Long weekend garbage left at Chilliwack’s outdoor getaway spots

Problem stems from grad parties and more people without experience getting outdoors

As the warmer weather hits the region, Lower Mainland sun-seekers flock to getaway spots such as Chilliwack Lake, the Vedder and Fraser rivers and, of course, Cultus Lake.

But the mess left behind by weekend visitors – long the bane of local hikers and anglers – was once again a problem after the Victoria Day long weekend.

A social media post of garbage left behind on the docks at Main Beach at Cultus Lake garnered hundreds of comments and reactions and more than 1,000 shares.

“This is my home, my backyard,” Sadaf Baradar posted on Instagram and Facebook on Monday alongside photos of discarded alcohol beverage cans and bottles, junk food packages and even clothing. “When you come to visit, please pick up after yourself. These pictures are only a small representation from the amount of garbage covering our beaches and docks. Please be more considerate. This is just heart breaking. #sharechilliwack #tourismchilliwack #beautifulbritishcolumbia #cultuslake #victoriaday #maylongweekend #garbage #litter #responsibility #respectnature.

The post received more than 500 reactions on Facebook, more than 1,000 shares and by Tuesday afternoon more than 150 comments.

One person said Cultus after a May long weekend is always heartbreaking.

“I’d like to see stricter anti-litter laws with mandatory community service in the form of litter clean up for repeat offenders,” Austin Knight said.

Jen Fraser called it “inconsiderate and disrespectful.”

“I teach my kids littering is bad and not to do it.”

John Wollenberg said it isn’t just Cultus but everywhere people go outside on a long weekend is left with a mess.

“My friends and I have always been taught to ‘pack out’ what you bring, as well as leave the place your visiting better then you when you got there,” he said. “It’s a shame to see not everyone has the same moral and values.”

And that much is clear. Someone posted on the Chilliwack BC Hiking Club Facebook page images of a fire pit with flames and garbage that she said was left behind near Chipmunk Caves.

One person responded that a mess was left behind on the Bench Road in the Chilliwack River Valley as well, and someone else said there were a lot of empty beer cans around Chilliwack Lake.

Chilliwack city councillor and outdoor tourism advocate Sam Waddington says the problem is getting worse as more and more people get outside, which should be a good thing.

“The growth and popularity of getting outside and getting camping has escalated quicker than the knowledge that comes with that: being a steward of wild places,” Waddington said.

He added that the reason places in the Easter Fraser Valley are hit harder and harder by the problem is that from Squamish all the way to Stave Lake has become very restricted and heavily used.

“Almost all the bad traffic and the people who want to act like it’s the last frontier have now moved out to Stave West, Harrison, Jones Lake and the Chilliwack River Valley.”

As to the specific problem of partiers leaving messes behind on the May long weekend, Waddington blames grad parties, which will only increase in the coming weeks as the end of the school year approaches.

“The grad party factor is bigger than people realize,” he said. “Jones [Lake] can’t handle another 10 years of grad parties destroying it with nobody enforcing the rules.”

There are a number of local groups dedicated to cleaning up around local waterways, including the Chilliwack/Vedder River Cleanup Society, which held its most recent cleanup along the Vedder on April 22. Next up on Sept. 24 they are meeting at the Chilliwack Fish and Game Club (48685 Chilliwack Lake Rd.) for a cleanup of the Chilliwack River as part of BC Rivers Day.

The group has even created a “Hot Spot Cleanup Squad” to tackle problem areas in between scheduled cleanups.

Fraser Riverkeeper is another organization dedicated to keeping the area clean.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Langley church prepares massive meal

A local chef and parishioners are taking charge in the kitchen for St. Joseph’s 25th annual dinner.

Giants ‘stuff’ Cougars

Vancouver blanks Cougars on Teddy Bear Toss night at Langley Events Centre

Star Wars auction in Langley draws ‘crazy’ response

Seller said to be “very happy” with results

Police sketch shows suspect in assault of 23-year-old woman

Incident took place Nov. 14 on Maclure Road in Abbotsford

An unpleasant surprise online for Langley anti-hate campaigner

Text from newspaper article about his efforts was used to link to suspect websites

VIDEO: Langley Christmas Bureau braces for busy toy distribution days

Volunteers spent the weekend sorting gifts donated for kids from Langley’s underprivileged families.

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

Update: RCMP arrest domestic assault suspect west of Kamloops.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team made the arrest at around 4:30 p.m.

Most Read