Jocelyn Titus, founder of Earth Ninjas and Cleaning Up Aldergrove, took to the streets to lead a four-day marathon of cleaning along Fraser Highway – collecting a grand total of 80 large garbage bags full on trash.
“When I started the trek along Fraser Highway on Earth Day, I thought this was gonna be a long four days,” Titus explained. “Making my way through the core downtown of Aldergrove solo was quiet. No honks, no support, but it wasn’t until Friday when my family and friends came out to support me and help the mission. That’s when we really got noticed.”
Armed with a kart decked with signs promoting a clean environment, garbage bags, and a picker – the busy mother of two started near Station Avenue and headed west with the hopes of reaching Murrayville by Sunday, April 25.
The cleanup in honour of her stepdad Dave Brett, who was struck and killed by a tree during a walk along Robertson Crescent last September.
“I knew I had my family’s support and Dave’s best friends came out to help,” Titus added. “Most of the volunteers were all new faces to me. I’ll forever be grateful that they showed up because without them I wouldn’t have made that big of an impact.”
Though Titus has been leading picks around Aldergrove for several years, various Vancouver media outlets came to cover her mission throughout the weekend, which she said came as a shock to her.
“Knowing I have people supporting what we are doing makes me so happy,” Titus said. “I feel I have adopted the planet and not just a street. My mission and passion has been noticed and this is just the beginning for me.”
Marlene Dubenowski stopped to commend and even drop off a gift for Titus and two volunteers on Friday afternoon.
“This woman needs to be recognized. I feel sorry for Aldergrove – imagine what it would look like if not for these people going out and doing this,” she said.
Titus said lack of help or response from the Township of Langley has made things difficult to clean out streets.
“If volunteers are wanting to go out a do something, why wouldn’t they want to support that?” she said, putting out a call for street pickup, which the Township does not currently have.
She pointed out that there were so many big, bulky items, that they didn’t fit into her bags.
Titus noted that help arrived throughout the four days, with seven people on Friday, three on Saturday, and a whopping 11 on Sunday.
“It’s a power in numbers game. When you see one person cleaning the planet. It gives you a small glimpse of hope, but when you see multiple people doing it makes you stop and take notice,” Titus added.
The event ultimately ended just past 244th Street. Titus said there will be more days to get out there and complete her mission of making it to Murrayville.
“I want to do more for this planet. My future goals are to start a circular economy project, recycling plastic and turning them into second life items,” she said. “I will never stop protecting our planet cause she provides so much and we take for granted how great we have it here in Canada.”
Proud of her accomplishment and being able to make the cleanup happen, Titus thanked Aldergrove for all the support and to all the volunteers helping out.
She put out a challenge to all local businesses to keep their properties clean.
More information can be found on her group’s Facebook page.
“Don’t pass it up, pick it up,” Titus concluded.
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