Water Week wrapped up in Langley with a community clean up event on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Hosted by the Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) with the Yorkson Watershed and Hansen Society, about 15 community members gathered at Yorkson Community Park to pick up garbage discarded along the trails, stream, and in the forest.
“Yorkson Creek is stunning, but it does get impacted with so much development – it is our most developed watershed in Langley,” said Lisa Dreves, stewardship coordinator at LEPS.
“We wanted to make a positive impact to end Water Week on, and thought it would make a nice activity for Truth and Reconciliation Day to clean up some of the anthropogenic trash we have around.”
Common garbage picked up is filled dog waste bags and cigarette butts, which both have toxic chemicals that harm the creek, she said.
“We pick up a lot of dog waste bags that have dog waste in them that people toss into the woods, and dog waste comes with its own toxins that leech into groundwater into the creek from overland run-off,” Dreves explained.
Buckets, gloves, and other equipment was provided to people who came to clean up the creek.
One community member from Murrayville said “it was disgusting, but satisfying.”
“Once you have some garbage in a community, garbage begets garbage and you just end up with more of it. We want this place to stay beautiful,” Dreves concluded.
“Langley has almost 2,000 kilometres of water courses within our borders and 850 kilometres of that is prime salmon habitat, where salmon are coming to lay their eggs, and then those juvenile salmon need to survive in that stream… for around three years,” explained Nichole Marples, executive director of LEPS.
She said LEPS has been concerned about the level of recreation that happens at the salmon streams, especially during the summer months. This year, LEPS held a couple outreach events to provide information to people about the salmon spawns.
Water Week is an annual, week-long event featuring free activities for all ages in the Langley Township in partnership with LEPS.
Next, the society will be holding two tree planting events on Oct. 14 and 21 at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum, and on Oct. 28 will be a pumpkin walk in the evening at the Demonstration Garden.