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Pender Island 2019 Annual Earth Day Beach Clean-up

On April 20, 2019, volunteers scoured the beaches, shorelines, parks, paths, and roadsides of North and South Pender and collected 1600 kilograms of debris, which they brought down to the Medicine Beach Centre and deposited into two garbage bins for disposal. In addition, two truckloads of recyclables were taken to the Pender Island Recycling Depot.

107 volunteers signed in, but since many volunteers were registered under the organization that they volunteer with, many more people were cleaning than signed in. There were also a total of 18 volunteers at the drop-off site—registering people, directing traffic, helping people load their debris into the bins, sorting recyclables, playing music, serving lunch, etc. The total number of people volunteering is estimated to be 150.

The clean-up was sponsored by the Pender Islands Conservancy Association, the CRD and the Green Angels. It was supported by many community organizations including the Pender Islands Field Naturalists, Pender Island Parks and Recreation, Pender Islands Trust Protection Society, the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, the Pender Island Walking Group, Pender Island Yacht Club, and the Pender Island Canadian Power and Sail Squadron.

As usual, many Pender businesses and individuals showed support for this year’s Clean-up. Slow Coast Coffee made and served a delicious lunch. Volunteer appreciation prizes were donated by Jo’s Place Restaurant, Nancy Silo Pottery, Penderosa Pizza, Talisman Books and Gallery, Pender Island Pharmacy, The Pender Islands Conservancy Association, Lily Miles, and Kate and Deborah Hughes. The Pender Island Hardware donated gloves and bags, and Pender Islands Waste Management collected the bins.

Thanks to everyone who participated in helping to keep our island and ocean clean. You can be proud of the fact that you helped prevent truckloads of plastic and other debris from ending up in the sea.

A special thanks to Trinette Prior for her help in organizing the Beach Clean-up again this year, to Margaret Alpen for her ongoing good nature despite everything, to Bruce McConchie who went above and beyond the call of duty to get the aluminum boats to the Recycling Depot. Thanks also to Davy Rippner for taking the photos, to the musicians for entertaining us while we worked and had lunch, and to three volunteers who came over from Victoria: Cat Wilson who directed traffic, and Clayton Meadows and James Wilson who helped with the heavy work of loading and collecting debris.

Thanks also to the students of the Pender Islands School who helped us by making up our posters this year.

A special thanks also goes to the businesses of the Medicine Beach Centre for their patience at the disruption caused by all the coming and going of the volunteers with their loads of garbage.

This was the 35th annual beach clean-up on Pender Island, and the 10th sponsored and organized by The Pender Islands Conservancy Association.

All photos by Davy Rippner

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