The Township of Langley is wondering if residents have settled into their New Years resolution.
For those still looking for an interesting goal to help kick off the new decade – and a chance to do more good in their hometown – the Township’s Adopt-a-Program is looking for volunteers.
Through Adopt-a-Program, individuals, businesses, organizations, and schools tidy up local streets, streams, parks, or trails.
Not only does adopting a public space make it more safe and enjoyable for residents and visitors, participating in the program can bring friends and family together, help keep the Township beautiful, and is an opportunity for people to give back to their community.
Andrew Sigalet volunteers with the Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society (BCES), an organization that undertakes regular adopt cleanups as part of keeping the Aldergrove waterway healthy and litter-free.
He said it feels good to make your community look better and that it only takes a few people a little time to make a real difference.
“It’s funny, even with a few people, what you can do with even a short amount of time. It makes a big impact,” said Sigalet, who has collected everything from coffee cups to office chairs. “Any small amount helps. Even if you just do a small portion of your street, it doesn’t take much to make a difference.”
Whether residents or businesses would like to get people together for a one-time cleanup event or make an ongoing commitment to keeping a place litter-free, Adopt-a-Program has various options to fit the needs of volunteers.
One-time cleanups can be a great team-building activity for businesses, schools, and community groups looking to give back on a dedicated day, and year-long adoptions offer official recognition for ongoing stewardship efforts, said Lovena Morton, Township solid waste coordinator.
Businesses that commit to a least a year of adoption will receive recognition, and merit badges and buttons are available to community groups who adopt, such as Guides or Scouts.
Support in the form of cleanup supplies and equipment are provided by the Township, and reference letters can be provided to those looking to fulfill volunteer hour requirements.
Having done cleanups for the past ten years, Sigalet believes adopting a street, trail, creek, or park is a rewarding, effective, and easy New Year’s resolution to make.
“You can adopt a street and even if it’s just once a week or every two weeks, it gets you out,” he said. “It’s a good way to get some exercise as well as help your community.”
Over the years, adopt volunteers have collected tens of thousands of pounds of trash, litter which could and should have been recycled or disposed of properly in the first place.
When making a resolution that will stick all year long, caring for the environment and keeping the Township tidy can be as simple as thinking about what gets thrown away, where and how things are disposed of, and if they really need to be thrown away at all.
“The start of the year is the perfect time to get into positive new habits and every effort, big or small, makes a difference,” Morton added.
To learn more about volunteering with Adopt-a-Program, visit tol.ca/adopt.