Douglas Wortley

Douglas Wortley

Nanaimo man on Doumont clean-up mission

NANAIMO – University student armed with rake and shovel carries on cleanup of popular recreation area.

One man is on a mission to clean up one of Nanaimo’s most popular recreation areas.

Since May 22, Douglas Wortley, a 24-year-old Vancouver Island University geology student, has spent 20 days with a rake and shovel scraping up broken glass, dumped trash and spent shotgun shells from a patch of land known as Cadillac Flats, located in the Doumont recreation area.

Wortley, an avid mountain biker, calls his one-man effort the Doumont Restoration Project.

His tidying up has spread to nearby clearings and trails and he has also placed posters on trees to promote maintaining cleanliness in the area.

So far, Wortley said, there has been no new dumping in the areas he has cleaned, but he could use as much volunteer help as he can muster.

“I guess I’m, like, the project coordinator,” Wortley said. “It’s pretty much just me and I take on volunteers.”

Wortley has had up to 14 people work with him, but is planning some larger cleanups, including one Aug. 24 with the Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club.

“They want to have all their members come out, so that will be a huge turnout,” Wortley said.

There have been multiple trash removal operations in the area organized by local clubs over the years, usually lasting a day or a weekend, but  before long the area is quickly blighted with illegally dumped trash that includes garden waste and household garbage, construction materials and even abandoned vehicles.

This is the first time someone has made a sustained cleaning effort, although Wortley’s original intent was to do a research project in the area that could tie in with his VIU studies.

“After a while I realized there’s not a lot of research to be done,” Wortley said. “There’s just a lot of trash to be picked up, so I kind of moved away from that and tried to get anybody who either hates garbage or loves nature to come on board.”

Wortley has co-ordinated with user groups and said he also received a $500 donation to support his efforts from Island Timberlands.

Bill McMillan, Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club spokesman, said Wortley’s project is the most thorough cleaning of the area he has seen.

“He’s gone up there and actually raked up reams of shotgun shells,” McMillan said. “Doug has kind of hit the nail on the head with his theory that, if an outdoor area is cleaned up to look pristine then that first person tempted to dump stuff out their window or leave their trash there is going to find it a lot more difficult. It’s going to be interesting to see how this goes and he’s done a phenomenal job.”

To learn more about the Doumont Restoration Project, please visit the project Facebook page at

Just Posted

The Nanaimo Business Awards are accepting nominations now. (Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce image)
Nanaimo Business Awards accepting nominations of worthy winners

This year’s awards aren’t until the fall, but the nomination period ends June 28

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Gabriola singer-songwriter Sarah Osborne, Cowichan Valley duo Heartwood, Vancouver singer Kelly Haigh and Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo (clockwise from top-left) are among the performers in this year’s Cultivate Festival. (Photos submitted)
Gabriola Arts Council presents COVID-conscious Cultivate Festival

Theatre, music and art festival returns to Gabriola Island after 2020 hiatus

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomer by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

Most Read