The day dawned steel gray with white clouds streaked across the Telkwa Mountains and along the valley hills. Just before the kick-off to the Tyhee Lake Shoreline Cleanup, the wind picked up from the northwest. It was warm enough, but intermittent showers were predicted.
The first person to arrive at the registration table came by car to announce that they’d intended to paddle up the lake to the park, but the wind had deterred them. The party of four were still going to canoe out from their shoreline home and scour the south end of the lake for debris and a picture would follow later of their collected flotsam and jetsam.
The rest of the neighbours arrived in all manner of watercraft to the South Beach at Tyhee Lake Provincial Park to muster and get instructions for the two-hour cleanup activity. The undertaking is the first of its kind under the Tyhee Lake Protection Society’s new board.
At 10:15 everyone set off with various implements to retrieve debris and with a thorough understanding of areas to avoid that contained sensitive wildlife habitat values.
A roving boat, The Wildcat Café, took phone calls from folks who found debris too big for them to retrieve and that captain and crew were then able to haul the offending debris aboard. Two of the larger aluminum jet boats spent the majority of the time capturing nothing but tires.
Alongside, four neighbourhood women with strong arms and backs, the park ranger and his deputy were on hand to help sort, load and recycle the debris. It was an immense job and at the end of the two-hour event there were 92 tires pulled out of the muck alongside a variety of garbage of all sorts and sizes.
The 42 neighbours and friends who committed their time to this environmental venture celebrated their accomplishment with a hot dog barbecue and ice-cream cones in the park. Many local businesses supported the event in the form of safety supplies, food and recycling services.
This event is the first step in the board’s attempt to return the lake to its naturally beautiful condition. For further information on the Tyhee Lake Protection Society, please contact Al Campbell, chair.