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Earth Day volunteer team cleans up Kootenay Lake shoreline

By Contributor
May 1st, 2022

Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society hosted an Earth Day Cleanup on April 22 where more than 60 volunteers removed over 7000 pounds of scrap metal and trash from the shoreline between Lakeside Park and the old Kootenay Forest Products (KFP) site.

The initiative was a response to multiple complaints from dog walkers and beach goers who frequent the area.

“I have been regularly cleaning broken glass and nails, etc. from this stretch of beach on my dog walks. I've probably collected half a dozen doggie poop bags full of glass, etc. and there's still lots out there. In fact, I probably won't go there anymore as it is too hazardous for my dog,” said a concerned neighbour.

Volunteers of all ages came together on this sunny Friday, eager to lend a hand and give these shorelines a fresh start for spring. In a matter of minutes, buckets were filled to the top. Most of the trash they collected was scrap metal, but other items included a car seat, a sink, grocery carts, car tires, and an abandoned boat.

“It was such a wonderful turn out. Seeing so many eager and passionate people come together was so inspiring," said Joelle Burnie, Environmental Outreach Coordinator.

"This cleanup goes to show that when we put our hands together, change happens, and happens fast. We are grateful for our volunteers and there is no way we could do this work without them."

Garbage pollution continues to be a significant issue around the lake, negatively impacting wildlife and other lake inhabitants and visitors. Friends of Kootenay Lake hosts cleanups year-round as one of their many stewardship initiatives. It aims to bring like-minded individuals together, decrease risks to the lake ecosystem, and spread awareness of the pollution issue.

Cleanups are especially important this time of year because the water levels are low, making trash and other debris visible and accessible to remove.

Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society wanted to thank Mountain Bin, the City of Nelson and Western Pacific Marine for helping to remove and dispose of the materials as well as Save On Foods for donating refreshments and snacks for the volunteers.

To learn more about Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society and stay updated on their upcoming cleanups, visit

About Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society

Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society is a local environmental non-profit whose mission is to improve the health and stewardship of Kootenay Lake through monitoring, habitat restoration, capacity building, and the empowerment of local communities, First Nations, and stakeholders. Friends of Kootenay Lake provides opportunities for lakeside communities to share information, collaborate, learn about Kootenay Lake, and actively take part in stewarding local ecosystems.

The trash bin provided by Mountain Bin was filled with garbage removed from the shoreline north of the Big Orange Bridge by volunteers from Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society hosted an Earth Day Cleanup. — Submitted photo

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