Chelsea Gore helped daughter Alora get her gloves on while siblings Jenson (rear) and McKinley (in carriage) waited at the start of a two-hour volunteer cleanup of the Nicomekl River floodplain in Langley City on Saturday, Aug. 22. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Chelsea Gore helped daughter Alora get her gloves on while siblings Jenson (rear) and McKinley (in carriage) waited at the start of a two-hour volunteer cleanup of the Nicomekl River floodplain in Langley City on Saturday, Aug. 22. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Call for volunteers to clean up Nicomekl draws bigger than expected response in Langley City

Coordinator calls it ‘heartwarming’

A call for volunteers to tackle trash in Langley City’s Nicomekl River floodplain drew a better than expected response on the weekend.

Held on Saturday, Aug. 21, the event was organized by the Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) Eco Crew, in partnership with the Nicomekl Enhancement Society.

READ ALSO: Call for volunteers for Nicomekl River cleanup on Saturday in Langley City

During the height of the pandemic, when there were limits on outdoor gatherings, LEPS had to limit the number of volunteers working together.

This time, phase three of the provincial restart program was in effect, which allows “outdoor organized gatherings” of up 5,000 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is greater.

More than 20 people showed up at the 10 a.m. start time, and more arrived before the end at 12 p.m. said Lisa Dreves, Langley stewardship coordinator with Langley Environmental Partners Society.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Battling invading plants in Langley

“In total 30 people were out to make the City of Langley a little cleaner and many others walking by [said they] can’t wait to sign up for the LEPS newsletter to be able to join us for the next clean up,” Dreves told the Langley Advance Times.

“[It was] more than we expected, which is amazing.”

Dreeves described the response as “heartwarming.”

Langley Valley District Girl Guides joined the volunteer effort to clear out trash from the Nicomekl River floodplain in Langley City on Saturday, Aug. 22. Guide leader Bailee Clowes (left), Evalit Smith, Pathfinder (right), and Sophie Pandur, Spark (centre). (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Langley Valley District Girl Guides joined the volunteer effort to clear out trash from the Nicomekl River floodplain in Langley City on Saturday, Aug. 22. Guide leader Bailee Clowes (left), Evalit Smith, Pathfinder (right), and Sophie Pandur, Spark (centre). (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

“We covered the trails from 200th St. all the way to 208th,” Dreves elaborated.

“Honestly, I was absolutely overwhelmed by the number of folks that just want to help, many on their only day off or day to sleep in – but they still wanted to make a difference.”

Volunteers collected more than 400 lbs. of trash during the two-hour event, not counting a couch that someone dumped near the salmon-bearing stream.  

Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek pitched in. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek pitched in. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

LEPS was launched in 1993 when a Township of Langley staff member, Peter Scales, convened a small group of community-oriented individuals to form a non-profit society that could provide local green jobs, utilize volunteers, and build community-oriented partnerships to conserve the streams and natural areas of Langley.

With a stated mission of “protecting and restoring the environment through education, cooperation and action” and fostering a balanced approach to sustainable living, LEPS works with local environmental stewardship groups.


Is there more to the story? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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