Canada’s Parks Day falls on July 16’th this year. First celebrated in 1990, Parks Day is an opportunity for individuals to participate in hundreds of unique and fun events taking place in sites from coast to coast. Events are organized in national parks, national historic sites, provincial parks, and territorial parks, as well as in community and regional parks across the country.
Increasingly regulated and restricted, the dwindling islands we like to call parks are more precious than we could possibly realize. Although having a special day to honor them is fantastic, there really should be a year-round awareness to maintain and keep them clean and garbage free. When we make an effort to keep trails and waterways clean we see measurable results in a healthier and safer environment for wildlife and humans alike to enjoy. Many communities rely on tourism and a clean pristine park will entice tourists to return and mention it to others.
Parks and trails with trash bins are less likely to have litter lying around the grounds. Get in the habit of always packing a supply of bags to pick up any stray litter you might find along the way. Rather than walking by trash and fretting about it – pick it up and be proactive! It is surprising how good it begins to feel when you make a difference.
Eighty percent of the waste found in waterways (streams, creeks, rivers, swamps, lakes and oceans) originates from inland sources. Rivers act like a vortex pulling in debris through air and water currents and can carry it thousands of miles further along its path. Cities on or near these waterways have a responsibility to be even more diligent of pollution as they are more likely to ‘share’ with unwilling populations downstream of them.
Highways and roads are also convenient corridors for loose garbage to travel upon. Natural wind and breezes caused by traffic can pull in a vast amount of junk. We can take action and help to decrease this. Starting in your own yard, do you see loose garbage along your street and alley bordering your yard that needs to be cleaned up? Also, encourage friends, neighbors and businesses to keep garbage bin lids securely closed to prevent litter escaping to the wind. When carrying loads in vehicles, make sure the load is covered so debris does not fall out along the way. Another pro-active option to consider is stream and swamp clean up projects in urban areas. These are often supported by businesses and cities through the donation of garbage bags, supplies, media coverage, trash removal and occasionally, volunteers.
Maybe if there were enough of us continually cleaning up the areas we inhabit, the whole world would resemble a park. Happy Parks Day…
Written by Dave and Lillian Brummet based on the concept of their book, Trash Talk. The book offers useful solutions for the individual to reduce waste and better manage resources. A guide for anyone concerned about their impact on the environment. (http://www.sunshinecable.com/~drumit )