The Clean Team – Shaw Wilderness Park, August, 2022
Volunteering is a Super Power!
By: Cathy Vaughan
Nine garbage bags stuffed with trash from three deserted camp sites were hauled out of the Shaw Wilderness Park (SWP) by a team of environmentally-conscientious volunteers. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and partner organization Williams Lake Conservation Company (WLCC) coordinated efforts to recruit volunteers, lead the cleanup, remove the trash, tidy the area, and leave with no trace of ever being there.
Conservation-conscious folks from the local Williams Lake, Spryfield, and Sackville as well as Calgary, Alberta trekked into the Colpitt Lake area of the SWP in the humid heat wave at the beginning of August to dismantle three deserted encampments.
Volunteer Terry Woods of Calgary, a Nova Scotia transplant to Alberta, commented that “We have been coming back to Halifax for years and this cleanup adventure made us feel very invested in the welfare of this park. It is a unique forested, wild land park to have in the city. It is a wonderful recreational resource that is available to anyone who wants to use it. It’s accessible and it’s on a bus route from downtown!”
The three garbage-strewn encampments were identified by the NCC’s Engagement Intern Emma Willoughby and her team. “We checked out the sites in the spring and were shocked at the layers of trash that had built up over the many years of over-use and neglect.”
Volunteers moved a large number of logs, used as poles to support tarps, back into the forest to compost naturally. They bagged tarps, fire pits, cooking pots, sleeping bags, tattered tents, clothing, and copious amounts of nails, and carried them out of the park for pick up by HRM. A rewarding day for everyone. Volunteers care, help, and make a difference!
NCC and WLCC are dedicated to the preservation and protection of park lands as well as maintaining access to natural wilderness areas for everyone to enjoy. When nature thrives, people thrive.
Photos: Emma Willoughby, Terry Woods and Cathy Vaughan – Shaw Wilderness Park, August 2022