these trips!

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