Volunteers Clean Up The Trails
Thursday, 07 May 2009 20:28
100 Volunteers Combat a Mountain of Garbage
Words and photos by Mark Steinebach
Sunday April 26, 2009 saw the Vedder Mountain Trails Association (VMTA.ca) host the annual Vedder Mountain Trails clean up and trail maintenance day.
VMTA representing the interests of Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association, Back Country
Horseman of BC, Vedder Running Club, Chilliwack Outdoor Club and Cascade Offroad Motorcycle Club on Vedder Mountain coordinated the efforts of nearly 100 volunteers to revitalize the well used and well loved trail network.
Individuals from the various user groups lent more than 250 hour of volunteer labour to the effort. This yielded 7 metric tonnes of illegally dumped garbage and recyclables being removed. An additional 100 hours of trail maintenance was provided in order to affect a new, flowy reroute to the entrance of MongoLloyd trail.
The trail cleanup effort has been an annual event for more than 5 years. Despite the collective annual efforts of the volunteers, the amount of illegally dumped garbage removed remains about the same each year. There have been ongoing and disturbing incidences of illegal dumping that continues on Vedder Mountain. The ease of access and proximity to Chilliwack has made this popular recreation area an easy target for this illegal activity. What is most disturbing about all the illegal dumping on Vedder Mountain is that the Bailey Road Landfill is only a five minute drive away and provides a legitimate and inexpensive means of disposal and recycling of nearly all materials imaginable. The cash outlay to drive several kilometres up Vedder Mountain and the effort required to carry and dump a refrigerator on the road sides, trails and in the creeks here simply makes no sense at all. It is regressive, Neanderthal, bone-headed and disrespect to the environment and those that enjoy these trails and want them to be around long after we aren't.
While continued illegal dumping is discouraging, the enthusiasm and passion shown by the volunteers for this area continues to be overwhelming. In return for the hard labour, the troops were fed lunch and everyone received at least one great bit of swag to go home with courtesy of our great sponsors. A broad range of support came from the community and government and this ensured a successful and effective outing. Vedder Mountain Trails Association (VMTA.ca) provided funding and organizational support along with support of the local Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts recreation officer Mike Peters. The Chilliwack Lions Club provided lunch for the volunteers and Valley Tank and Container provided disposal services. Additional support came from the following: Valley Veterinary Services, Jack's Cycle, Fortins, Norco Performance Bikes, Race face, Vedder McDonalds Restaurant (Vedder Crossing), Kona Bikes, Raceface, Cycles Lambert, Ryders Eyewear, Fracture Products, Pinkbike.com and the City of Chilliwack (Pitch-In Program).