Nanaimo trail enthusiasts celebrated B.C. Trails Day by taking to the rural area off Weigles Road to gather garbage and clean things up.
Volunteers from Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club, Mosaic Forest Management, Regional District of Nanaimo and Sylvis Environmental set up a base of operations at a Benson Creek Falls Regional Park parking lot for a cleanup of the Doumont mountain biking trails, which according to organizers, are often used as illegal dumpsites for trash.
Dana Wacker, president of Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club, said the intention was to “freshen up” the trail network for the summer. Wacker said members came across everything from bags of diapers, couches, mattresses and burn piles from pallet fires.
“So the challenge in this area obviously, is, it’s a recreation area and it’s pretty disheartening to see kids riding their run bikes right next to a pile of trash,” said Wacker. “More importantly, the bigger issue for us as recreationalists is we park our vehicles alongside the roadway in these parking lots where there are nails.
“So you’ve got kids that could potentially step on nails and tires that are going flat because they’ve run over nails.”
Pam Jorgenson, land use forester for Mosaic, which owns the lands, said the company sees many complaints about dumping.
“There are a lot of complaints … all over forest lands on Vancouver Island and B.C. it is becoming a bigger and bigger problem,” said Jorgenson. “There’s a lot of volunteer groups, a lot of local concerned public that’s willing to lend a hand to help clean it up. It’s wonderful.”
Wacker is asking people to report anyone illegally dumping garbage on trails.
“We are like citizen reporters and it’s up to every recreational user that’s in here to just advocate for the area that you care about and if you see dumping, please, please, please, please use the [Report All Poachers and Polluters line, 1-877-952-7277] to report it. It is very illegal.”
Past cleanups have seen 50 volunteers come together to clean up the area.
— Karl Yu (@KarlYuBulletin) June 5, 2021